A fresh perspective on the stages of building a SaaS business

July 21, 2021

EP22: First hires at a startup, how Josh did it and questions from Nate

What do you look for in your first hires? Today Nate asks Josh about his first 10 hires. What worked, what didn’t and how he thought about those decisions.
Searching For SaaS
Searching For SaaS
EP22: First hires at a startup, how Josh did it and questions from Nate



Nate: [00:00] Hey, Josh
Josh: [00:00:00] Hey Nate, how are you?
Nate: [00:00:03] doing good. It’s a cooler weather over here. It was so hot. Last couple of weeks. It’s really nice. The things have cooled off and I can like, you know, wear pants and a sweater again. It’s it’s really nice.
Josh: [00:00:14] you mean you weren’t wearing pants before?
Nate: [00:00:18] It’s wearing short shorts, man. Come on.
Josh: [00:00:20] All right. Hey, I just take it quite
literally. Cool. Yeah, the weather has been crazy here too. I feel like it’s been hot and then cool. And then hot and then cool. It’s just this climate change world coming to an end types of stuff still.
Nate: [00:00:36] Yeah, something like that. Or, you know, the weather just doesn’t know what it wants to do.
Josh: [00:00:44] so what do we have today? Actually, oh, sorry. Let me. We did get a couple questions and I thought we would cover that if that’s all right with you
Nate: [00:00:54] Yeah. that sounds great.
Josh: [00:00:55] Yeah. So episode 18, you did a nice job interviewing me on my hiring process, which I hope was helpful to some people. I do get a lot of questions about hiring and team building and stuff like that, which does make sense. I feel like. I bumped my head against it and hopefully I’ve come out a little bit better on the other end. But that was all in episode 18. So we did get a couple of listener questions. And then actually I got an email as well which I did send you for some of
the questions as well. So I think we’ll cover more of like first higher types of questions. And we did have some from Dominique from Finmark.com,  I think they were asking a bunch of information on here. Thought we’d throw a couple of these questions in. So Nate, you have the questions. So you write a fire.
Nate: [00:01:43] sounds good. Let’s dive in. Yeah. so like you said, I think we’re kind of aiming at the, what are the, the, the hires that you make early on in a company stage? What sort of problems do you face then? So I guess probably one of the first things is, is like I’m at one employee or it’s me and my co-founder. How do we kind of know that now’s a good time to start looking for our first hire? How does, how does that sort of conversation.
Josh: [00:02:07] I think the early parts is just where you have. Pain and repeatable process. So, you know, usually when you’re first starting out, you’re doing literally everything, right? Support, knowledge base, like coding, customer research, sales calls, all of those things. And you start to cut. For me, it was like, I started to look at what were the types of tasks that were taking up one exorbitant amount of time and two. That were somewhat repeatable and something that. I could show someone how to do and was not necessarily using my best skillset per se.
Nate: [00:02:47] Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. So you’re, you’re bailing water out of the sinking ship and you’re like, I need somebody to help me, like, that’s kind of your, your trigger for
Josh: [00:02:55] yeah. Th I, that’s not a bad metaphor. It’s kind of like, there’s a lot of there’s water coming in, you know, before you’re just getting a float. There wasn’t that much water, all of a sudden there’s holes popping into your ship and you need to bail it out. But. You have a bucket, you have a system to do it. You do it here. You’re doing it at this point. You do it at this rate, and it’s much easier to find someone to replace you to do that while you might go worry about the engine and other places.
Nate: [00:03:20] Yeah. Yeah, that totally makes sense. I guess what was interesting, you mentioned there is that it’s a repeatable process you kind of have in place. And I guess maybe, maybe that’s something that you do, you do instinctively, but I think a lot of folks, you know, they, they’re just kind of fighting the fire day to day. That that could be a tough thing.
Josh: [00:03:40] true. Yeah. That’s I guess that’s the tough thing is like it’s, it’s definitely one of those things. Yeah. Get a little bit outside of yourself, get outside of the day-to-day muck because it’s easy to just know you’re in. pain, right? Just like I’m in pain. I need help. I don’t know what I need help on I don’t know. I just know this is painful. And I think one of the things you need to be careful at early on is to have someone help you. It’s like, well, what is there someone that can help me? So it’s even like, imagine you’re working on renovations. It’s like, oh, There’s a lot of painting to do. Let me just get someone to help me paint, but designing architecture and like making choices of around the house. Like what is the color of the walls? All those other things are going to take. You’re going to have to live in. It are going to be more intricate to you. But I think that’s the first point is making sure you realize what those are, but, and it also, you have to almost track back on. Not necessarily being like, what are the things I don’t want to do? I feel like that’s oftentimes a mistake because that sometimes there’s things that you don’t want to do. And other people that want to do are really hard to hire for. And if it’s both something you don’t want to, if it’s built something other people that want to do as hard to, to, fit into that, then you’re going to, you’re going to struggle. I think that’s one thing to kind of stay away for worse, just going pure from a pain avoidance standpoint.
Nate: [00:05:11] Right. Like I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna just give out my roadmap to someone else to decide on because I don’t, I just can’t choose which features need to happen next. Like, that’s probably not a good thing to be outsourcing as your first, your first
Josh: [00:05:23] exactly. Yeah. So like, if you don’t like that, then it’s kind of, you’re going to have a tough time being, being a product, you know, SAS company, if you don’t like the roadmap stuff. So then maybe that means you need a, you’re looking for more of a founder versus an employee like tech to help you. So that that’s probably a good way to think about. There’s like a core set of things that you’re going to have to do. You don’t have to do them forever, but definitely product and probably a good amount of dev I would think is, is key in the, in the early days. That is hard to just cut. Think you’re going to outsource.
Nate: [00:06:00] right, So you’re, you’re looking to outsource to a helper as opposed to, as a outsource to some sort of peer who is thinking on the same level as you you’re you’re thinking of bringing it up.
Josh: [00:06:11] right. right. But honestly, like most of our audience, I would think are either developers that are trying to do their, their Indy SAS things. Yeah. I would bet that most of them are quick to realize, like they don’t like doing support and are probably perfectly happy to train someone, to help them with those things.
