Note: If you’re a phenomenal content marketer based in NYC, my team at Percolate wants to talk to you. Learn more about how we work and ping me if you’ve got any questions.

If you’re a giant consumer brand like Bud Light or Nike, you can afford to invest a ton of money in celebrity endorsements, TV spots, and brand-focused campaigns that put your newest products in front everyone, over and over again. But for many organizations, particularly ones that sell to professionals or businesses, the way to break through is through valuable content that solves problems and brings new insight. Continue reading

[well]Update: I realize this post makes it seem like moving to a new city and landing an awesome job was a walk in the park. It wasn’t. There was definitely lots of long days of networking, doing consulting work to bring in extra cash, coordinating with friends for new places to crash, and doubts about what the heck I was doing. I’m grateful to all the help I had along the way.[/well]

I moved to New York City in the second half of January as a free agent. I slept on couches, met up with dozens of people for coffee meetings, and explored a variety of opportunities within NYC tech.

After deeper conversations with a number of great companies including Meetup, Invision, and Skillshare, I ultimately decided to join the Growth Team at Percolate. I actually hadn’t heard much about Percolate before I moved to New York, but like many great opportunities, it emerged out of serendipity.

A Working Brunch

I was at a brunch co-hosted by my friend Derek of Greatist, where I met Sandeep, the cofounder of Delve News. We spent some time talking about his product, which is kind of like Reddit meets Yammer, in an email. Then we got onto the topic of my job exploration. I told Sandeep a bit about my background and interests, and he offered to introduce me to the cofounder of Percolate: Noah Brier. Continue reading

It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.

– Richard M DeVos (via 50 Impossible Quotes)

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I’ve had my hands pretty full recently and hope to get some more substantial posts out soon, but here’s a few quick updates:

  • YC Project:  I’ve been working on a cool Y Combinator related side project that’s almost done. I promise you guys will get a first crack at it when I release!
  • Ridejoy Funding: We announced some big news for Ridejoy: we raised $1.3M in seed funding from Freestyle Capital, SV Angel, Founder Collective and some other awesome people. Some coverage in AllThingsD, Techcrunch and Wall Street Journal.
  • How to woo a startup: Getting hired at a startup is tough. I know, I wrote a mega-post on it. That’s why I was super impressed with how Ridejoy’s new community manager applied (and got the gig). Learn more here.
  • Triathlon training: It’s going well. I struggled in the pool at first, and apparently gymnasts are notoriously bad at swimming, but I’m starting to figure it out. Doing a swim-bike brick tomorrow morning!

Smart, talented people care about where they work.

Good companies know this and strive to create a place where smart, talented people will feel excited about working. They know that potential employees care about things like:

  • the kinds of products they build / services they provide
  • the customers they serve
  • the tools they use
  • the people they work with
  • the compensation they receive to do this work

These are all things that companies cover in their job openings at length in an effort to sell you on applying to the firm. But one big element is missing from that list – something that plays a “crucial role in worker wellbeing and engagement” according to a 2006 Gallup study:

The role of managers and the corporation’s management style / culture.

It seems that most business skip out on the section that matters – how decisions are made, how performance will be evaluated, how the team communicates, etc. Obviously theses things are communicated implicitly – especially during the interview process, but  organizations don’t just “put it all out there”. There are notable exceptions to this rule that only showcase how rare it really is:

Unsurprisingly, these are also companies which have many, many people wanting to work there (Southwest Airlines had 90k applications for 830 hires in 2009). I believe being more open and clear about the way the organization is run is a competitive advantage. People who aren’t interested in the culture won’t waste your time – and the people who ARE interested in the culture become even more interested in working at the firm.

I understand that every manager is different – but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be approaches to management and the way things operate that are done that permeate throughout the company. We already expect to know about a company’s market, its product, and its team – why not its management style? I suspect there are a few reasons:

  • Many orgs don’t have a well-thought out culture / management process
  • Many orgs would be embarrassed to describe the culture / management process as it exists in their company today
  • Many orgs don’t see their culture / management process as a core part of their offering to employees
  • Many orgs don’t know what a good culture / management process looks like

Perhaps there are others – but none of the reasons I just listed are particularly good ones. (My not-that-inner hard-ass is yelling “No excuses!” right now.)

In today’s knowledge-based society where productivity comes from much more from creative output than from physical labor, and hiring the best performers is key – there are many good reasons to explicitly state your company’s culture and management style.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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