And now it's 2019...
I’m getting less and less responsible about sending this on time, so I’ll bite the bullet and rename this as my “every-other-month update” until I can get my act together to send these notes out more regularly :)
As for the update: On the press front, we had fun doing this video on Hatch Apps with Revolution (32,000 views and counting!). We were also honored to be included on Washington Business Journal's "People to Watch" list alongside the CEOs of Marriott, Northrop Grumman and JBG Smith.
We also had the opportunity to launch a few other projects this month:
- We finally published our culture blog on Medium last week. Big thank you to Selina and Paul for their help getting this up so quickly! There's a lot of fun content there (largely migrated from our existing blog) including our just-published diversity report.
- We also put up a resources page featuring some of the creative content we've developed on the marketing front. Selina and Wojo (our all-star marketing site duo) also launched our press page.
- Several folks on this list contributed to another wacky research project we did: An ebook on how developer experiences can go wrong. The interviews are anonymous so I won't thank by name, but you know who you are! Big shoutout to Isabel and Selina for their help taking it across the finish line.
We've also started picking up speed on the sales side which has been exciting to see (Kalliopi and Heather Grace are amazing). Our product/engineering teams have been pushed to the limit as we start to more rapidly onboard customers— fortunately for us we have Devin, Alex, Issam, Kuki, Wojo and Ryan firing on all cylinders. And it's all being glued together by Peter who has been building our customer success engine from the ground up— he's been awesome too. Long story short, our team inspires me every day :)
On the personal side, I'm still very delinquent on all things wedding planning (I don't know how people do it). I was also invited to speak at a conference in Moscow on my birthday weekend — it's still a few months out but would love any recs for things to do/see while there!
Brilliant stuff my friends are building...
- Buffer takes transparency to a whole new level with their "transparency dashboard." On it you can see everything— salaries, equity comp, revenue, pricing breakdown, fundraise details, and more. When leadership posts things like this, they are holding themselves to a impressively high standard: Every decision must be demonstrably evidence-based, and something you can confidently stand by. I really admire that. Thanks to Paul Klein for sharing this one!
- In the era of #metoo, this TIME article stands above the noise: "I’ve Talked With Teenage Boys About Sexual Assault for 20 Years. This Is What They Still Don’t Know." It's real and raw and helped me understand how we can change the dialogue around sexual assault. Thanks to Ronit Avni for sharing it.
- I'm halfway through "Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. I feel like I've definitely found myself sucked into the email vortex recently, and this book has helped me start to rise above the noise. Thanks to Anna Mason for the recommendation!
A few ways to help...
- For those of us who love trying new foods, Noobtsaa Vang's company Foodhini hires immigrant chefs from Eritrea, Laos, Syria and more, and delivers their specially prepared dishes directly to your door. I’m constantly inspired by the entrepreneurs around me. But last month, Noobtsaa upped the inspo ante by offering free meals to all those affected by the furlough. It's not easy for a small startup to make a commitment like this — the dollars and time spent are far from inconsequential. Hats off to him and his team.
- For those of us spending way too much time on billing, Sameer Gulati's team at Ordway has developed a platform that simplifies how we price our products, send invoices, collect payments, and recognize revenue. I got the chance to spend some time with Sameer and his team last week, and what they're building is really exciting.
- For those of us looking for ways to inspire and uplift our colleagues, Liz Gibbs at Empowerball has built what she likes to call the Venmo of Appreciation - a sort of "higher level commerce." While Venmo enables the exchange of money, Empowerball enables the exchange of gratitude, appreciation and recognition. We've gotten to work with Liz as she brought her idea to life (full disclosure: she's built her product on Hatch Apps) and I'm so excited for her and what she's helped her customers achieve!
Sending some love...
- I've been sending these emails for a while now, and I'd love any feedback on how to improve. Reply back with any tips for me if you have them!
To some of the many who made the last couple months great like Shizu Okusa, Kate Glantz, Rebecca Yarbrough, Ajay Kori, Sarah Van Dell, Rob, Hilliary Turnipseed, Alicia Fuller, Eric Bell, Camille Alexander, Jay Newton-Small, and Shelly Porges who were great friends and supports in more ways than one; like Todd Gibby, Peggy Styer, Kaitlin Haggerty, Ryan Ross, Steve Moilanen, and Theo LeCompte who have been great advisors to me this month (and many months prior!); and like all of our investors, with a special shoutout to Anna Mason, Jonathan Perrelli, Anthony Beverina, Jake Schaufeld, Jen Neundorfer, Maren Bannon, Aia Sarycheva, Andy Mohan, and Sachiko Kuno for the time you spent with me this past month. I'm sure I'm missing dozens of people who have moved mountains for us— I'm often plagued by recency bias when I write this. There are so many people who have gone out of their way to make my entrée into 2019 great. To all of you, thank you.
Thanks for skimming this email and being a part of this journey :)
Onward and upward,