TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00Hey this is great canon and you're listening to why combinators broadcast so today's episode is with weight foster's Appier separated by sea in the summer of twenty twelve and this year they got a bunch of press for their D. location package so that's basically a ten thousand dollar
00:00:14offer to new employees who live in the bay to move somewhere else so we talk about that in this interview we talk about remote work the whole team it's appears remote and we also talk about Wade's interest in racquetball so if you need any tips you can skip
00:00:27to the end as always we're gonna post a you tube video and the transcript at blog at why commentator dot com and %HESITATION please remember to rate and subscribe to the show alright I haven't started with questions from Twitter before but I feel like they kind of covered
00:00:42some of the initial ones I wanted to go off with her so maybe we should just go with those are so the first one was from Ben Thompson and that he has for more detail on the pay to leave San Francisco so I think you guys call the
00:00:58D. location yeah has a going well we introduce the steel cation package I think it was in in March and the concept for those who are familiar was if you're in the bay area and you take a job was after will pay ten thousand dollars to help you
00:01:12relocate to anywhere as we call it deal okay this was this was the idea that one of our engineers came up with because we'd seen in interviews with folks from the bay area they would come to chapter because were a hundred percent remote and say like I won
00:01:29I'm interested in you all in part because I like the product but also because you know this row thing helps me get away from San Francisco because I'm either disenfranchised with you know housing costs here or like I have family somewhere else that I'd rather be living with
00:01:43or I just want to be somewhere else some you know a whole bunch of reasons right on hand so what this the engineer on our team kind of hypothesizes like well maybe there's this nascent demand here in the bay area where folks who are like kind of just
00:01:58putting up with it because that's this is where the jobs are he's like there's probably some folks who are kind of on the fence that like it's a good opportunity came along they might be willing to jump on that but maybe they just need like a little bit
00:02:11of a nudge to to go do this sort of thing and so that's where like the whole idea of this deal occasion package came it's not that crazy like plenty of companies here in the bay area even like will pay relocation costs to help you move here Sir
00:02:22like well let's just turn it on its head and say it will help you move anywhere right so much that I think it was in March and the funny thing was since then we've seen probably about roughly about a thirty percent increase in applicants to zap here well
00:02:37was a pretty significant that we have had with that like our rules routinely get hundred two hundred applicants some roles within hand I think our record is like fifteen hundred applicants for one open position it is a signal like those are there thirty percent increase in like quality
00:02:53candidates yes is across the board and one of the interesting things we noticed was the applicants were actually from San Francisco harm or just from wherever the heck they were and so it was clear that the the like offering this thing you know got it got some buzz
00:03:09in like mainstream media and so it can just elevated the profiles happier and so folks words like even who were in the bay area were like this is just seems like a cool company like they have the same kinds of values that I have they are working on
00:03:24an interesting product and so we have a lot of great applicants from outside the bay area again so we actually hired about fifteen folks since then and only one person from the bay area she's in the process like mulling over whether she was taken or not but %HESITATION
00:03:37so we examine offered any because we are hired any folks at have you located anyone to the bay area through Ellis nanos moved here so were way up that's really funny any do you guys ever do relocations other than the generally like most folks or where they want
00:03:54to be or like they're heading that way anyway so like that's I mean that's kind of the beauty of remote work is that you don't have to live in a place just because that's where the jobs are you can live in the places you want to be because
00:04:08that's just where you want to be you know you've got family there you got friends are you got like thirty got a hobby there you've got you just want to explore the area because of her cool things like what doesn't matter what the reason is right like you
00:04:19can do that and so how often are you actually interacting with that many employees you guys were at a about ninety five okay how often are you interacting with you know a significant percentage of them in person on Wall in person we do so we do this thing
00:04:35called air be an onboarding which when we hire folks within the first month we actually do like to have them spend a week in person out here in the bay area so we'll warrants and Airbnb will bring their manager out here them out here and then spend a
00:04:50week working alongside them so I generally ends up being like anywhere from like a half dozen to a dozen folks out here at a time and if it works of really nicely because the founders are all here so we get to sit down next to him and even
00:05:06you know the ninety fifth person in the company we get to know really well like will spend the night like take him out to dinner will play games with them like we'll talk about why the roles important at the company like why were happy that they're here and
00:05:18they get like a full week with us which is like pretty rare and you know once you pass like a certain amount of employees like you maybe you'll do like a lunch with the founders like right out the gate but it's not that much time %HESITATION so we
