I’m in Bogota, Colombia, visiting with Zemoga, run by DJ Edgerton and Alejandro Gomez, and over 100 talented men and women. I’m here partly because DJ wants to work with me in the future, but that’s probably the smallest part of the story. I’m here because DJ is so wildly passionate about Colombia and its people, and he really just wanted me to meet the smart men and women who drive all the cool projects Zemoga executes.
People and passion are what makes anything work. When DJ or Alejandro talk about Zemoga, they talk about the culture, they talk about “bleeding Zemoga green.” They talk about service excellence. They talk about the brilliant artists and creators and technologists who power their projects. Seeing this passion in person is why I’m here. I can get projects anywhere. I came to see the passion.
Most everything you know about Bogota is outdated. It’s a city on the rise. The streets are filled with people pursuing their dreams, who are graduating from top schools and making career moves very much in line with where the new economies are going. There’s all the things you expect from a big city in an old land: a blend of poverty and prosperity, a history so old I can’t understand it colored over by the hope and dreams of what comes next, a people working hard while you remember the stereotypes and the past. They know what you think. They’re just too busy making the future happen that they can’t be bothered to be offended.
Visiting other countries is a privilege. I just got back from a beautiful trip to the UK, where I got to see what’s brewing under their hoods. I got to see their passion. From there, I headed home for a few days with the family, and then scooted off to Colombia with DJ and his team. The difference in those three settings: Exeter, Boston, Bogota – is like the difference in textures and materials, but not passion nor intent.
The people of Bogota, most especially those I’ve spent time with at Zemoga, show me the importance of passion in building business. The employees here are part of something. They are strong in their beliefs. They are moving towards a shared future.
That passion drives me. Some days, I just have to find better ways to channel it into my business relationships. My 2010 plan is ecosystems/owners/kings, and I need to do better at the “owners” part. Because watching Zemoga do what they do, I know that I have much more to learn about driving excellence with passion.
More photos from Bogota? Here they are