“I spend fifty percent of my time talking our customers out of spending money if I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“I’m not naturally good at anything,” says 34 year-old Mike Jarrell, “But I’m able to work hard enough to kinda figure it out.” What this Snellville-raised entrepreneur kinda figured out four years ago was how to build a software development company that fills the gaping chasm between colossal and costly consulting firms and the 18 year-old computer whiz living in his parents’ basement, at a reasonable price, to boot.
Jarrell provides IT solutions to virtually any sized company, developing everything from web design to eCommerce to mobile apps and more. Employing ten people in a former cotton mill in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta, the place with the concrete floors, red brick walls, and open working space just steps from the Beltline, has the appearance of an undemanding work environment. But don’t be fooled.
“We don’t miss deadlines around here.” It’s a dictate Mike has built into the company culture. A way of saying that we may be a small young company, but we’re reliable and our mission is to provide everything you need with integrity, quality, and service.
“My dad had more integrity than any human being I’ve ever met in my life,” said Mike, whose father passed away in 2013 and who still serves as Mike’s role model. “We’re not going to lie, cheat, steal, we’re not going to overcharge. In fact, I spend fifty percent of my time talking our customers out of spending money if I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
The personal approach works. A San Francisco client showed Mike’s team an idea for a custom app sketched on the back of a napkin. “We were able to take that bar napkin and build a mobile application for him that’s going to save his business hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
And it works in recruiting team members. Jarrell’s lead programmer was brought on board after Mike chatted up an Uber driver, who was also delivering pizzas. He’s now delivering code as “one of the best programmers on the planet,” in Mike’s words.
Both his parents were programmers so Mike was reared on ones and zeroes. But it was integrity that stuck with him. Math: not so much.
So Mike graduated from Mississippi State with a public relations degree, which has helped him cast the vision of Jarrell Systems to team members and potential clients. It’s also developed his people skills.
But nothing taught him more about relationships than the three-week period he spent by his father’s deathbed. It was precious bonding time between father and son, but it was also three weeks off work, with pay. His employer at the time gave him all the time he needed, and that kindness made an impact on Mike that has affected his leadership style.
“I try really hard to love the people here well and do right by them because…I know what that feels like.”
Do you have technical issues that need some TLC at an affordable price? Call Jarrell at 404-835-7979.
691 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30312