00:05:31actually really spent a lot of time with them you know within that first month for the for for this first folks so you know we do get to spend like a fair amount of time with a subset of folks every month some basic a week every month on
00:05:43spending some time in person with a few people on the team okay in so do you think that %HESITATION your success as a remote team is a function of you starting remote or do you think you could have shaped into that I think it definitely helped a lot
00:05:57students started that way I think it would be pretty tough to transition any sizeable team to like a more remote or partial remote set up because there's just like little cultural habits that you get into that are that make remote kind of successful so we started chapter is
00:06:15a side project side projects naturally you don't have offices you just work on them when you can which is not necessarily in person it's at a coffee shop your house or whatever right in so we got used to working through like pull requests in on travel cards in
00:06:28and chat and things like that in so that build up kind of our organizational muscle for like documenting things writing down like process sees and stuff like that so then when you hire folks on they're able to like adopt that stuff when you're in an office you up
00:06:45to a certain point you can kind of ignore that stuff because you have the option of tapping someone on the shoulder and be like Hey how you know what's the what's the command then I need to do for this again are like what why is this not working
00:06:58and help me to you know whatever it is that you need help with you can just pull folks into but for us like you know if you're working with a team a halfway across the world like that's not an option so you kind of have to get good
00:07:09at like Hey here's like the read me for this stuff %HESITATION and make sure that all of the Dayton and working pretty well so yeah I think had we have like started you know ten people in an office and then added remote folks like Wishard certainly could have
00:07:23gotten there I know companies that have done that but I think it's just that you know you have to unlearn some stuff and then re learn it in a different way worse we just learned it that way from the get go in was there a point at which
00:07:34like you guys were scaling up and you're like oh were we've entered like a different class of like remote team size and we have to handle things differently yeah definitely %HESITATION they're not and it's not too different I think from even in look it look colocated companies have
00:07:50like those inflection points you were like we need to change some stuff up because it's not working and so for us like that there's three of a more we've kind of had a really not reinvent herself researcher rethink a few things the first one around like twenty people
00:08:06which was up until that point like I was the sole manager but like not really management like when it's less than twenty everything kind of self happens like me and Brian and Mike Michael founders were just kind of making sure things that happened once we got to about
00:08:21twenty or so it's like actually there's certain to be some coordination overhead we need to like think about like maybe with a little bit of a management structure starts to look like and so and Mike and I started really sharing those rolls around there more on a little
00:08:35more formal matter then in about forty eight got forty to fifty or so it got even more complex and we added more managers and then that was like the first time where I was solely managing other managers and so that was like an interesting transition as well you
00:08:57know the folks that were like primarily hiring people an onboarding folks were not necessarily me anymore and I'm in a lot of times it wasn't so that was kind of a shift it's so hot like how does that work and as a remote manager of managers where like
00:09:13protips having now you've done it for several years now yeah I think you've got a set like a you really need to sell like the values of what your company is going to look like %HESITATION so you know just the high level things that you care about them
00:09:29you know for us it's like we like folks who are like default actually get stuff done because you know there's not someone sitting beside you to help you out that's like a big thing we like folks who are good writers and can be transparent because that's really important
00:09:42in a remote team like folks who have a lot of empathy and are like really good just hopeful people because you're working in slacking in text all day so it's like you need to be able to empathize when maybe like since doesn't come off quite writer like whatever
00:09:59really can be like I know I should say like they had good intentions here this wasn't like meant to be you know harsh to me or whatever right and so those are like important values that we had that Lynn themselves well to remote environments and once you have
00:10:14that stuff and set certain place you kinda have you have to adopt some sort of like management paradigm like how you approach management I think a lot of companies least in start ups like the tight try to reinvent the wheel here I think it's not probably a great
00:10:30idea especially if you're growing really fast it's there's like a lot of good lake scientific back to research on like how to be a good manager like go find the good stuff and learn that in just just kind of just cargo hold adopt that in your organization because
00:10:45it can be way have like way less problems than if you try to like come up with your new inventive management structure alongside this other like new inventive product market the thing that you're trying to bring to market so like we there's this podcast call manager tools and
00:11:00they have like a a paradigm we basically just said like we're just gonna use their philosophy on how they go about stuff because we were in lake Jipe like ninety five percent of a jive with us so we're like we're going to just use what they have and
