“I think it’s important to have marketing leadership from a cultural standpoint,” the company’s VP of marketing, Corey O’Donnell says. “Marketing isn’t just what you tell the world about your business, it’s also what you tell your employees.”
“We are a company that values transparency,” says the company’s CEO, Antonio Tomarchio. “Every month we present to all the people across the company everything that’s going on. I believe that not only it’s the right thing to do, but also that it’s always the best long-term strategy for success.”
For many locally focused tech companies — including NextDoor, SweetIQ, ibotta and G/O Digital — transparent sharing and openness at all levels is inviting a new workplace generation led by women.
“Startup culture is very unique,” says Stylu’s CEO Justin Colombo. “There’s no such thing as rules. It’s good to have structure, but we’re very open-minded. We’re just moving forward naturally according to our culture and our style.”
“We do a lot of different things every day, but it’s not like, ‘check check check,’ everything’s done,” says the company’s CEO Gladys Kong. “It’s about not being afraid to try new things. Keep learning. Keep working at it. Have integrity and deliver excellence”
As the company has grown, according to CEO Alexei Agratchev, it has experienced two “productivity peaks,” where fewer people are doing a huge amount of work. Then new hires are brought on, and the productivity stays about the same for a few months as the growth potential is realized. This can be a frustrating cycle to manage.
Every month, one half of the company’s employees travel to visit the other half of the employees — the engineering team is located in Oslo, Norway and the commercial team is in New York City — as a culture-building activity, giving employees a chance to connect while in the same time zone.
“When you have a transition where there’s a new CEO and the company is basically in crisis, it seems like, ‘Oh, this is a perfect time for values,’” said Extole’s Matt Roche. “But it’s unbelievably hard to implement new core values when everyone’s afraid.”
The company has relied heavily on employees to be efficient outside of their comfort zones. Co-founder and CEO Bryan Trussel said that he hopes Glympse is a fun and challenging place to work, and he believes empowering employees is one way to make sure that happens.
“One hundred and eighteen people is not a lot, but corralling those opinions is a more difficult task,” said Margie Mader-Clark, the company’s VP of human resources. “It’s about a stewardship of culture, taking care of it, making sure the negative aspects go away as early as possible.”