Late last year, Expedition Technology (EXP) achieved another significant milestone in our company’s history – our 100th (and 101st and 102nd) employee joined our team. In just over 10 years, we’ve grown from a startup with a handful of people to a well-established organization trusted by the defense and intelligence communities to deliver innovative solutions that address their most challenging and important priorities.
Reaching this size presents EXP with opportunities that may not have been available to us when we were smaller – opportunities that will allow us to increase our impact and continue to fuel our growth. It also means we will encounter the natural consequences of organizational growth which, without thoughtful leadership, could result in a loss of focus and drive us towards unintended change. Recognizing the importance of this inflection point, our management team spent the last several months of the year brainstorming, assessing, and formulating a refined corporate strategy for 2024 and beyond.
Inspired by our accomplishments and better informed by lessons learned, we carefully considered how best to shape technology and meet the future needs of our stakeholders in a landscape of much larger competitors, without losing sight of the company we wish to be regardless of our mass. Ultimately, we identified 5 pillars to support our strategy: people, culture, processes, customers, and products. I’ll share a bit of insight into each.
Our people are the core of everything we do, so it is fitting that we prioritize them above all else. Our ongoing growth dictates we must bring on new employees, but it also facilitates the continued career and personal development of our existing team. With respect to the former, despite the temptation to fill open positions as quickly as possible, we will raise the bar for our hiring standards to best solidify our foundation as we scale. With respect to the latter, we will implement more formal learning and employee development programs that span multiple dimensions. For example, to be an outstanding team lead, one needs not only strong technical and management skills, but leadership skills as well. The centerpiece of our strategy is to hire those we believe best complement our existing team, and to provide that team with the learning opportunities they need to flourish.
Throughout our history, we have placed great emphasis on our culture. Regardless of how big we become, we must continue to live up to our values. What does that mean in practical terms? We must work aggressively to maintain an environment that supports all team members and engages them in satisfying and productive work. We will always encourage experimentation and creativity. We will drive a standard of excellence and advocate for improvement. And we will prioritize the customer experience, in terms of the relationships we develop and the products we deliver. At the end of the day, we will ensure EXP will remain the company for which we want to work, just as it was when we started and just like it is today.
We believe our development and implementation of agile processes has played a key role in our success, and that must continue as we expand our operations. That said, we will work hard to ensure our processes stay out of the way of our people as much as possible. They are high performers self-motivated to do the right thing, and by allowing for flexibility we best enable them to adapt as needed to accomplish their objectives. We will place even more importance on being a first mover and early adopter of enabling technology that ultimately complements our agility. And we will emphasize openness, modularity, lower cost, and autonomy in the solutions we deploy, leveraging the cloud and software wherever possible. We will act as one company that prioritizes a lean and agile approach.
EXP does not pursue growth simply for the sake of growth. Instead, we strive to be intentional about the engagements and customers we pursue. We choose to work together with like-minded customers who are risk tolerant, want to move as quickly as possible, and will reward us for who we are – including our agile DNA. In turn, we will prioritize the value that we deliver to our customers and that our team derives from doing so. At the end of the day, we will continue to choose opportunities that allow us to solve important, interesting, and challenging national problems that not only meet our customers’ needs, but also support and reinforce the goals of the people we hire.
In terms of product development, we set the goal to be the premier sensing and machine learning operations (MLOps) firm for the defense and intelligence communities. Doing so requires the unique blend of AI/ML technology, sensor and mission domain awareness, and full-stack development expertise that we bring to the table. We will integrate and exploit new and existing tools to enhance autonomy in our products. We will continue delivering novel solutions by leading ground-breaking research and development projects, and applying their unique insights into proven, hardened products deployed operationally. We will develop differentiated capabilities by building new ideas on top of other new ideas. We don’t merely want to build a product that fulfills the immediate requirements for one-time use. Instead, we strive to create products that fit into a larger narrative, where they can be reused in part or in whole to address enhanced and evolving needs. Most importantly, we will listen to what our customers really want, adapt, and provide them with what they need to work more efficiently and effectively in a rapidly changing world, consistently exceeding expectations.
These 5 strategic pillars serve as our compass as we set sail in 2024. The coming year promises to be EXP’s best yet, powered by a growing team of more than 100 outstanding team members. If our strategy, direction, and destination resonate with you, we hope you will consider joining us on our expedition. Together, we’ll achieve many more meaningful milestones along the way.