00:11:14that helps get all the managers and I was working with I knew that they were following a similar process that I would be following the folks so that kind of raise like the organizational like baseline for like your experiences after is going to be at least this good
00:11:29you might get a manager that's like above and beyond and way better but like hopefully we don't have any like managers that are just like bad when really really bad we wanted folks to be at that baseline so we make sure like they go through like the training
00:11:43that they need to have and kind of understand the values and how we apply them and all that sort of stuff and then that helps for me who's not you know managing managers and kind of know that they're they're doing following are guidelines and stuff like that okay
00:11:58and so now that like you're in now approaching hundred people do feel that there's another inflection point coming I'm definitely around like you definitely so like we started hiring probably are are are do you fall is to like we like to promote folks from from within so historically
00:12:19almost all of our folks who've moved in line management positions have been working in chapter for you know six twelve months like a good chunk of time which helps them learn the culture but they also know the product in the role and everything like really really well done
00:12:35downside is you know their new manager so they have to learn some of that stuff but that's not on teachable stuff and now we're at a point where occasionally we don't have someone ready to like promote up and we have to hire any new managers like that's a
00:12:47new challenge for us now because you're bringing in someone who's gonna like guide a function or a set of people who you know primary experiences at other orders which is not necessarily a bad thing they bring great outside perspectives that have been helpful but you also have to
00:13:04like teach them the org while they're also trying to teach other like train and coach other people in the organization well I'm so that's like an interesting inflection point as well okay in you're going through that right now yeah like we brought on a few you know I'll
00:13:18say management folks now and you know it's going pretty well but like there's like anything like there's you know things that you got to keep working on %HESITATION alright so that is so been asked to like a multi part question %HESITATION he and unlike many of these questions
00:13:35were common across water to they want to ask you about raising money so you guys are like famous or infamous for doing my C. raising some money and then never raising money again yeah %HESITATION bad that like all I'm gonna combine a couple questions here so another person
00:13:54Matt Sherman who actually wanted you to come on the podcasts from from the outset and he basically said why did %HESITATION why'd you guys used to going to I see if you weren't planning to raise a lot of capital after and maybe you were planning to and like
00:14:09you didn't decide yeah I'm well the primary reason we did YC wasn't for in the capital the reason we did YC was because we were from Missouri relatively unknown in not well connected into the broader tech ecosystem particularly for our product which is integrations with other sass companies
00:14:32we were building a lot of those relationships from scratch and why seeing kind of helps us we're just able to plug into an existing network basically so for us the network was really valuable because you know then we went into partners at least there was like some thread
00:14:50somebody who said like oh yeah we know this team this company like they're pretty good folks like you should you should chat with them even when you're really really small like we were at the time and no one really had any sort of reason outside validation reason to
00:15:03believe in us at other than like Hey they seem like they're building a cool product right done so for us like that was the primary reason for doing what I see the money sure like okay was nice radio but %HESITATION you know I I don't think that was
00:15:18the primary reason for us doing it and then you know afterwards we did take a little bit of money because one just gonna start in like things cost money and like if you don't have anything you haven't figured out like a business model yet like you know and
00:15:33if you're gonna be living in the bay area which we thought we wanted like trying to stick around a little bit because to help build up those relationships which is really friggin expensive to live here so little bit of money helped us kind of get past those early
00:15:46days when you know we just weren't pulling in that much revenue and you guys are repressed little bit differently back like you started out charging people and then you went freemium yeah right and so that was a function of the money's well yeah you you that allowed us
00:15:59to do yet at least try Freeman and see if that was a model that would work which if you weren't like me if you are doing like Freeman is a bad idea generally from strapped companies because like you're gonna have so a ton of support for free users
00:16:13who don't pay you anything and if you're not getting any money from them it's gonna be really hard to bootstrap so yeah it like allowed us to experiment with the business model little bit okay in so why did you choose to not continue to raise money I mean
00:16:27we never needed to was is the the pragmatic answer and I think we've always taken a very like pragmatic approach to fundraising am you'll lot of people have this you know it's like well it's either it's either bootstrap or you know or it's like VC and there's like
00:16:42some identity involved in it %HESITATION which I think when you like start to put your own identity and like well I'm a bootstrap rime of VC thing like that starts to affect your decision making in ways that are probably not healthy for your company and it's just better
