We talked to Chris Pinter of PinterEC on how they support the growth of high tech companies and he had the following to say about it.
How are you doing during this unique year with Covid-19?
Chris Pinter: My family and I have made some changes according to the Canadian government’s recommendations. We have been working from home most of the time and making good use of our imagination to keep us from getting cabin fever. I am currently working on a remote project, so I am actually isolated from my family, but we do a lot of zoom calls to stay connected.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded PinterEC.
Chris Pinter: My career has had a lot of ups and downs. I am a serial entrepreneur and enjoy the excitement of a changing world. I have worked in corporate spaces as well, including Microsoft in Redmond WA, Sierra Wireless in Richmond BC, and EMSACN in Calgary, Alberta. So I know all about the corporate world. I have been working as an independent contractor for a while, but PinterEC has taken this idea to a new level.
How does PinterEC innovate?
Chris Pinter: I focus on helping high tech companies grow. We do technology research, product development and support the growth of entrepreneurs, management teams, and others who need to make change happen fast and make those changes stick. I have always felt the need to consider alternative ideas from everyone in my team. I have learned that these innovative ideas sometimes don’t work, so it is very important to put a process around innovation. The idea is to risk a lot but make a consequence of a negative outcome insignificant. So, it is ok to have big dreams and work towards them but have a safety net ready to catch your fall. I like to think of it as a game of longevity. Don’t get into a place where you will suffer if your crazy idea does not work.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Chris Pinter: We like to work remotely. Some of my team members have always worked from home. In March, we all went remote or agreed to keep some distance from each other when we need to meet.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Chris Pinter: I had a business a while ago that failed. The experience changed my life. Back in 2008, the economy crashed and changed the way we all do business. Quino Solutions Inc. was a company I founded, and it was doing very well. We doubled our revenue year or year for 5 years. It was crazy growth. I loved it, but we had issues keeping cash because of this. We had to shut the company down in 2010 because our clients all went out of business. The biggest lesson I learned was to keep track of the internal and external risks. Look for stuff that can go bad and make decisions to make the event have a small consequence. By doing this, I have been able to identify new opportunities.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Chris Pinter: I have found that my stress and/or anxiety is caused by the amount of risk I take on a project. For example, cash flow. You have money when you start a project, and you spend it. Then as the project goes, you spend more money. When something comes up that delays the project, the anxiety will go up. Cash is still being spent, but now there is low or no productivity. Eventually, you could run out of money. That is stress. This type of anxiety has a cause. Good project management, risk mitigation, and communication with stakeholders are some of the tools I use to keep my stress down.