Actually, control freaks are great to work with.
I’ve always liked people who are thorough in nature. Which is why I really admire the work of Lily Hevesh. Often, the result of detailed work is incredibly rewarding. But it takes a certain personality to go to the extremes of what your passion is. Frankly, you need to Be a control freak.
You can barely mention the term ‘control freak’ without making people feel tense. Sure, they can be difficult to work for. But if you think about it, would the iPhone even exist without the standards of a very famous control freak? Let’s face it, sometimes it takes a control freak to change the world.
Of course, we wouldn’t be so bold as to claim we’re changing the world ourselves. Our job is to help others do it. When it comes to connectivity, it’s safe to say we’re control freaks – and that is something our customers expect. They need complete control over their end users’ experience, which means we need to give them complete control over their connectivity.
That’s why we built our network in two halves for redundancy. As cities and PoPs are spread all over different regions, it’s a given that these two networks need to cross each other at certain points. Each of these crossings has been analyzed and designed to have no single point of failure. This could mean placing one cable along a bridge, and having another cable running underneath it.
It’s also important that should Route A experience an outage in an unforeseen circumstance, Route B is not that different in latency. Therefore, if there is any disruption, it isn’t noticed. Of course, this means building your network twice, but that’s a good thing. Because the more you own, the more you can control. The more control you have, the more promises you can deliver on. When we built our network operations center, we put it 35 meters underground surrounded by concrete walls that’s two meters thick. So, we even take control to extremes when it comes to security.
Of course, being in control means always being on your toes. I think you could easily become complacent by performing the same tasks over and over again. As you sometimes have to do in a large network – even though we aspire to automate everything. In the film ‘The Internet in Dominoes’, it is plain to see that one tiny mishap can cause a chain reaction. Lily sets up 15 000 dominoes in a day – we have over 15 000 network elements to be mindful of daily.
That’s why we need the control freaks. To pay attention to every single detail with a clear view of the bigger picture. To stay sharp and make sure none of the thousands of elements let you down. To me, that’s exactly what it takes to make sure everyone’s connection works unnoticed.
So yes, I think being called a control freak is a good thing. Because connectivity should be taken for granted. Just not by us.