00:16:58to look at money in fundraising generally as as a like a tool it's a toner to about that you can use if you need it if you don't need it do you don't need to you shouldn't have to use it so that's how our probes to fundraising always
00:17:11was was it's just a tool to help you if you need it if you don't need it then why take on the solution and so for us was we we were able to figure out the business model and we are growth rates were working just fine and we've
00:17:24never been hindered by our ability to spend capital we've always felt like we're spending at a rate that was comfortable for us so bring in more capital was gonna change fundamentally change like our ability to grow the company so we always said well we'll just keep growing and
00:17:41how we're doing it and so then I imagine you get a lot of questions from people who are like sugar is money should I not raise money what should I do %HESITATION what are your do you have like a mental model to advise people on that well you
00:17:53know I think it's it's a pretty personal decision to me the answer is generally like what is the business market you're tackling right there some products that you have probably gonna lend itself more towards that like you know pure enterprise plays sometimes take a little while to develop
00:18:13and you're gonna need more capital at the gate things that require like inventory or infrastructure things like that are going to be capital intensive so sometimes fundraising is really just a function of the market did you decide to go after so that plays into it but then also
00:18:28it does depend on like how how you want to go about things like you can be a successful bootstrap company and be the winner of your market you look at something like MailChimp which have and raise a single dime they have dozens of well funded super well funded
00:18:44public companies that are direct competitors and still melts him takes that takes the at home as as the the winner of that market so there's a lot of these phrases that people selling our winner take all money marquee better raise much money and they're just kind of untrue
00:19:01you really need to like look at your market and just understand it really well and you know fundraising can help you create a moat but usually it's not why you created a moat having more money doesn't necessarily make the moat it is a tool to help you figure
00:19:16out what is the most that's going to help you build a company and if money isn't the thing that's gonna help you do it you need to figure out what is going to help you kind of build your mo and help you grow your company so then how
00:19:25do you how do you better I mean to find like a winner take all market for sure yet like why was no champion of possible also like MailChimp isn't a winner take all right market right like there's not a network of fact it you know Milton doesn't get
00:19:39better because there's more MailChimp customers right winner take all markets tend to exist where the product gets better because there's more %HESITATION customers in the shop and often happens in like be to see market so you know like Google gets better because more people use Google Facebook it's
00:19:55better because like friends use Facebook those are like classic examples of network effects really helping the product it better and the business model doesn't really work unless everybody is kind of using it where is and be to be like it's pretty rare to have like true winner take
00:20:11all markets you know if you're making yet another CRM company you know there's there's dozens of searing companies that are very good searing companies that compete with each other head to head and are all successful %HESITATION and they're going to continue to grow and be successful and that's
00:20:28pretty much how it exists and be to be because it's very tough to build like true network of facts in the to be so if you can find a way to like have a B. to B. company that has true network offense that's probably going to be a
00:20:39pretty special thing and it's worth worth trying to to figure one out but it's not a necessity to build a good company and so looking back on I'm kind of like using YC is a vehicle into the bay was that helpful for you or yeah definitely and you
00:20:57know I remember early on we had a relatively big company that we were trying to build a partnership with and there was a thing a bit more like bureaucracy in hoops to jump through to build a partnership with versus a lot of the companies we are working with
00:21:11its time and here we just kind of tried to go through like their typical front you know they had a email our contact form their website like we filled it out and we were just like not making any headway at all that way was just you know we
00:21:25I think we got in touch with one another like frontline people and they just didn't understand what we're doing right even mattered and you know kind of just set us to the side and we tried another angle and it just it just things are happening and then we
00:21:38got no I see in one of the first things I did was you know email the folks in PGA was like oh yeah we can help that and found a you know like a company that acquired like their CEO and like I had an intruder like a high
00:21:49level V. P. like in two days and you know that week it was like oh yeah this is great we should definitely be doing something with this so young though is that those relationships clearly matter in business and why see it already tapped in and kind of set
00:22:03up its own and and it had connections into the broader tech ecosystem you know helped us plug in and and be successful because those existed and so that what what do you advise founders who are starting companies you know in Missouri in or out you know in other
00:22:18countries %HESITATION yep when you tell them what your tips well I I think you know the biggest thing is similar to what you all preach all day everyday which is you know make something people want right so figure out you know what it is that people want to
