A 13 year Microsoft veteran, Peter started writing commercial software over 30 years ago, which is a long time to hold someone's attention who cares a lot more about people than technology.
Before his life in tech, Peter was a cabinet maker, built harpsichord keyboards on the coast of Maine, led bike tours from the summit of a 10,000 foot Hawaiian volcano 38 miles down to sea level while riding backwards to keep an eye on his guests, and ran a surf-wear manufacturing shop. When faced with the choice of purchasing an electronic typewriter or a new computer (not an obvious choice at the time) he opted for the latter. When the system failed to deliver on its promise, he learned to bend the code to do his bidding. Eventually, he began supporting other customers as they automated their businesses. He was hooked.
But while Peter is a self-confessed "gadget guy," it was always people and business that fascinated him.
"For me," he says, "technology has always been only as important as the improvement it could bring to people's lives. But improving people's lives with technology is anything but a foregone conclusion. In fact, it turns out that more technology projects fail than succeed. Figuring out how to change that, is more than just a business mission for me. It's personal. And along the way, I've learned that the key to success has almost nothing to do with technology and everything to do with how people work together."
So, while most technologists might shy away from, cultural, organizational and human factors, this is home territory for Peter. One customer recently told us, "Peter's super-power is his ability to listen and synthesize what I was struggling to say in just a few, incredibly articulate words. He seems to get right to the heart of the matter by asking the right questions. He's got this unique combination of passion and calm that instill a sense of confidence in the team. He's better at marshaling a diverse group around a common purpose than anyone else I've ever worked with."
These skills came in handy during his tenure at Microsoft, where he led some of the largest consulting engagements in the East Region and later taught Scenario Focused Engineering (an outcome-driven software design methodology) to over 4,000 IT practitioners and their business partners.
"It was an amazing opportunity," Peter relates of his experience at Microsoft, "to work with scores of teams in such a challenging global organization. Every team was unique, but because we worked with so many of them, we were able to spot patterns and common characteristics that others couldn't see. It was the ideal environment to figure out which methods were the most effective and then refine them until they were razor sharp. We learned a ton. It was fabulously fun and inspiring to see the impact we could have on team performance and outcomes."
When the opportunity to take the practices Peter and his team had developed over the years to a broader audience, it was too compelling to pass up. "Even though a lot of the design and measurement methods we use have been around for 20 or 30 years, applying them in an IT organization has been a real challenge. With Navicet, we can share the cultural code in a way that dramatically improves how IT creates business value. We're finding that our customers share our excitement, and we take a lot of inspiration from that."
When he's not busy learning from the teams he works with, you can find Peter riding his motorcycle in circles as fast as he can at the race track, juggling, building model ships, collecting whiskey, in the studio taking photographs or trimming bonsai trees.