Motivation increases uptime

We IT operations people love our disaster porn and exchanging war stories is always a great reason to have some drinks together. Recent hurricane Sandy certainly let the book of Ops Tales grow quite a bit. This morning, I came upon the story of how the folks at Squarespace, Fog Creek and Peer1 carried generator fuel up 17 stories to keep things running. I think that’s awesome from a lot of perspectives:

  • Customer care: They could have just said “Don’t blame us, blame the elements.”, publish a status page and be done with it until the water was gone. Instead, they did everything they could come up with to keep their services running.
  • Team spirit: Their people could just have said “There’s nothing in my contract about hauling buckets of fuel around in the dark”. Instead, they pulled up their sleeves and went at it.
  • Leadership: Getting people to volunteer for this work is already a great leadership achievement. Keeping this up without people dropping out left and right even more.
  • Communication: They kept customers in the loop, didn’t sugarcoat impending outages and finally delivered much more than they promised. That’s perfect PR.

Guys, I bow before you in respect.