00:22:32figure out what they're going to pay for and just make them incredibly happy and you don't necessarily well there's no where does it like there's so many companies that are successful that are outside the bay area that I think if you're getting caught up in you know if
00:22:47people are telling you have to be in the bay area to be successful like you should probably be a little more critical that advice because it's the first song he examples that are just on like the of that not being true pay attention to the fundamental things that
00:23:03make companies really good which is good products happy customers and like working really hard and getting a little lucky not like those are generally like the four things if you do those pretty well like you're gonna have some level of success you may not be like a breakaway
00:23:19success because a lot of that stuff depends on like timing and more lock and market factors and things like that but generally if you do those four things will be successful some companies may be more successful in the bay area because of the unique factors for that company
00:23:34but I think those are fewer and far between than most companies it seems to be more of a psychological thing right because like people have this someone of an imposter syndrome where they're like I know we can't be that but in reality most companies aren't venture backed anyway
00:23:50yeah well I think I am one of the other things that you know perpetuates this myth a little bit is just kind of the way the media cycle what works is you know the media tends to write about companies that they think are doing great it's very difficult
00:24:05for the media to get access to real factual data like revenue numbers to know which companies are doing great and so they end up having to rely on proxies for that and a good proxy often is you know where's the venture funded companies happening and venture from funny
00:24:21companies happen to happen closest to where he sees happen to live because they don't like to travel that much to go fund companies and so that tends to be bare companies and so the media ends up perpetuating kind of this myth that the great companies are in the
00:24:35valley that's obviously on you know there's a lot of stereo types involved that's not universally true but on the whole that happens quite a bit in you know in early a young founder someone who's a first time founder you know for them they don't have that filter to
00:24:52understand sometimes like what is good advice verses what someone perpetuating kind of a myth has being here %HESITATION change your product all that much because you guys started out basically consulting for other people you're doing these integrations by hand and then you're like so what if we just
00:25:09made it easier for everyone to do all these integration from product sampling no it's not changed okay into what has changed since being here and I mean those relationships right you know we mentioned in the YC connection you know for for getting in with that partnership for the
00:25:23big company that was nice you know we've been able to build relationships with you know founders of our partner companies a lot easier and that was more valuable early on you know as we kind of bill to Brandon got to a place where we hand a bit of
00:25:42success like that stuff came to us naturally so this point time like you know I could be in the bay area could be somewhere else and it was just really wouldn't matter too much and then how do you guys think about competitors as like you've said you know
00:25:55you could have built this company without necessarily raising any money yep %HESITATION that means other people might be able to jump on to do the same thing yeah yeah when you guys look out for one thing the biggest thing is like figure out what you're like competitive advantages
00:26:10and find ways to lock them out so for us you know we have the most integrations of anyone and most of our partners are building the integrations for us and so that kind of builds a bit of a moat for us in that you know if you want
00:26:24to you know build a head to head cut you know competitor us you need to find a way to build as many integrations as we have the other or you need to find a different way to attacks like coming head to head wouldn't be the way to do
00:26:38it so like it for most people it's figuring out what it is that makes you like make sure you're you're the reason why people choose your product look what is that the reason that they choose your product and I use that to help lock out other folks and
00:26:56make sure that you are indeed the best product in value on the market for your your customers that you want to serve right into where do you see your product of all things so continues to have a a white or not will search for us like you know
00:27:09we've historically nails are like our best counter's been SMB and so we've done a really good job there now we're working a lot harder on you know we all should teens product in March and so we're starting to figure out like what are the things that we need
00:27:23to do to help expand our adoption inside of like in a price cut companies and things like that because the needs are the core product works for them but there's extra needs that are important in enterprise products and stuff like that so those are things that we start
00:27:38to think about it how do you explain it took like as a small business you know if you have someone like sort of technical on the team it's pretty easy to get like okay this is after you're done yelling out right if you're selling to a giant company
00:27:50and how do you have to explain it to them and who do you explain it to you know to get them to buy it well that's stuff this is where like you know having a a product that solves like a very specific problem problem helps and this is
00:28:01where the freemium business model helps a lot because people can self serve try out your products figure out what they like about it and then you can use the person who's already adopted it as a little away into your organization and they can be like your champion for
