Looker Blog : Data Matters

My Company Just Got Bar Mitzvahed

Lloyd Tabb, Founder, Chairman and CTO

Jan 28, 2014

Looker turned two years old on the ninth of January. I’ve thought a lot about what this means to me, and it keeps coming back to my experience as a parent.

When my kids were born, I learned what it was to be a parent. For the first five years of their lives, I could not take my eyes off them. If I did, they might grab a knife and cut themselves, or they would drown themselves in the bathtub. I had to watch every movement those little tykes made. I’m in the room, talking to somebody else, but I’m looking at exactly what they're doing.

I felt like, early at Looker, I had to look at everything that was happening in the company, at every customer interaction. Everything that happened at Looker—I was aware of it.

When my kids turned 5 and up to age 12, I stopped watching them all the time. But I basically knew where they were in space. They were at school, at soccer practice, at a friend’s house. I had a mental picture, with both my kids, about exactly where they were in the world and what was going on with them.

As Looker grew, it was a lot like that. I knew we had these clients, these priorities, this product, and these employees on the team. 

Today, Looker has gotten to the place where I don’t know every client. I don’t know the details of everyone we hire. There's so much going on that there's no way that any one of us can know everything about the business. 

That’s a lot like what happened when my kids turned 13. That's when they're going out in the world, and I just don't get to know what they're up to any more. I have to trust that they're going to make good decisions. They do. They're terrific. They respect people. They're wonderful people. 

In my culture, in the Jewish culture, we celebrate this with a bar mitzvah. It's the time that a young person (or a young company) goes off and uses the excellent foundation you’ve built. And now it’s time to explore the world. 

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