I’m Andrew and I joined the GoSquared team this week. I’m responsible for finding more customers and ensuring those customers have an incredible experience with the product and our content. Previously, I spent six months building my own startup with the Entrepreneur First programme. In this post, I want to share my first impressions of the GoSquared team.
How I ended up joining GoSquared is a story in itself and I’m going to begin with that process. New jobs are usually pretty momentous occasions —with startups often for the company as much as the employee. In evaluating where I wanted to work, I took a lot of inspiration from Marc Andreessen’s excellent series of three blog posts on career planning (available in the archive here). A good subtitle for this series would be thinking fast and slow about what to do with your life.
In true investor style, Andreessen advocates that you should view your career like an investment portfolio and carefully spread risk and opportunity to maximise impact. The advice gave me a solid foundation for evaluating the environment, company and role (or lack thereof!) I was looking for and I highly recommend anyone serious about a career in technology spends time reading the posts.
Andreessen is sensibly bullish about prioritising learning a lot in the shortest time possible and equally at a company where you can have the greatest impact. Startups almost certainly deliver the richest potential for both those measures and after several conversations with the team, I felt particularly at GoSquared. Andreessen suggests ambitious people should pick an industry where the founders of that industry are still actively involved. If you look at analytics, the space is certainly in its infancy in terms of realising the value that action-orientated products—like GoSquared— can deliver to digital services.
The interview experience sent some clear signals that GoSquared were creating a pretty exciting environment to work. Startups have to be careful with interviewing. You’ll be evaluating culture fit based on the questions asked and what kind of attitude the interviewer brings to the table. With GoSquared, I was given open ended questions and lots of time to talk about my strengths on my terms. A company that doesn’t treat interviews as a dialogue probably isn’t offering a dynamic opportunity. Over lunch with the team, it was pretty clear everyone was genuinely interested in my opinions and wanted to spend time engaging with me. If that doesn’t happen at the interview stage, I’d have serious reservations if it ever will.
My first week has been a fantastic introduction to life at GoSquared. I’ve highlighted some key values below that stood out straightaway:
Before joining, I had already used the product extensively. For a startup, the team invests heavily in design and making GoSquared standout as a simple and elegant solution for analytics. Not only in product but across the team, everyone takes a lot of pride in what they do and the experience users have.
Focus on your feet
The team are incredibly focused on the task at hand. Everyday at 12:45 we stop working for a standup. A standup (from agile development) lets each team member share what they’ve done, what they will do and to flag bottlenecks. It’s a simple process that costs fifteen minutes but provides powerful focus, motivation and ensures the whole company is on the same page. Company standups ensures that individually and collectively, the team maximises productivity.
The team take personal productivity seriously and I’ve been impressed by the autonomy I’ve been given. Having been my own boss for six months, I was concerned the transition to “employee” was going to be like bathing with buckets of ice. At GoSquared, the team are actively encouraging me to take complete ownership over a lot of areas. The respect amongst the team is really positive. What stands out is that everyone respects how each individual’s role delivers value to the business.
Punch above your weight
There’s a strong sense that everyone is moving forward to build something greater than the sum of its parts. The team are all young —in fact I was pretty excited about having a boss who was barely older than me— and they take always improving the service pretty seriously. While it manifests itself in various ways, a strong sense of purpose permeates everyone’s work.
In the future, I look forward to sharing more thoughts about GoSquared as we grow.