So that I do feel like they’ll naturally fall that direction. The only one that I wouldn’t is, I know, I just said that you shouldn’t off dev. I’ve never handed off dev. It’s hard to say. I know there’s plenty of founders that aren’t developers, but they also could be fantastic product managers. If you’re really good at product management and design and all of these other things and the architecture, but aside from the actually like writing of the code, I think that’s okay too. And you can hire developers outsource that early, but at this point, I don’t think that’s really, you’re thinking first hire, you probably did a consultant router or getting, you know, you had someone part-time help you on the dev or something like that.
Nate: [00:07:16] right, And I guess maybe what you’re getting out there is the, the difference in risk. like if you hire a bad developer that could really damage you down the road, whereas if you hire a poor supper, poor person, you’re going to be able to recognize that faster and to be able to correct that faster.
Josh: [00:07:32] Yup. Yup. So I would think in the context of the question of just the first hire, probably outside of like the founding team as us, and I think we started to getting bleeding into like the founding team type of attributes, but I would think mostly support or sales or these other ones where it is repeatable.
Nate: [00:07:53] Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard a lot of people have trouble hiring salespeople, especially developer first fenders or more technical founders. Do you have any thoughts around that?
Josh: [00:08:03] Yeah, it, it, it is a challenge. So I did go through that a bit. And I think one of my first big mistakes was not thinking of myself. As a salesperson where later on now I definitely think of myself as having skills in sales, but not necessarily like a quote unquote sales person, if that makes sense. But what did tear me down a wrong road, I would say, or take me down a wrong, wrong path was thinking. Real sales was something totally different than what I was doing. So I viewed it as like a black and white, a binary thing, like when there’s what Josh is doing. And then there’s like the real sales world out there. And that led me astray, which I thought like, someone’s going to come in here and be the expert. And. Just take the ball and run and do your thing. Like, I don’t know what I was doing. I was just doing something, whatever Josh was doing, but that, that can’t, that can’t be what sales is, everyone, you know? So that did take me down a different path where I just assumed people knew more what they were talking about versus kind of having a sense of confidence and And even how I wanted sales
to be done at referral rock or things like.
Nate: [00:09:16] Right. So, so Like you didn’t feel like you had the you didn’t feel confident in your skills as a salesperson. You didn’t identify yourself as, as, as doing sales. And so then when you’re trying to talk to other salespeople or trying to hire a sales person, you’re basically saying, oh, you’re the expert. I’ll just trust whatever you do.
Josh: [00:09:33] it sounds stupid now because I’m like, it, it does, like I was getting sales. I was getting people to use the product. I was, I was getting people to buy. And so if I really walked back and looked at it that, but just kind of like. I would say maybe it was like a bit of imposter syndrome or something like that at that point, because like, imagine there’s, you know, there’s, there’s people that classically learn development and then there’s people that just like learn it themselves by hunting and pecking. Self-taught type of thing. And I bet the self-taught people might have a little bit of like, oh, well I didn’t take like operating systems classes. Right. I didn’t take assembly classes. I didn’t learn it from the core up. And like, that’s different. Like that’s a different type of development. Like I I’m just a web developer. I just like hack at things. It’s like, no, you’re still a developer, but if you it’s, it’s interesting. Cause I think like approaching it from that standpoint. It wouldn’t be like, well, I don’t know, database stuff, you know, it’s like, well, you’ve done enough. You’re actually, you’re actually like 90% there. You just haven’t, you know, learned about foreign keys and relational things. Like that’s, you’re really an indexes. That’s your only missing piece. Like, it’s like, oh, okay.
Nate: [00:10:42] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s a good analogy for sure. Like the developer side of things, huh? Yeah. So I guess like with the, when you’re. Thinking about your, what you’re doing as sales activities like what, what kind of activities were you doing that you did in think or sales activities?
Josh: [00:11:01] so I probably didn’t do a lot of what, what salespeople would call like. Like asking for the sale or like going for the close type of things. So I didn’t do a lot of that. Most of it was all very, just helpful. Like, it was just like my first question, when anyone would, you know, I’d set up a demo, I’d be like, so what’s your plan for referral program. And then I just, it would just be extremely consultative and, and just helpful. Right. It’s just like, Hey, how do I connect the dots between you and the product? Right. But there wasn’t a bunch of like, Hey, let me explain to you all the value propositions. Let me do all of these other things. Like, you know, I probably did do some objection handling where they’re like, well, why wouldn’t I build this myself? And it’s like, well, you could, but you know I built out all these things on fraud protection and all of these, you know, there’s cookie tracking and all these other things. You know, might be a little more complicated or, you know, if you don’t get it right, you know, you’re busy, you want to be busy working on your own product. You don’t want to be busy making sure that the referral program is still working effectively.
Nate: [00:12:12] right. So it sounds like a lot of inbound activities other than asking for
Josh: [00:12:15] right. Yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s probably a litany of other things down traditional sales. And also not to forget that a founder does have like a. A superpower with sales, just being able to like talk to the customer, the customer’s like, oh, I’m hearing it kind of from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. So there’s inherent level of trust for good or for bad. There also could be, have some doubts on like, Hey, are you going to be here next week or next month? Or next year? If you’re, if you’re, if you’re, if you’re not getting an paying customers. There is, there is a thing about like, you know, walking into the room as, as the founder and having the vision and being able to just, you know, talk off your butt about Eddie and how everything works and probably
just to brutal honesty, but also being the one that could say, oh, oh, I could see, oh, that’s a good feature. Yeah, you’re right. We don’t have that. I could build that and it can be in next week’s version. Hey, if you sign up today, I’ll, I’ll throw that in there for you. I’ll I’ll do it this weekend. It’d be like, oh, cool.

