Reflecting on a Decade of Success
- Mike King
- March 8, 2018
If you are anything like me, the sands of time are moving pretty fast these days. It seems only a moment ago I was loading my little ones on the school bus and then hunkering down to work diligently on a business plan, humbly seeking support for this dream of MDG to become a reality. Fast forward and in the blink of an eye, I find myself penning a message in celebration of MDG’s 10-year anniversary, a dream fully realized, and my oldest is in college and my youngest is driving. No doubt this has been a remarkable season of growth with so many “firsts”, so many special moments, and so many blessings.
As I look back on this past decade, I feel so fortunate and humbled to reflect on the amazing relationships that have been built, our culture, our shared values, our incredible “why” that gets us out of bed each day, and our passionate pursuit to explore all of what’s possible in the world of microbial discovery.
While you set out to conquer the world by starting a business, then quickly move to outrun failure, along the way you receive the enrichment of the relationships you build. Our customers are uniquely brilliant individuals who care deeply and I have learned so much by being in their presence. They have taught me about business and life and I am so fortunate to call them friends. So many memories during mentoring sessions, sharing business trials/errors, books and key lessons learned the hard way, unexpected bull encounters (a story for another time!), and lots and lots of laughter. I am so thankful for the enduring relationships we have developed through the years. Thank you to all of you for your relationships that extend well beyond business; I can’t wait to experience what is next to come with each you.
Thank you also to our wonderful employees at MDG. You are the wings to the vision, making it happen each and every day. I continue to learn so much from you and it is incredible to see the impact and progress that we have made as we grow this company and each other TOGETHER. I hope you are as proud of what you have created at MDG as I am.
Culture, Values and the WHY
As a business grows from 3 people to 10 and now to 35+, you realize that a culture and family is forming. You also realize the responsibility and importance of creating the right culture and values and modeling doing the right thing each and every day. I am proud of our commitment to lead with integrity through our daily decisions and actions. We value the opportunity to build long lasting and trusting relationships rather than looking for the quick sale. We boldly lead change when fresh perspectives are required, and we are deliberate and intentional in how we serve our customers and one another. Who we are has allowed MDG to attract, retain and develop the best and brightest people who also embrace these values. Doing business “the MDG way” reflects the values proudly displayed on our wall, not to be shared once and forgotten, but to be lived each day within our four walls at MDG and in our local and global communities.
Indeed we are a thriving, growing company with products and processes that serve a variety of today’s biological needs. However, why we do what we do, and with the fervor and passion we do it, is grounded in our purpose: FEED, CLEAN, SAVE. Our team has heard the story many times about a faithful train ride I had many years ago in India. It was around 5 am and the train started to slow, and as I looked out the window of the overcrowded railroad, I first saw a dog drinking water that was polluted beyond comprehension. This was discouraging as I thought about how simple fixes could change that, however, when I looked up the street just a few yards away, my heart wrenched as I saw a boy kneel down and drink from the same polluted source, water that no one should ever have to drink. That was a defining moment for me; I felt truly called to build more than a business, but rather to build an organization of talented people committed to using their gifts to find ways, both large and small, to give back. Whether through the use of biotechnology to help develop green ways to serve many markets or our local community donation of time and talent, we are helping to FEED, CLEAN, and SAVE the world.
We are ecstatic that our customers whose products require the need for innovation and discovery share our passion and our “why”. Together, what an amazing burden we must bear to provide solutions in a world full of complex challenges, many “firsts” that need to be encountered. Who knew we would be a part of the antibiotic free revolution, grow human probiotics, be asked to develop high throughput pathogen testing systems, find soil bioremediation solutions, and even isolate bacteria that digest the plastics in landfills.
In summary, what a glorious decade it has been. Starting in the middle of a recession, we have overcome challenge after challenge, demonstrating that perseverance and inspiration wins the race. We will be forever grateful for the relationships we have built, the values we share, our common “WHY” and the challenge we provide to one another to continue to disrupt and explore all of what’s possible through microbial solutions.
As we look forward to the next decade of discovery, I am confident we are going to accomplish many more “firsts” together. Thank you for being a part of the MDG journey; making this incredible world we all call home a better place.
Here are some other firsts that happened 10 years ago –
- Usain Bolt became first Olympian to set three world records in a single Olympic Games competition
- Lady Gaga released her first album, The Fame
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches the first ever private spacecraft into orbit
- Spotify first entered the market
- Airbnb first launched its groundbreaking approach to vacation rentals
- MDG first opened its doors…