Mon, 16 April 2018
Behind The Scenes At Freshbooks: “Blind Dates” With Coworkers, Creating A Secret Competitor, Being The Longest Living Cocktail Party, And Much More
Mike McDerment is the founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, it was built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice. McDerment spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, now with around 300 employees, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars.
McDerment mentioned that an employee at Freshbooks told him that the culture of the company feels like summer camp and that is something McDerment is thrilled about. Why?
When a child comes home from summer camp, they are mentally and emotionally fit. They have been challenging themselves all week – both physically and mentally. This produces a very high level of self-esteem and excitement. This is what they want employees at Freshbooks to experience each day. They believe it will lead to a sense of personal growth and self-esteem.
The culture of Freshbooks works to be like the ‘longest living cocktail party on earth.’ Why?
Generally, when you go to a cocktail party you have been invited by someone you like. There you will find some people you know and others you don’t. This environment creates a feeling safety and of being welcome.
One of the ways they have worked to create this culture is to set up people on professional blind dates – in groups of 3 or 4. They ask employees if they would like to participate and then they match up employees who normally would not connect with on another on a day to day basis. This is one way to help the company feel smaller no matter how much they grow in size.
One piece of advice McDerment gives to larger organizations is to focus on reinforcing the behaviors you want perpetuated. Make sure to celebrate those things.
What you will learn in this episode: