What a startup should offer its employees

There’s been a great discussion in startup leadership/venture circles about a NYTimes article. Beyond bringing to light a company that made (in hindsight) a series of poor decisions, terrible fundraising terms, and a lack of transparency with employees, it also brought forth a key point for startup employees. The equity in the company, often times … 


 

Introvert to Extrovert

Since Contactually is all about relationship building, many initial conversations I have end up coming back to me and my own social skills. More often than not, it’s assumed that, with my startup’s focus, my role, my involvement as a connector and supporter of the local tech community, and general outgoing demeanor, that I’m a … 


 

Inside Contactually: Our Failed Experiment with Mixed Team Seating

I originally wrote this for the Contactually Blog here, but I’m reposting this to my own blog. Inside Contactually: Our Failed Experiment with Mixed Team Seating In the 3.5 years since the company has started, we’ve had four offices. Our office prior to where we are now was a cluster of individual offices. As we … 


 

Part of the solution

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” – Eldridge Cleaver My motus operandi has been to surround myself with the best talent possible – irregardless of any other defining characteristic they may possess (country, race, sexual orientation, affinity for hot sauce). So I never paid attention to any talk about … 


 

Doubt

Contactually is currently in the, to quote Jason Lemkin, the Possible, but Painful phase. We’ve long since passed the initial $1M ARR phase, where we became “real.” We’ve nailed enterprise customers. We know how to hire. We have a clear idea of our product roadmap, vision, and strategy. But we’re in the long, slow slog … 


 

Relativity of Knowledge

When I was in elementary/middle school, I struggled at math. New concepts would be hard to wrap my head around, I was slow to learn my multiplication tables, and I couldn’t easily memorize things. But while learning the material at the time was challenging, it would all of a sudden be a “no-brainer” in following … 


 

On Non-Traditional Offices and Conference Sheds

  I originally wrote this for the Contactually Blog here, but I’m reposting this to my own blog. Who needs real walls? On what would otherwise be an unremarkable Monday morning, the normal stream of our team, dogs, and interview candidates filtered into our non-traditional office. So did 5 construction workers from rural Virginia, with … 


 

Thankful

Being CEO of a growing venture, regardless of current success or support network, is a hard, dark, lonely position. It may be the best job in the world (definitely the best I’ve ever had), but it’s been riddled with many tough periods and scary moments – particularly in my head. Right now, I’m just thankful. Rather … 


 

A confession on our 4th birthday

On October 11th, 2011, Contactually was incorporated. We take our Founding Day pretty seriously – we shut down normal operations for the day, make breakfast for the team, retell the origin and history of Contactually, and go and do fun company bonding activities for the rest of the day. In the past, we’ve gone to … 


 

Organizational Design

One of the core tenets of a first time founder is being responsive to the idea that there is a aircraft carrier’s worth of things you don’t know about building a fast growth organization. But perhaps even more jarring is the delta between the expected and actual importance of certain components of a business. One …