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SRT Solutions

206 S Fifth Ave
Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Bill Wagner Dianne Marsh

You said you expect your team to engage in regular, active learning time. Give an example of what this means to you and how it has helped your company?
Wagner: We have something called Pure Learning Time, which is an allocation of a few hours where an employee will learn something new. If there is something really cool we will form a team and build something. We built something for the Codemash conference last year called Mobimash.
Marsh: It was basically a mobile organizer for the conference.
Wagner: We learned quite a bit about the mobile space with that one. That helps us when customers want a really rich experience.

What do you think of Google's 20% program? Should more tech companies emulate it?
Marsh: It's pretty similar to what we do. It's a great strategy for companies that are investigating new technologies. It works for Google because it wants to bring a lot of different products out and it doesn't want to dictate the type.
Wagner: If you want to stay relevant in this industry, you have to keep learning. This industry is going to continue to move. Our goal is to create a company that lasts.

Sounds like a smart strategy to diversify and be ready for the next big thing.
Marsh: Like everything else it's an investment. We're investing in our employees for the long-term.

You are fans of TEDx. What does TEDx represent to you and why should others take note?
Marsh: It provokes thought about topics of which you don't have any previous knowledge. It really expands your point of view, which is good for businesses and software. By providing that diverse thought we can bring a lot of interesting opportunities to their software.

What was your TEDx talk about?
Marsh: It was about flexible workplace and how we don't have to be so regimented in the way we organize companies or interact with our employees. By being more flexible we improve our businesses, and our customers and employees experience with our business.

SRT Solutions is working together with The Whole Brian Group and Adaptive Materials on a new technology that will improve the military's renewable energy usage in the field through a multi-million dollar government grant. How did this partnership come about and what could we do to encourage more like it?
Marsh: It's all about networking. This is a very small, intertwined community, so Adaptive Materials knew about our expertise in building software and they also knew about The Whole Brian Group's ability to build some lovely interfaces. You can't know what other people's strengths are unless you're actively involved in the community, know the companies, and what they do well.

So how do you get that message out then? Is it something as simple as having more networking events?
Wagner: One thing we do need more of is networking events that go across disciplines. There should be events where software people meet with marketing people so we can see software on the Web from a different angle. The places that are growing are the places where these different disciplines come together and do something interesting.

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