Performance Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Google was born in 1998 in the spirit of doing things differently.

That same year with a similar determination and a mission to help aerospace be more agile, Tim Bigelow, a seasoned engineer and veteran, started Performance Software on March 11.

Over the last 25 years, it’s been an absolute privilege and honor to serve our clients and be the professional home to our talented team of software engineers and other professionals.

Agile Safety-Critical Software Development

Our original crew in Phoenix, Arizona, only numbered a few. Today, Performance Software has six U.S. offices and one international office. Since we take a highly collaborative approach to helping our clients, our more than 500 professionals can operate more efficiently when creating innovative products and services that help our clients succeed.

“Our culture of teamwork, tight customer relationships, and decision-making focused on making Performance a great place to work for our engineers has driven our growth and success,” said Raj Ghate, Performance Software CEO.

Setting the Standard of Performance

As a leading full-lifecycle systems and software development company for safety and mission-critical industries, we helped reduce costs and risks for some of the largest aviation projects of the last 25 years. Many of our customers have honored our commitment to their success with preferred supplier status.

Performance pioneered fixed-price programs in the avionics industry. At the time, everyone else was pricing based on time and materials and level of effort. As a result, our fixed-price program was met with a fair amount of skepticism. Our diligent planning at the beginning of every project is what makes this pricing framework work.

“We’ve had a lot of notable achievements in our 25-year history, but the one I’m most proud of is never having to lay off any employees,” said Ghate.

Here are some of our company’s important milestones:

March 11, 1998: Performance Software was born
2001: Received our first ever “Preferred Supplier Status” from one of our clients
2007: Grand Rapids, Michigan and Clearwater, Florida offices added
2009: Added the Bothell, Washington office
2010: Received “Supplier of the Year” Award form one of our clients
2012: Our Precision Navigation and Mapping Solution Suite became available
2014: Performance Software was voted “Best Places to Work”
2014: Metairie, Louisiana office location added
2016: Added locations in the Philippines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2016: Performance introduces the Data Loader Solution Suite to its product line
2018: Added new companies under the Performance portfolio: Performance Defense, Talent Tier, and New Discovery
2019: Performance Studio was born
2021: Performance introduces Connected Aircraft Solutions
2022: Performance Defense exhibits products at its first show
2022: Performance companies reach 500 employees
2023: Performance Studio exhibits at its first show

Master Plan for Client Success

Our founder set out to do software development for aviation differently. Our approach is highly collaborative; we see our clients as strategic partners and we work with them to define project requirements, processes, and schedules. We also support client projects with some of the best talent in the industry.

“Although our growth and success are, of course, a summation of many little things working together, the top two factors would probably be continuing to hire great people and our relentless focus on delivering a great customer experience” says Tim Bigelow, Performance Software Founder.

“Our focus on hiring the right people and then trusting them to get the job done seems straightforward but is really challenging to execute. When we hire, we continue to measure against the three legs of the stool — technical excellence, a strong work ethic, and a customer service focus. This has not changed in 25 years and is a formula that works for our business.

Secondly, when we started the company in 1998, we assembled teams of engineers that kept the satisfaction of the customer as their primary focus. This goal is the mission of the team, and it is the leader’s job to support and mentor the team in achieving this. I believe this customer experience focus is what has really set Performance Software apart from the competition.”

Even though our approach disrupted the embedded software industry, our talented people and great work environment enable our engineers to deliver successfully on our commitments.

“One of our most significant achievements as a company was when Performance was featured on the list of Best Places to Work. This honor indicated that we had something special within our company culture and really motivated us to work on maintaining that culture over the years,” said Bigelow.

At Performance, we are intentional about building our company culture. The values by which we operate include:

  • Ownership: Performance employees are resilient; they work on autonomous teams that accept full responsibility for success and have a can-do attitude toward hitting deadlines, producing high-quality work, and creating “raving fans” out of our customers.
  • Drive: Performance employees have a sense of urgency and the willingness to work hard and smart to achieve both their individual and team goals.
  • Innovation: Performance employees challenge the status quo and constantly search for a better way to do the job and deliver unique value to their team.
  • Appreciation: Performance employees appreciate each other and recognize outstanding efforts that lead to extraordinary results.

“The goal when starting the company was ‘an engineering company run by engineers.’ Even though that may sound a bit corny, I feel like we have achieved this goal. It can be easy to lose focus on the importance of maintaining a healthy culture as a company grows and matures over time, but I feel like we haven’t made that mistake. Everyone on our team plays a part in our culture, so it’s a testament to the efforts of our veteran engineers, our new hires, and everyone in between,” said Bigelow.

The future is bright at Performance Software. We’re always seeking talented professionals to make our mission their own.

Charting the Course for the Next 25 Years

“As we look forward, the plan is for continued strong growth and expansion into new and exciting service and product areas,” said Ghate.

Thank you to our clients who partnered with us to develop the very best systems, software, and solutions for their safety-critical missions. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your trust and support.

When you need a partner for your safety-critical software development needs, we invite you to leverage our 25 years of experience. Reach out to tell us about your project today!

systems and software engineersA vision for innovation, personal interview with Mike Johnson, Performance's Head of Products