Nate: [00:13:19] Yeah. That’s really empowering for the customers side of things. Totally. So maybe if we switch gears a little bit what, what sort of things would you look for in the, the early people that you’re hiring? And how would that differ? How would that be different from people later on
Josh: [00:13:33] So how I look at it as the very first tier, like I said, is just. Helping you, you know, like you had a good analogy, like, like having a bucket. Throwing water off the boat, you know, it’s like tasks like that. So I think that’s the very first tier of things you look for. Because you also have to be cognizant of like management structure, who are they reporting to?
Just because it’s not like a one plus one equals two scenario where you have someone come on and they’re not instantly getting 40 more hours of productivity because you know, they’re doing that job, but you now have to manage them. You also have to keep them accountable. You might have payroll to do you have all kinds of other things? So but getting probably two of those
one or two of those to kind of help you I think is, is, is really important, but that next tier, and I think that’s what you’re probably pushing into a bit is I think you need to start then thinking about now that now that I have a little more room from someone helping me with the day-to-day minutia types of tasks, like how do I start to find other people.
Going to step up and potentially take more responsibility, take more ownership than just like checking off some tasks, if that makes sense.
Nate: [00:14:51] right. So earlier you’re at first, you’re just hiring someone to do the job. Right. Like as long as they’re capable, that’s what you’re looking for. And then as you, as you get yourself some more breathing room, then you’re looking more for upside. Like, could this person turn into a manager one day,
Josh: [00:15:07] Yeah. So then there, I am looking more for. A little bit more generalist type of people, not generalist to the extent that like like the founder or the co-founders initially would be.
But you know, honestly this might be different based off of like the founding team makeup and the strengths, but from my perspective, it was just me. So I was really looking for someone that could take ownership like of an area. So So even when I was looking for sales, I was like, great to get a sales person, but next I’m looking for someone that is not only going to not only going to like, take some sales, but also start to build that team, start to build the process around that. And hopefully not include me too much on it. And, and let, let someone own own a section, own a piece of the pie. If that makes.
Nate: [00:15:57] Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. So, are you that person, are you looking for someone who has experience in that area and like getting them like, as in, I mean, like someone who’s an experienced sales manager, for example, or are you looking for just a regular sales person who you see potential

