Smart50 rank: 21
Founders: Brian Cook, 43; Brett Campbell, 38
Industry: Information technology
Brian Cook and Brett Campbell began IT solutions company OBS after being recruited by Microsoft to help develop a new network communications system. But Cook says it immediately started off on the wrong foot.
"Early on we made some poor choices in middle tiered managers which cost us greatly. Once it became clear the effect that it was having on the business, we dismissed the people involved, regrouped and then hired appropriate people. We have never looked back."
"Firstly, get the right people. Secondly, get the right customers, and then profits will follow."
OBS recorded 81% average growth over the past three years with $23 million in revenue during 2008-09. Cook says the company, which focuses on technology, business and training services based on Microsoft technologies, was built by focusing on a specific need.
"We could see a business opportunity for a mid-sized technology solution company. We could see that there was a growing investment in Microsoft technology for corporate email and knowledge management. We also had a desire to work together."
The company isn't slowing down, with Cook preparing the business for an IPO in the near future.
"As our business plans have not been affected by the downturn we are not changing our strategic plans for the immediate future. We firmly believe in our vision of creating the right culture and expertise. This in itself attracts customers and therefore profit forecasts. We are constantly striving to show expertise in all we do and be innovative in our approach to our customer's business challenges."