Primitive Employee Spotlight: Jeter Cotton

Posted by Leisa Redmon | December 4, 2020

Name: Jeter Cotton

Position: Product Owner

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Job Description:

I am the Product Owner for the GDD Team at Primitive, and really this consists of a lot of talking to people – either internally, or with the client. 

I’ll talk with the internal team to make sure the goals and objectives of the client are being met, and will also speak with the client to present the products that we are delivering. I’ll make sure that the client’s needs are being met, and also make sure that we have what we any needs from the client on time. 

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you found Primitive.

Something that a lot of people might not know if they don’t live in Lubbock is that Primitive is pretty well known in our community. More people than you would expect know about us, and everyone I’ve talked to absolutely loves our building, modern work environment, and is generally interested in us as a company. They also jokingly call us the Google of Lubbock.

Before I worked at Primitive, I actually had a much different role than I do now. So before I worked here, I actually worked at a church in town as the Technical Director. I ran sound for the band on Sundays, recorded music and videos, and was in charge of all things A/V/L related. 

I was also responsible for managing and training the volunteers, maintaining the church’s website, creating and publishing social media posts, and a bit of graphic design here and there. I was basically a jack of all trades for all things technology related. And of course as it often goes, people would mistake me, the “sound guy,” for the “IT guy.” (Which of course we all know are two very different things.)

Kade and Jerred, Primitive’s co-owners, along with a few other people that work at Primitive, also attend that church. I was approached by a teammate and was asked to interview for the Project Management position that was currently open for what was then the Web Team. After a few rounds of interviews, I got the job, and the rest is history! 

I’ve been working here for three years now, and love it.

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When did you start with Primitive?December 10, 2017.

What would you say are some of your favorite projects that you've worked on at Primitive?

This is a hard one for me, because there have been so many amazing projects that have come through that I have absolutely loved working on. The APU Inc. website comes to mind because it was both very enjoyable and I loved the way it turned out. 

How has Primitive helped shape you into the leader you are today?

Primitive has helped shape me in so many different ways. Working here has helped me to rethink my communication style, and become more clear and succinct than I have been before. It has also taught me how to prioritize tasks and to be able to quickly identify what the most important tasks are in a day, which makes my day more clear and productive. 

One really big area that I think is specific to our industry as well is to be lightning fast without compromising quality. I love getting to observe other people on the team who are always finding ways to perform a task quicker, create space to be more creative, and pour more care into their work.

What excites you the most about Primitive’s future? 

Something very exciting to me about Primitive is that we are always adapting and changing the way that we do things, as well as the products we build, and the people we serve. I love that there is no such thing as monotony here. We have recently been building a new, cutting edge CMS in house called Bind, and this sort of thing is so intriguing to me. 

It’s so cool to be able to help the team build out a new proprietary piece of software that is completely unique.

Now let’s dive more into you! Do you have a daily routine or particular steps that you take every single day before you start work?I most definitely have a daily routine before I start work each day. Every day I wake up at 5:15 a.m., sit on the couch and sip a cup of coffee to wake up, then I go workout. 

My days are always 100% better if I workout before I go to work. It wakes me up, gets my mind moving, and it allows me to accomplish something for myself before I begin working. After working out I’ll go back home and shower, primp, then either head into the office, or into the office at my house and get the workday started.

How do you like to stay motivated?Honestly, I never really think about staying motivated. I was homeschooled as a kid, from kindergarten all the way up to college. That taught me how to be self-motivated, and a continual self-learner as well. Usually the issue is turning it off to try and keep my work/life balance in check.

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How do you find enjoyment outside of work?So many ways. I love working out, playing video games, movie nights with friends, hanging out with my family, nieces, and nephews. Cookouts are one of my favorites. 

Also, me and some of the guys at Primitive will hang out every now and again to drink whiskey and smoke cigars together. And I guess at the end of the day, I really enjoy any activity that fosters meaningful conversations with the people I love.

How do you juggle your work and family life? Do you feel as though you’ve achieved a good work-life balance?

I do feel that I’ve achieved a good balance. I mean, long days and weeks come and go, but I think that the goal for me is to ensure that each day I’m doing something for myself that I take personal enjoyment in. That’s part of why I work out each morning before work. 

Aside from this, I’ll always try my best not to work on the weekends if I can help it, and to truly disconnect for those couple of days.

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What is something that not everyone knows about you? 

I have two middle names. 

What is your secret to success?

Winning a Reading Rainbow competition that one time. 

Are there any words of wisdom or anything else that you would like to pass along?
Always be honest, even if you know it’s going to get you into trouble.

And finally, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Ok, this is kind of terrible, but I’ve actually thought about this a lot.

I would definitely choose the power of teleportation.

Sadly, mostly not for heroic purposes. If I could teleport anywhere in the world instantly, I would hire myself out as a transportation service for some of the most wealthy people in the world. The appeal would be that I could take them from one location to another in an instant – no travel time, no airports, road trips, Ubers, etc. 

This would be my plan to become insanely wealthy, and see the world at the same time.

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