Josh: [00:16:15] I think it could be in between, so it’s, I definitely think it definitely has to be on the more experienced side I can’t be in it’s it’s more challenging to be in the seat of trying to teach them a lot. So they do have to be a more experienced sales person. So even if they have seen good managers or know how sales management works, but they’ve never been a manager, I think that’s okay. But. Cause that said, the other part you’re going to end up too is if you end up with hiring a sales manager, they may not want to go back to actually being an individual salesperson. So it’s probably easier to have the aspirational, a really good salesperson that might be at a company where they either got bored or they’re blocked by seniority. Other people that are sales
leaders that are kind of essentially blocking their way from becoming a man. And those are the people. Those are like, maybe they’ve been a team lead, but didn’t really like manage people directly. I think that’s what you’re really looking for on building that next tier of people to help.
Nate: [00:17:20] Yeah, I guess probably part of that too, is you, like, you’re talking about with hiring salespeople, like you probably want, you want to have some level of confidence that you kind of understand how sales management works or how developer management works so that you’re not just giving them a blank slate to do anything and everything, but you have something to kind of hold them to. Cool. Is there, is there any sort of special hire that people might not think about that you hired early on?

Josh: [00:17:52] I don’t know if there’s like a special archetype of one that just, yeah, I don’t, I don’t know if there was any special one in, there were definitely areas because. Before filling out that second tier, I did get more people that could quote unquote help before I got more managers and leaders. So we did bring on, like I had a developer help and that was being a developer essentially.
You’re now becoming a kind of development manager or product manager, like leading that area. So that was easier to plug in a person and have it. Here’s the basic architecture of the system is here. Here’s how I do things. Here’s our coding practices, that type of thing, and that, you know, definitely added to the speed of the development process. And but there were other areas similar, like in, in marketing areas, people that if you found people that could write that was really powerful. So whether it could be. Content writing for the product, like in terms of the knowledge base, or maybe starting some blog articles and things like that. I think it’s very important to look at, to look for people that can write well. Initially, because even if it’s just internal communications of writing process and procedure or things like that I think writing is important. I mean, these are just other attributes that are really good in people. So, but, but the ones that I think resonate the most with me is in this process, you want people that are going to want to be learning and are happy to do kind of pitch in. So really team player type of type types of

