Upward Mobility: Why I Work At MobileIron
Brett Belding | May 05, 2015
My Mobile History
I remember the first time I held a Palm Pilot. It reminded me a lot of the calculator watch I had when I was a kid (yes…I know…I’m a geek). That Palm Pilot was pretty remarkable. It had a bunch of information from my desktop and it fit in my pocket. I had to plug it in every day (some things never change), and by doing that I could take a small part of the internet with me.
It was missing one thing, though — a network.
My next big revelation was with the early BlackBerry devices on BellSouth’s mobitex network. That network was dial-up speed at best, but it helped to show me the future of pocket computing. Now I didn’t have to tether my phone to my computer to get updates to critical things like email, calendar appointments, and a small — but now growing — part of the internet. This thing had promise.
They got better, and by 2005 I wanted my own. My problem was that I wanted both corporate and personal information on it, so I came up with a compromise. I bought the handset and the company reimbursed my usage. I had to agree to let them manage it, but I didn’t care — the value of the device far eclipsed the compromises (which weren’t that bad).
Believe it or not, I was not an early iPhone adopter. I had a keyboard addiction and I needed cut and paste. In 2010 I gave in, bought an iPhone 4, and welcomed myself to modern mobility. My usage exploded. I also bought a first generation iPad that same year. It was the first “computer” both of my kids used. They were both under 2. Try that with a PC.
2010 was also the year that I took over running Cisco IT’s Mobility service. I had the pleasure of leading the growth of our deployment from 15,000 to over 70,000 smartphones and tablets, and I helped lead our deployment of two different app stores and over 100 apps. We pioneered BYOD starting in 2009, and scaled it globally within a few years.
I realized in 2014 that I wanted to help other companies with their mobile journeys and leverage all of the knowledge and experience I gained at Cisco. Thankfully MobileIron had a job perfectly tailored for me. Today, I enjoy helping our customer executives define and execute mobile strategies, moving from the first email-on-smartphone step all the way to transforming processes for employees and customers.
I’m fundamentally motivated by two things — technology and helping people. My entire career, and even the odd jobs I did when I was very young, all centered around one or both of these. At one stage I thought I could only help people with technology by being in IT, but I’ve since realized that I can help people in many other ways, including consulting with practitioners and sharing our story in public forums.
I experience an incredible amount of joy by seeing someone else succeed, especially if I’ve had a small part in making that happen. I love sharing success stories because they’re motivational, uplifting, and proof that doing hard things well pays off.
MobileIron is an amazing company. Deloitte said we're the fastest growing company in the last five years, and Glassdoor said we're one of the Top 50 companies to work for. If that wasn’t enough, MobileIron has, by far, the smartest collection of people in the mobile industry. It’s clear that the hiring strategy is quality over quantity, and I’m humbled to have been chosen to be a part of this elite group. I learn so much every single day.
The other big reason why I chose MobileIron was the culture. I’m a huge believer in the humble-and-hungry approach, and that approach is at the core of the company. Even though we’re solidly in the leader’s quadrant according to Gartner, we focus our energy on being even better. We realize that, in tech, you’re either disrupting or getting disrupted, and that makes every day extremely exciting. We’re solving problems no one has ever solved, and we’re doing it at a pace never seen in enterprise technology.
This is an incredible industry in which to be a leader, and I have the pleasure of being surrounded by an amazing team of very smart people who want to succeed together. My technology history led me to MobileIron, and together we’ll lead the next revolution in IT.