One of the funny things about growing a startup team is that the old adage “many hands make light work” does not hold true. Instead, ambitious companies just scale up the amount they take on to maintain a consistent level of task overflow. I’ve learned this as we’ve more than doubled our team since the start of the year—today I’m happy to welcome three wonderful additions to the family.
Welcome, Macey Baker
It’s equal parts fantastic and terrifying how much I now depend on Macey! One of the best ways to describe the job of a CEO is that they do everything else. Their role is the least defined in any company. In a startup, “everything else” includes a broad range of extraordinarily important jobs like reviewing contracts, paying invoices on time, resolving customer billing issues, etc. Some say it’s controversial to consider hiring help for these tasks even after Series A. But I would very strongly suggest that every seed stage CEO find a great executive assistant to help them stay focused on the key, strategic jobs that only they can do and make sure that everything else doesn’t get ignored and half-assed.
Macey is a prime example of how amazingly well this can work out. Incredibly thorough and smart, she’s shown me how shit I really am at the jobs she now owns. Here’s a few fun facts about her:
- She’s worked on the execution and the analyses for two major federally funded studies at UCSF.
- She’s trained in inducing psychological stress, as per the TRIER social stress test. (!)
- She’s a licensed ham radio operator and amateur homebrewer.
Welcome, Jeff Gardner
A brand is not what it says it is, it’s what everyone else says it is. Their opinion is formed by every contact with the company, direct or otherwise. There are few more incredibly direct forms of contact with the potential to make or break the image of a brand than than when a customer needs help. And since support is one of the major sets of jobs people use Intercom for, we better be damn good at it ourselves. Only a very skilled type of person can provide awesome support to the broad range of human beings that will make up your potential or current customer base. Jeff is very unique. He displays incredible patience and empathy with even the most confused user. And he does this while exercising a deep Ruby knowledge to solve our customers’ problems that more often than not are caused by us. Some cool facts about Jeff:
- He’s an American living in a tiny town by the Alps in Italy.
- He’s Climbed El Capitan in Yosemite 6 times by 6 different routes.
Welcome, Frantisek Kusovsky
Our most difficult hire so far was most certainly that of Lead Visual Designer. Mostly because I’ve always filled that role and all design inherently involves an amount of art: finding the solutions that feel “right” but can’t be objectively described as correct. What that means is that while there are a lot of great designers out there, there are only a few who produce work that I actually like. Add this difficulty to the fact that apparently the tech industry just realised that “design is important” which has created a massive spike in demand, which Facebook has compounded by deciding to (acqui-)hire half of Dribbble (while the other half work on weather UIs).
Four months ago we published an ad for the position which led to me reviewing at least 250 portfolios and meeting 10 awesome designers. Having more than passed the talent check, Frantisek, from the Czech Republic, known to the gang as Frank, stood out for his unique blend of enthusiasm and humility – ask most great designers and they’ll let you know that they’re kind of a big deal. Frank’s work is blowing Des and I away. We can’t wait to get it live. Here’s some fun facts about him:
- He’s obsessed with mountain bikes. He’s had around 10, mostly downhill bikes, each worth “more than a pimped out car”. And he’s never broken a single bone so far, which I’m told is surprising.
- He has traversed all mountain passes in the Alps, up and down, without a GPS.
- His grandfather was a stamp maker and worked with his brother on some very famous Czech stamp designs.
We’re currently looking for a talented engineer based in the US, ideally in San Francisco, to join our awesome engineering team. At least 50% of your job would be supporting US customers during install. Eventually you’d graduate to full-time product development. If you’re interested, contact ciaran AT intercom DOT io.