Nate: [00:19:27] Yeah, that makes sense. And I think probably at any stage in your company, you’re going to want, people who are team players and good communicators. It’s like one of those, like, you know, perfect, perfect employee attributes that

Josh: [00:19:37] Yeah, I think that there is a strong baseline that you probably, no, one’s going to. say, like, I, I want a person that doesn’t communicate well or, or is not a team player.
Nate: [00:19:47] Okay.
Josh: [00:19:49] Yeah.
Nate: [00:19:49] Yeah, right, exactly. So I guess like when you’re early on cash is a problem, right? You’re, you’re really constrained in terms of, revenue and in terms of how much money you have in the bank. So maybe, could you talk a little. bit about how you how you deal with hiring employees and your cashflow?

Josh: [00:20:05] I mean, that’s, that is a major factor. So, you know, you’ve got all these different things going on. You’re looking at kind of the bottom line to, can you afford people you’re looking at kind of your trajectory, how fast are things growing? Are you getting new customers, things like that. But the cash definitely has a big factor. I think for us early on when we were hiring. A lot of this happened pre COVID. So, you know, we were remote from the start. And that was that was an advantage. I mean, obviously there was expense advantage. Like I didn’t have a office, I could choose from a wider pool of people. But pre COVID, it wasn’t advantage. And I, we could have people that were, you know, very experienced and. Wanting to prove themselves at a younger startup, you know, have done it, had done a bit of things so that they could contribute with, with their own experience. Like you said, have done the job before and But oftentimes the, they could live wherever. So they were not necessarily didn’t have to necessarily pay top market price. And you know, that that was a factor. So I think remote gave us an advantage, the fact that a person that would otherwise be able to command a much bigger salary, but they might have to go in person. They might not have to live near a big city, that type of thing. And I think it worked well for everyone so that the. The money in the bank and the cashflow and revenues and things like that. Definitely had a big factor then, and also have me just even be very upfront of like, here’s what I can afford. Like every job posting I put out there, I put out the salary range and if someone comes in and says, Hey, I’m looking to get like 30% more than that. And I was like, I don’t.
Don’t like talk to them, honestly, I’ll just say, sorry. No thanks.
Nate: [00:21:54] Yeah. Yeah.
Josh: [00:21:55] not, that’s not the right? fit for us. And they could have been awesome. They could have been this 10 X person, but at the same time, I have to make sure that that’s the constraint I put on, you know, what we needed to do.
Nate: [00:22:09] right. so it sounds like you were saying like you, do you just look at the books, you’ve got to go with what, what your cashflow is and not hire out ahead of your cashflow?

Josh: [00:22:19] when you still have your balance too, so you still have like how much you have sort of in the bank and how you’re managing that. So you can stretch yourself in different times for different needs. So it does some point, it becomes a balance of like, okay, someone’s going to have to do this job hopefully. And if I’m not hiring for it is it someone here already or is it me? And you have to figure out like, what. You know, you have to, you have to make, I would say you just have to make bets on those. So there are definitely times we’ve pressed harder and, and knew we were going to burn a little bit into, into the bank account, but there are other times where you kind of go and you just basically peg expenses at close to cash flow lines and you factor in market rates.
You’re not just like, okay. we’re we’re, we’re a $3,000 Brent, the profit. So we can only afford a, a $36,000 person. Like, that’s it wasn’t exactly like that. Like it’s not, it’s still definitely where the pain where the role and we may just hold out longer from hiring until we know we can properly afford it. If that makes.
Nate: [00:23:26] Right. And maybe there’s an element of like, we need to be more efficient here, or we need to make some changes to how we’re dealing with customers. Here are the service we offer to be able to make this work, because like you, can’t, you’re going to burn, you’re going to burn yourself in different ways. If you hire a whole bunch of low tier employees because you can’t afford them. And then you find out that the quality of work goes way down and that’s a