00:28:16you and that way you don't have to be like cold selling and or eggs instead you have a warm person on the inside that's basically saying no no this is great we should adopt this this is exactly what we need so I think that's where you know freemium
00:28:30really does excel if you can make pull it off and it will help you get that really don option and organizations that can then pull you across the organization as well into conversely what's been difficult about getting into these enterprises well I mean there's just like a lot
00:28:45of bureaucracy around it the same old earned right the same old stuff you know they're purchasing departments and they have process that you have to go through and there's just you know think boxes a lot of boxes to check more lessons when it boils down to right so
00:29:02Matt had another question is another location question actually so what advice you have for founder who is building a billion dollar company in a city where no one has done it before I mean the the biggest challenge I mean I this is tough for me because I am
00:29:21both of the company either so the but my instinct is that the thing that you're going to struggle with maybe is Asher scaling past that mark is does that city have enough talent to support your organization and that can be a real challenge in smaller cities across the
00:29:40United States is like do you have the like is there enough technical talent is there enough sales talent you train if not can you teach do you have affected training programs in your organization that can take you know ambitious folks and get them trained up on your product
00:29:55and turn them into people who can can be effective in your organization because when you just like to look at the unit academics of a town that's maybe you know hundred thousand two hundred thousand people like that's just not that many people in a lot of them are
00:30:10maybe not necessarily going to be in the industry that your end so as you get to a billion dollar organization you're gonna need a lot of people to help you and is there enough there so I think that's probably the the biggest scaling challenges you might actually just
00:30:23run into if you're the first in a city of a of a billion dollars or a billion dollar companies system is there the talent there and how do you manage I mean really how do you manage training people up remotely because by are you because you have kind
00:30:40of the pack across the whole world you instead focus on hiring more experienced people or do you grab younger people on like bring about our preferences definitely been historically to just work with senior folks like we just to hire the best that we can for different roles but
00:30:56%HESITATION you're gonna find like even still you're gonna hire ambitious folks who want to get better and want to take on new challenges you're going to want to find ways to handle that so like for example you know we hire ambitious folks and our support team often have
00:31:10experience and our senior for that role %HESITATION but oftentimes they still have even bigger ambitions still so you know one of our guys you just recently joined our platform engineering team started in support and you know he had ambitions to do that and so we made sure that
00:31:29you know his manner his manager knew that and we may turn engineering manager knew that and we kinda had a plan like okay well here's the tactical skills you need gonna need to learn the things inside the order that you can when you see these opportunities go make
00:31:43sure that you're the first person you know trying to tackle these things and helping out with these things here's the things external that you learn on your own time it's going to make this stuff a little easier for you and you know these are the benchmarks that will
00:31:55let you know like you're ready to make that jump amazing which is like work with them to figure out like here's here's the plan that you need to set up and you know from there it's kinda on on the person to you know go make it happen and
00:32:07he was able to make it happen join our platform engineering team earlier this year I think that's like just a discussion you need to have with every person is on your team is just understand like Hey what are your career goals what do you want to cheer while
00:32:19you're here are their skills if you want to pick up our there you know areas of the organization that you want to have an impact on and then as a manager like figuring out like okay how can we make sure that this person has an opportunity to tackle
00:32:32that stuff in a way that aligns with the projects that we need to make the organizational successful it is not like a public in any way within the organization is like you know these are your objectives and goals for this year we haven't gotten like super rigid about
00:32:48like you know it okay ours are creepy eyes or things like that we do have them but you know each manager talks with her you know person on their team and they you know directly and sets him up kind of for them and so they're they're a little
00:33:03bit fluid a warning on like solidifying like a process for that because I do think it's a good idea because you guys yeah yeah everything seems to have to be clearly communicated in and log right so it doesn't like slip between the cracks because you know say I'm
00:33:17going for one thing and you don't know it and maybe my manager's cool said forget like widespread giving this corner right like I do and okay so yeah still working on that and then how long how does that affect like retention do you guys have how does your
00:33:34attention like benchmark to you know like a tech company out here arts engines like incredibly high so we actually just ran the numbers last week and we're like ninety seven percent retention for an over the last twelve months okay %HESITATION aren't we did we started doing like an
00:33:51employee net promoter score and came in at like seventy two which is like pretty world class so %HESITATION I think you know working on your organization is like a really really important thing to do because at past a certain point like you are going to be the person
