September 2020

This month at Rocket is all about creating the time and the space to connect, collaborate, and innovate. This month is all about Rocket.Build, our Rocket Software branded hackathon.

Over the past decade we have – purposefully and intentionally – allocated the time and space for Rocketeers to get outside of the normal day-to-day and to create. Our experience shows that the unplanned collisions that occur at our hackathons and development workshops drive our next generation of features, functions, and products that allow you to deliver legendary results in your business and in your markets.

Our innovation muscle is something that we continuously train, tone, and tune. We know that innovation doesn’t just happen. We also know that collaboration across boundaries, both physical (geography) and organic (function, technology domain, tenure, expertise), doesn’t just happen. You know this too, as you’ve likely experienced this same thing in your organization. You know that you have to commit to breaking organic inertia.

This is why it was so important to me that this year’s Rocket.Build event – even in the face of COVID-19 – happen in some way. As the saying goes, “the show must go on.” We aren’t going to be able to fly hundreds of Rocketeers, customers, and partners from all over the globe to a central Rocket.Build location like we’ve done in prior years, so, like most events scheduled for 2020, Rocket.Build has been transformed (quickly!) from a physical event into an entirely virtual one. Kudos to our amazing, nimble, and resilient Rocket leadership in R&D, Marketing, and IT for their commitment and talent – they’ve designed, and are ready to launch, a world-class virtual Rocket.Build 2020.

I know this year I will miss the energy from human interaction – welcoming everyone, shaking hands, hugging Rocketeer friends and colleagues, walking through the space, interacting with the teams, learning, advising, suggesting, connecting and more. But I’ve already noticed one benefit from our virtual approach. As I look through the roster of Rocket.Build teams, I see more heterogeneous groups than in prior years. I know this diversity will result in more collisions that will result in even more legendary outcomes.

I also know I’ll miss our closing ceremonies, which in prior years were held at venues such as Hard Rock Café and House of Blues. This is where participants get a chance to present their project, winning projects are recognized and given awards, and the venerable Founder’s Cup is given to the overall project team that I feel best embodies the true spirit of Rocket.Build. The night ends with food, drink, and a live performance by The Rocket Band. As a guitarist in the band, I can tell you last year’s closing ceremony concert at House of Blues Boston was simply amazing. I can still see Rocketeers, pushed up against the stage, singing along and dancing with so much energy as we played our final encore. The smiles on their faces is something I will never forget.

So welcome to September, a month dedicated to connecting, collaborating, and innovating. I look forward to sharing our Rocket.Build 2020 stories after the event.

Onward and upward.

Since The Rocket Band won’t be doing a closing set this year, here’s a look back at some of the songs featured at the Rocket.Build 2019 party.

What I Like About You (The Romantics)
While never rising above #49 in the charts, this 1979 song has risen in popularity over the last 40 years—largely by soundtracking TV ads

La Grange (ZZ Top)
First released in 1973, this song remains That Little Ol’ Band From Texas’ biggest hit

Mr. Brightside (The Killers) !
Voted one of the best songs of the 2000s, this 2004 debut single from the Las Vegas band is currently sitting at #92 in the UK singles charts—16 years after it was released!

Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
This official anthem of Generation X was singer Kurt Cobain’s attempt to write the ultimate pop song.