Josh: [00:23:51] A little bit, I would say I wouldn’t necessarily factor the change. I wouldn’t necessarily make changes based off of what we could afford is what I thought you kind of said, like changes internally. Like I wouldn’t wouldn’t change process based off of that. There’s still like designing the system and whatnot and, and I just might hold off longer before. Get that peg into the system, but I’m probably not making changes to fit a peg too much. I mean, there’s, there’s always going to be a little bit of that, like, based off of what you find out there on the interview process. So if we are looking and we’re like three months in and we’re having a hard time looking, we might change how we’re looking or might change some of the variables because it’s actually paint, getting painful. Don’t have a person and we have two or three people here internally that are, that are like burning out because we’re supposed to have this help coming like two months ago.
Nate: [00:24:52] right. I guess, I guess kind of what I’m thinking of is let’s say you’re early on, you’ve got a, it’s just you, you’ve got the software and you’ve got, you know, a hundred hundred customers or something like that. And then you hire a support person to help you because you’re getting a lot of support and then your customer base, you know, five X’s and you get five.
Customers. And all of a sudden support is at such a high volume. And you’re finding that your support people aren’t efficient enough to be able to, for you to be able to afford the level of support you’re providing. I think in those kinds of situations, then maybe you need to maybe change how you’re offering support or make some changes in the product to prevent that support from
Josh: [00:25:28] yeah, yeah, definitely. So yes, there is. Yeah. Aside from just adding more to the same system. Yes, you could, you could, change. Yeah, maybe we’re not offering, we’re only offering chat support to the highest tier or yet kind of cutting some of those things back or making, making changes to kind of the system to essentially move the load into different places or choose not to do something and suffer the consequences, but kind of a fire burn. So just.
Nate: [00:26:01] Yeah. And I think, I think what I really appreciate the way you’re that you keep saying that this is a system, a system of people that are working together and there’s processes and that’s, what’s making it work And I think what’s really refreshing about that is that at any point that system has some sort of equilibrium that you’re working with and you’re, you’re kind of just making tweaks to it, to kind of build it up as opposed to, I think a lot of times. When I hear about people talk about hiring. It’s like a panicky kind of thing. Like it’s very reactionary and very like there’s no overall plan.
Josh: [00:26:30] tough. I mean, it’s tough sometimes when you’re in the beginning and you just have like 50 needs and it’s like, I just need, I need, I need a warm body. I need them to be able to do at least X, Y, Z. And, and honestly, sometimes you’re making gambles. It’s like, okay, they haven’t really done sales, but they can do customer success, but they opened that and maybe then bringing them in and maybe they weren’t great at sales and I’m shifting them around. So. Oftentimes, I take a very loyalty first approach. So it often has like once you’re, once you’re on the boat,
really like gonna find a spot for you
Nate: [00:27:05] Yeah. Yeah.
Josh: [00:27:05] times I’ve done it to a fault where probably we may need to make more holistic system changes, but I didn’t, because I like, kind of was sticking to my word about the
people and when I was providing but like I said, probably. to a fault because then you, maybe you’re making the whole boat suffer for, for taking those things to heart.
Nate: [00:27:33] So we did kind of talk a bit about how, how you decide how much you’re going to pay somebody. And you mentioned market rate and like a remote and stuff like That how do you think about equity and you know, sharing part of your company with them?
Josh: [00:27:46] so I believe in trying to get. Sort of a as clean a cap table as possible from an equity standpoint. I think there’s a lot of different ways to incentivize people. I do want anyone that I do view here really being here for the long haul at some point. And it’s not to say that some of the, some people that are More in the trenches or doing individual contributor work that I don’t want them in for the long haul. And, and maybe they will rise to become like a manager or a leader in a certain area. And, at that point, I think that’s when it makes sense. So it’s not to discount, anyone’s like contributions to the company, but there are going to be key people you’re kind of building around. So it’s like a. If if you’re a basketball fan it’s like or, or even football, American football you know, you might, you might build around a quarterback or you might build around a certain position player or different things like that. So I try to keep it Just, yeah, I try to, I try to balance other incentives across the board. Like we might do bonuses and some other things for people. And I try to keep an eye on, on rates for people and tenure and making sure people are, are happy and, and that even if they were paying, we were paying below market rate. Once we got to a more profitable position that I am, I’m helping to make good on that and get, get people back up.
But there’s, there’s definitely people that have taken more of a salary. Hit to come, but where equity did become like a part of their compensation package, I’ve viewed it for that. And also from a, you know, retention who are the, again, where are the people you want to build, build this company around. They’re going to be these core pieces, commanding a certain area, like, like a technical area or things like, that. If that makes.
Nate: [00:29:38] Yeah, that makes sense. So you kind of you’re trying as much as possible not to be doing equity type incentives, but you do use that from time
Josh: [00:29:46] I think it does make sense. There, there’s a point where you do realize, like, for me as being the sole founder and, you know, The large majority of the equity, there are certain stages and different people coming into play that it makes sense to say, you know what? I’m definitely willing. To share X percent of the company. But it’s all, it’s all set up, like in the, in the ways that most VC backed types of things like a C Corp there’s vested options. So we’re well versed in all of those different stock options. And I’m exploring other avenues of things like restricted stock units and all kinds of other things lately. But you know, it’s part of this overall package and also. You know, you brought up the boat metaphor earlier, which I do like is like, who do you want on the boat with you? Who do you want when the storm comes? And you want to make sure that they feel they get their fair share. When you know, they’re taking risks, they’re not, they could be other working other places in their career. These are the people you want on your boat. So when you do hit and find treasure, or you do hit, okay, I dunno, maybe this boat thing is getting too, too far, but you rate a pirate ship and there’s booty to go around that they get their fair share, you know? So