00:34:12that's in the building the product and getting things done sure you'll provide some certain amount of vision and direction to make some of that happen but a lot of the actual work is being done by other folks in your organization see you really do need to make sure
00:34:26to invest in them and you know put them up in an environment where they can be successful and so that's like primarily a lot of what I try and work on is make sure that the right people in order to work on the right things and that they
00:34:40have the right plans in place for them to be successful just as people to also yeah then how do you keep track of like that the happiness of people on a day to day our week to week month to month this I mean the survey is like kind
00:34:56of the formal way that we're we started doing it but a lot of it is just comes down a relationship between like the manager and the person so you know they do like a weekly one on one with them taken in and like how's things going like the
00:35:09only feel like to get to work on the things you want to work on you feel like you're advancing they have some of those types of questions and then we do other things to just like encourage like you know good cross company called communication camaraderie stuff like that
00:35:24so we have with his single payer buddies so every week you randomly get paired up with someone across the organization you just jump on like a video conference call and just talk to them like a kind of like a you know like a coffee outing I guess in
00:35:38my do it in another or you just talk about whatever right it doesn't have to be worked specific it's super informal and talk about family hobby is whatever right helps folks get to know each other and then we're like not very restrictive about like off topic stuff in
00:35:56slang we're kind of okay with that because in normal organizations like people are gonna have like water cooler talk and like talk at lunch and all that sort of stuff since like that's fine that stuff should people should have a place for that insight remote organization so we
00:36:09have like a series of slack channels that are %HESITATION prefixed with fun that tend to just be like off topic channels we will do whatever them and then every now and then like people come up with like random things like I think a couple weeks ago someone our
00:36:23support team wanted to do like is the end of Friday afternoon on like Pacific time zones like everybody in the company's basically it's it's like soon to be are almost weekend time and they're like let's do like a random gifts dance party and so they like pick a
00:36:39random song from Spotify somehow and then we're like alright here's the song now like make a gift of yourself like dancing to this thing it's like right doesn't people like uploaded random gifts great it's like they were just you know for the song and so this is like
00:36:52stuff like that you were trying out like we we don't take ourselves too seriously it's like this is like a place where you can enjoy yourself to a little bit like let's get our stuff done and enjoy our time here right totally and so %HESITATION so I guess
00:37:05slightly going off topic like almost every interview I've listened to our scene with you it's like no word %HESITATION it's a not raising money its location and that's all that stuff but something that you don't often talk about that you're like passionate about maybe it's within sap here
00:37:22maybe it's not I think that there's very little one thing I don't often talk about is like %HESITATION slicks learning a lot and really like speed as a way to learn things like really going deep on a topic so %HESITATION everything I do I trying to like really
00:37:44really well and to give me examples I started playing racquetball like %HESITATION for about two and a half years ago now %HESITATION I was planing college a little bit just like for fun and then I realized about you know two years in two or three years and is
00:37:59after I ate like had stopped exercising star and put on some weight like you know founder fifteen though in my case it might have been twenty or twenty five is like our as we get this under control says are playing racquetball actually was like yeah I was like
00:38:11oh I actually enjoyed doing this it's like okay now how can I what you start getting into is like this is good exercise by actually want to be good at this means like how can I be get to where I'm as good as I possibly can be as
00:38:23quickly as I can I think a lot of folks spent a lot of time when they're first learning something trying to be like perfect at it there like I want to figure out all the things that I could possibly need to know about this instead of just getting
00:38:37in and trying to like one of the few things that I can get better on each each day and so you know this for a for me was racquetball's like alright I need to just play a lot that's like the biggest things I started playing like three or
00:38:50four times a week I found a coach that like was teaching me a few things and like every time I would get out once a week you would teach me one new thing and I was like alright I'm just going to practice that one new thing when I'm
00:39:00out playing with us it didn't even matter at schools like this is the shot I'm gonna take even if that wasn't the right shot to take in that moment was like I'm gonna make that shot anyway because I'm just going to keep working on it and I think
00:39:12this kind of like approach to learning really helps in all sort like for whatever you're trying to learn so like this is something I helped talk to like for everyone who's joining our support team like look you know out the gate you're gonna know like next to nothing
00:39:26about what you need to do the biggest way you can get better is not by writing a perfect answer to this one ticket but it's trying to do is many tickets as you possibly can in a given day because if you're able you know out the gate to
