There are many things I love about working at Nebraska Global/Don’t Panic Labs, but one of my favorites is how we don’t get caught up in hype, PR, and buzz.
A little while ago, we completed our capital raise of $37.3 million. We actually overshot our target of $30 million and ended up turning down an additional $10 million. This speaks some to our ability to raise capital and help others understand what we’re trying to accomplish here. More than that, I think it shows just how much people in this state care about it. Our investors and supporters are incredible, and we are extremely grateful for them.
You might think they misprinted the part of the story about our huge “Funding Completed Party”, but they didn’t. When the story hit at 5 pm, 90% of folks in the office were still hard at work on their projects. It might be partly that we’ve known about the funding for a while, but it’s more about the mentality of folks here. What’s more important than getting funding? Getting customers and revenue. That is what we are focused on right now. We love a good party, but our philosophy has always been, “Getting funding doesn’t mean you’ve actually done anything”. It’s hard work, but that’s when the real work begins.
We’ve also won a few awards for our efforts in entrepreneurship, business, and (more importantly to us) community service. We are extremely grateful for these awards and really hope it encourages others to do great things, but they aren’t the goal. The goal is to do those great things; the awards are byproducts along the way.
Nebraska Global, despite our color scheme, is surprisingly “green”. We aren’t posting articles about this and getting tons of PR, but ask the person at our recycling company who has to take it all down the elevator, we recycle a lot of stuff. Our recycling room fills up at least once a week with crushed pop cans, boxes that come in, and everything in between. We don’t require folks to do it, we just do it.
There’s no official “health program” at Nebraska Global, but we do encourage health in many ways. Most of the food here is fairly healthy. Simple sandwiches, fruit cups, pistachios, and peanut butter are staples. We also have a number of employees who take a little longer lunch break to go workout or play basketball. Sometimes people think that we made the elevator slower to encourage taking the stairs :).
Don’t get me wrong, we definitely have a great time at work. Whether it’s fun side-projects, pinball, cheeseballing, lunch’n’learns on new technologies, FAC, or the newly formed “DPL Pickers Circle” jamming on guitar, we strike a good balance of work hard, play hard.
Nebraska Global is different. Doing things the right way from day one is what we set out to do. When I see what the people here are doing, their reasons for doing it, and just how much work they are putting into it, it makes me incredibly proud and excited about the future. We’re all very lucky to be where we are, doing what we’re doing, when we’re doing it. It’s great to be challenged to do great things every day.