Nate: [00:31:06] Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, that makes sense. And like, kind of related to that, have you thought about
Josh: [00:31:11] we haven’t, I think profit sharing, I think for us at this point in the stage is, is a little complicated. Only because it’s hard to. Explain like longer-term investing of people. It’s like, okay, we need X in the product and where you’re going to have people across the board that might have more short-term thinking versus long-term thinking. And most of my thinking is mostly on the long-term side. So I don’t, I don’t really want to. Probably add to that too much. Maybe as, as we reach a more of a level of maturity with the company. I think I could see that being an option, but right now we do, like I said, we we’ve, we’ve done bonuses in good years. Good quarters and different things have happened. And I kind of view that as just discretionary rewards and, and way to reward the team for doing a good job and things like that. But at this point Less enthused about kind of structuring a very specific system for it. So, so what I have said to some people that have asked this too, is just like really what it comes down to is do you trust me? And do you trust that I’m going to be fair and, and And just, yeah, just, just fair across the board and look to reward people when we can and how we can. And am I right? Making the right investments for, for the whole boat for the future. So that that’s probably where it comes down to it, because if they don’t, there’s probably bigger problems if they, if they don’t, if they don’t trust me. But I think that’s largely what it, it comes down to for me.
Nate: [00:32:49] Yeah, yeah, I think that could be so tricky. Like, especially when you get into divvying up equity And like, giving out extra money, that’s over top of what you’re expect, what someone might expect from their salary. I think that that’s, that requires a lot of nuance. I think that’s, that’s true. So we talked about money and we talked about perks for people that you want to hire in terms of like working remotely and stuff like that are there any other sort of, any other things in your bag of tricks when you’re trying to get someone to come on board, when you’re trying to get someone to, you’ve got someone that you you’re interested in and you just want to seal the deal.
Josh: [00:33:23] I think a big thing I try to really express to people is our culture. It sounds kind of very like here’s what someone in Forbes would say or something, but. I do think, I do think we have a unique culture in terms of just like the people being all. Really all, all working very hard. Like I never have to worry about anyone. And I think that’s definitely something you have to have with the remote. You can’t worry about if someone is working or not working or things like that. We do have a good culture of like, you know, people are rarely on the working on the weekends. I might work plenty on the weekends, but I usually don’t bother anyone or don’t ex I don’t expect anyone else to. So I think, I think that’s important because. People, I think enjoy the early parts of a startup, how exciting things can be the changes, how fast things can move the opportunities for them in their career to be able to do different things lead to, you know, first establish themselves as an expert, then become a leader, then become a manager, or maybe it’s a lateral move to a product team where you were used to be in support or used to be in customer success. I think that’s a lot of what it is. And then it’s all the other people here. So it’s definitely hard to convince people early on, but I think by talking to me, talking to the team hopefully they get that it is a bit of a different place. I do feel like we’re a little bit of a shelter from a lot of the bad startup memes out there in terms of like working for a startup burning people, burning people out, this, this You know, fast fire, fast or fast hire, fast fire type of mentality, things, things like that. So I do try to make sure that they know when they’re coming on this boat, that what essentially that means, and, and that.
those, those loyalties kind of run deep. And if you’re willing to help out, everyone’s going to be here to support you as well.
Nate: [00:35:29] Yeah, no, that’s, that’s great. Like, you’re really just saying like, this is who we are. You’re not trying to you know, pretend to be something you’re not, or say.
some sort of yeah, some sort of trick, I guess, or something like that. It’s just, it’s just, you
Josh: [00:35:42] And I tried to make it really clear even on the onset, like in our, in our job descriptions. Maybe we’ll add one in the show notes, but like in our job descriptions and how we describe the company, we have a profile on angel list and that’s an area where we find a lot of. Startup ask type of people.
So and like, so just that profile on there is kind of gonna speak a little bit to what we are and probably in a way that I would just speak about it. Versus, you know, you just read about so-and-so company that is like in this industry and is looking to, you know, rule the world and blah, blah, blah. So.
Nate: [00:36:18] Yeah. Okay, cool. So I think that kinda brings us to the end here. Is there any sort of. Last things you might say, or you know, things that if you could go back and tell yourself back when you started that you would want to
Josh: [00:36:34] Mean, I don’t know if I would change anything. Like there’s definitely hires that I got, I would say got very lucky on because where I think. I was not necessarily thinking about all their experience, what they were bringing in and how they would affect the culture. But I had a lot of that happen. So Like we had a teammate bring in OKR to us and at a perfect time where it wasn’t, it wasn’t something we were doing before. And bringing in certain processes with them or, or having experience to when I go, Hey, I’m feeling like, you know, We could do need more of X and they’ll be like, oh, here’s what we did at my other company. And it’s, those were all just bonus. Like I was already happy to have the, these awesome people joined the