00:39:40answer twenty emails a day for the first week want the end of the week you've done a hundred emails versus the person who only does you know five a day they've only done twenty five so now you have you know seventy five more interactions of learning then the
00:39:55person who only did five so it's like if you can get you know enough Mike Rapson basically that's gonna really accelerate your learning so I think a lot of folks men too much time on like being perfect perfectionist about things and they forget like a lot of times
00:40:10if you just do it enough times you're just going to get better at it because you've done it a lot so that's like a one thing that I think is like a lot of founders can can really learn from is just like don't worry about trying to be
00:40:23perfect just try a bunch of stuff like just do a lot of things and you're going to get better at it that's great advice in there because there's there's often such little downside yeah like especially in software maybe maybe you're shooting off rockets and that's one yeah right
00:40:37but like you know if you miss a line of former something is the matter an early on right you have barely any customers like whatever you know and you'll figure it out right like it's not going to be the end of the world you'll have another opportunity something
00:40:51else are you trying to learn anything else right now I'm still trying to get better at coupled with that that's a big one and then I mean I'm always trying to like be a better CEO right like I think that's been like a big transition for like the
00:41:03last year's like there's a certain point where you stop being like a founder and a part of the team and you're like actually now I need to start thinking about like me is a CEO and like a leader of the organization and making sure that like we're setting
00:41:17ourselves up for a good future that's not something like I'm always like learning and trying to get better and facts one of the things that I always like I I like to do is about every six months ago seek out founders who are basically a year ahead of
00:41:32me and just ask like what what did you do in your last year like what was the smartest thing you didn't last year what was the dumbest thing you didn't last year like what are the things that you're really happy about one of the things you regret and
00:41:45that kind of helps paint a picture of what's to come for me so that way I can sometimes you can preempt some of it or and sometimes you can't sometimes it's just like you don't know your idea that it's like you know like it's coming right at that
00:42:00yeah share some with them what do you expect what's coming down the pike well you know I think you know at one of the the interesting things I've heard from other folks is you know as you scale your organization you know you get past a hundred people you're
00:42:14gonna realize like the folks that got you there might not get you to the next level and that's not anything inherently good or bad and the people that you worked with that's just something that I think a lot of folks of realize like some people thrive in smaller
00:42:27organizations some people are better bigger organizations and there are there is a Venn diagram overlap or people are successful in both and can scale go the distance but that's not always the case and something that's a thing that you know we've been lucky to have really good retention
00:42:43rate but it'll be interesting to see like how far we can push then you know given that this kind of phenomenon exists where like people you know end up going out to look like the side like I just like being in small organizations so like that's one thing
00:42:59that I've kind of got like in the back of my head or my car and how are you gonna like yeah handle some of the stuff that's great I guess might well yeah I guess my last question is unlike what are your pro racquetball tips from the back
00:43:13of all I don't know anything about rackable so get fine like find like the old guy at the gym like is like sixty or seventy you're gonna think he's like not very good and then get on the court with them and then he'll smoke you and then ask
00:43:28him like how did you beat me so bad the reality is like the guy is probably played for like you know two three four decades and knows exactly what he needs to do to like even if you're young and fast and athletic like it doesn't matter like you're
00:43:44not going to beat them because rackable actually there is like quite a bit of strategy and it you can't just like unluckily if your first time you're not going to like out athlete like a guys played for awhile even if they do have like bad knees and like
00:43:56a real move around yeah let's say they don't have to because they just know where to hit the ball that you're not going to get to it life right now and I you know I think that applies to a lot of things like you especially you know and
00:44:09start ups if things are moving fast and growing fast and like find someone that just can help you write like in his been there and done that like they're gonna know they just like no world the trap doors are in like world at the hidden things that are
00:44:23going to trip you up aren't so you know they may not know a hundred percent of the things that you're going to run into but they can be a good resource for you and how it just accelerate your learning a little bit so you know once you have
00:44:35an opportunity to like get that kind of mentorship or help or whatever like find a find a person that can can be that for you great all right thanks for coming in awesome thanks okay thanks for listening please remember to rate and subscribe to the show and if
00:44:52you want to read the transcript or watch the video you can check out logged out why commentator dot com alright scene except

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ABOUT THIS PODCAST

We talk with people who are shaping the future. A show about technology in business, research, and art.
English
United States
90 episodes
since May, 2017
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