02
DEC 2010

Posted by Nicole at 11:31 AM EST

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5 Things You Didn't Know About The People Behind OnSIP

The holiday season is all about sharing. In the spirit of sharing, here's five things you don't know about OnSIP (for better or for worse):

1. Our office in New York could be mistaken for a greenhouse.

Charlotte (Sys Admin) keeps our office lively. Without her, our office decor would consist of leaning towers of Starbucks trays. I inquired about how she keeps the plants alive when she's on vacation. "I ask someone else to water them... Sometimes it even works. And sometimes, we get new plants," she answered. Here's a plant in the office window - looking out on Broad St:

2. Our CEO, Mike Oeth, was on ABC's "Wife Swap." True story.

In 2005, Mike and wife, Christy Oeth, were filmed for the show "Wife Swap," where two wives swap families and lives for a few days. Episode recap writer Kara Wilde described, "For our warring families this week, we have the Cedarquists and the Oeths. The Cedarquists live in a tree house of sorts, on a remote mountain in Vermont... Life in the mountains is so isolated, the Cedarquists don’t see visitors for months on end because no one wants to hike there in the wintertime. They are completely self-sufficient, down to digging their own spring, and could survive without a trip to the grocery store for six months... Meanwhile, in suburban Philly, Christy and Mike Oeth run the family like… say it with me… a business.... Christy works at a finance company... Mike says that their entire life is on a precise schedule and they have to work in a partnership. Mike, who works at home and does the cooking and shopping, has even created a database to increase efficiency. The Grating Narrator notes that both Christy and Mike went to Harvard and think that life is about achievement." The episode definitely stretched the truth about the Oeth family. In fact, the inaccuracies were written about in this The New York Times article.. It was all for the drama, of course, and we only wish we could find episode clips online!

3. John, CTO, has an old school phone in his office. And it's in use.

So don't challenge our telephony nerdom.

4. We have a meeting once a week.

We don't believe in many meetings that prevent work from actually getting done. So, as a full team, we meet once a week - a conference call that Mike leads and generally keeps under an hour. From varying offices and homes, team members dial our conference call. Using my.OnSIP, we can see who's dialed in. We talk about each department's weekly accomplishments, upcoming plans, and vacation. Sure, each department has their own meetings throughout the week; but usually, those meetings involve decision making. No recapping, scribbling, and mute buttons!

5. When testing our E-911 service, Tim once caused the police to show up at his house.

Here's the actual internal email on the incident: From: Tim Subject: [jnweb] E911 Testing 2009-03-01 "I called 911 and the phone rang 4 times and then I spoke with 911 dispatch. They were able to verify my address and gave me a call back number that I tested and it rang through to my desk phone. However they were the 911 dispatch for a neighboring town and didn't handle 911 for my town... My dispatch had been answering another 911 call (my town is small and there is probably only one dispatch answerer). I ran through the script again but the cop came a few minutes later to check that everything was OK. My address and call back number were available to both 911 dispatch centers." From: John Subject: Re: [jnweb] E911 Testing 2009-03-01 "Tim, You are no longer a designated E911 tester. -John"