Nate: [00:37:24] Yeah.
Josh: [00:37:25] And I thought of them as, Like, I said, joining the team as what, like joining the boat, but not necessarily right. Becoming part of, the boat and actually making the boat better and
faster just by their own presence and their own experience that they brought in. So if I was to tell myself to be on the lookout for that, but honestly, I got, I got some really great ones that kind of came in and did a lot of that just, just by nature that that’s what I kinda got with the package. If that makes sense.
Nate: [00:38:01] Yeah. Yeah. Like don’t underestimate the experience, but I guess it’s also hard to, it’s hard to necessarily know what experience is going to be valuable to you too.
Josh: [00:38:09] And, and the last other thing I know earlier, we talked about hiring support and hiring, hiring. I talked about early hiring developers and one point I’d like to make about it. And I know we touched on it a little bit, was it really just depends on that founding makeup team. So, I mean, I was a single founder. Did a little bit of everything. I’d probably say I’m like a very much a generalist across the board. And definitely have some specialties, but there’s going to be teams and founding teams is going to be a different makeup. And, you know, if you know, if you were a product manager and you knew how to do all this stuff and you want a designer, that might be the first thing that’s like, Hey, I don’t want to spend. Hours and design, but I can drop sketches and give up concepts and write up little product stories and have someone kind of fill in all the details. So there’s definitely a lot of different ways you could have taken that, that advice of like, just finding the repeatable pieces. But, you know, the examples we gave today were mostly based off of, you know, my, my first ones.

Nate: [00:39:10] Yeah. totally. Well, this is, this has been a lot of fun. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with everyone.
Josh: [00:39:16] Cool. Thanks Nate later.
All right. We’ll see you later.