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  • Yana Beeker

Building Success on Quality: LyonQA's Journey to Disrupt the Status Quo

Plants in a Window

In our Starting Fresh blog post, Cotopaxi (Cody) wrote about LyonQA’s commitment to quality, and our role in not only delivering quality services, but also modeling what quality looks like as an organization.

Modeling quality is simple. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. Take time to listen to each other, understand problems (the root of them, not just the part that concerns you), and deliberate on all viable solutions. Reflect thoroughly and often. Does what we’re discussing and how we’re discussing it align with our values? Is the way that we’re answering questions reflective of the way we present ourselves on paper? Do we feel good about this? Does it make sense, not just theoretically but when we put it into practice? The self-evaluation never stops, but that’s how we build a strong foundation and a respectable reputation.

It takes a lot of work to do things right, from the ground up. But, as life would have it, it takes a lot of work to do things wrong too. There’s a large mental weight that comes with finding a quick fix. So, we eliminate the former option and choose to do it right from the beginning. Choose your hard, as they say.

I had a lot of trepidation when Cody first pitched this business model. I really did — sorry Cody. In my whopping 3 years of post college work experience, I felt like I got the gist of the working world. Work 9 - 5, keep your head down and don’t be disruptive, don’t question the boss. Lots of this is the way it is because it’s the way it is. Cody had a vision of a company that showed up for its employees, cared about honest client relationships, had fun (the f word of corporate jargon), and gave its employees the freedom to create a business that makes sense, from the way I set up the sales department to how Jes organizes the client documents. Drop the fluff and the BS that we thought was innate to building a successful company, and do what makes sense.

To us, quality is a culmination of many independent parts — intentionality, trust (in ourselves and each other), and organizational freedom to create, among many others. We cannot operate under the assumption that each of us works most efficiently under the same constraints. The three of us at LyonQA have very different brains, and because of our varied experiences, we just do not work the same. Our productivity shows up in different ways, at different times. Jes hits her productivity peak at 11pm, while I could not be paid to be awake. I like early morning focus sessions and a strict schedule, Cody likes to spread it out throughout the day. We’ve achieved way more than we thought we could since launching LyonQA in March, and that’s because we let ourselves dictate when and how we can produce the highest quality work. Through this thoughtful approach, we foster an environment that allows us to be inspired and intentional.

When Cody was in the initial phase of creating LyonQA, she was consulting with small business advisors and was met with a lot of feedback in the realm of “that’s not how it’s done” to “you shouldn’t pay your staff that much.” I get it, it’s hard to see change, let alone endorse it. But when the average person is spending a third of their life at work (that’s a real stat - terrifying), I’d think we’d be a bit more eager to make it a quality environment, from the value we’re providing, to the benefits, to the flexibility.

Since launching LyonQA, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support. Admiration from companies that know the importance of real, thorough quality assurance, and humans that see how we’re doing things differently and want to work with us at Lyon.

All this to say, in a world where businesses and applications are being built and launched at a rate higher than ever, corporate companies are not valuing their employees as they should, and AI is slowly replacing manual work (I swear chatGPT did not write this blog post), people want to feel like people. We create, we feel, we empathize, and we connect. We want to be a part of something that embodies quality, from the inputs of the business to the outputs.


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