Pinning Culture

For starters, let’s just put it plainly: We’ve been busy. Actually, very busy. And it’s the good kind of busy, if you get what I’m saying.

Sure, we’re still building product and finding digging in deeper into what will really resonate with early customers. And yes, we’re working even closer with some of those folks and giving a deeply empathetic ear to their needs and desires and struggles that we believe we can solve.

Same old, same old.

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We Believe in Remote

One of the larger news stories to break today is the behemoth IBM telling their staff of nearly 400,000 employees that if they want to keep their job that they have to now show up, physically, in an IBM office:

As part of the new policy, employees who work remotely will need to pack up their laptops and everything else and return to a company office if they want to keep their jobs.

Yikes.

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An Open Source Company Handbook

One of the things that I’m very excited about it is growing our team beyond the founders. This is something that I had the very special privilege of doing in my last venture where I hired the first 40+ folks to the team.

To add a bit more flavor and context, I hired those folks within the span of 12 months and our retention rate was 13%, which is phenomenal compared to what typically happens in hyper-growth startups where the retention/attrition rate is greater than 40% per year, generally speaking.

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The First of Many

We’ve got a busy week this week as we work on product, work through early customer feedback, and even chat with a few venture partners for what we know is an exciting opportunity to seriously impact software companies of every single size.

It can get so busy at times that we easily forget to appreciate the small things, be grateful for all that we have, and I have to be explicitly reminded of how great of a pleasure it is to build something that I believe matters.

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On Growing the Culture

We’ve been building a lot of momentum around the product and we’ve been very fortunate to land on something (iteratively) that deeply resonates with folks, especially our early customers.

This means, of course, that we’ve attracted a little bit of attention with financial parters and venture capitalists and we’re honored and humbled for that type of attention. The conversations have been fun, enlightening, and very challenging – just like any good relationship should be, right?

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On Staying Healthy

Last week I shared a few thoughts regarding Jeff Bezos’ 2016 Shareholder Letter and, in particular, how we are trying to emulate a “Day 1” type of business and organizational culture that can execute with high fidelity and continue to grow and scale in the best ways possible.

Although we are serious about building a successful product and business we know that we can’t build one without a sustainable and healthy company culture, and we know that it starts with how we understand and treat ourselves.

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Public Benefit from Day One

One of the things that we haven’t spent much time talking about is the fact that our parent company (i.e. legal entity) is a Public Benefit Corporation (“PBC”) that was registered late last year.

You can read more about what a PBC is all about on the B-Corporation website. It’s a bit text-heavy, to be honest, but, the point is that we’re simply doing business differently and with intent to make our world a better place.

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On Value Statements and Real Behavior

I’ve spent a good deal of time in the past meditating and writing about the development, the creation, and the utility of value statements within organizations and how they can positively and negatively impact an organization when done well and when done poorly.

And as an ever-evolving person, my attitude and perspective has changed as I have spent more time within a variety of different organizations from being a staff and team member as well as an executive leader and founder. And like you, I’ve seen it all in terms of how well values are displayed and lived-out within and without a business.

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More Than Just Engineering

I’m back in company-building mode, which means that my head naturally moves to more than just product and engineering. Putting the pieces together operationally is fun in all the right ways, even the more monotonous parts. This is mostly because I consider it an honor and a privilege to build something that people want.

In addition, I have this positive attitude because it means that we’ve landed on something that is resonating with folks. Not just myself and the team but also some of the financial backers that we’re beginning to have conversations and with, of course and most importantly, some of the early (future) users of the product.

Clearly we’ve hit a touch-point for both engineers and software development teams and the larger organizations that house them.

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