The Challenges of Scaling a Startup, and Why It’s Worth It
I have a confession to make.
I jump out of bed in the morning, excited to get to the office.
Okay, just kidding. I roll out of bed after perusing Instagram and deciding which morning Pandora station is going to set my day up right. But I think you get where I’m going with this — I love my job, and I’ll tell you why.
It’s our stellar group of employees, our putting green, and the common geekery that unites us all. That alone seems brag-worthy to friends and family. But what makes my work so addictive is this simple: I can’t wait to get to see how we’re going to change next.
Like a voracious teenager, our company just can’t seem to stop growing (and eating all of the food in the fridge while we’re at it).
One year ago, the Simply Measured office was on Capitol Hill. We had 53 employees, used a single mini-fridge to hold our Talking Rain, and had impromptu meetings by walking 20 paces to the other side of the loft we all shared. In a lot of ways, we became the chosen family you like to see every day.
This admittedly idealistic sentiment begs the question — what does family mean to us at Simply Measured? Like many family systems, it’s pretty basic:
Traditions. Trust. And sometimes, a little tough love.
We have each other’s backs. We laugh. We learn about one another and encourage personal growth. We’re comfortable, genuine, and strive to be direct with one another. When presented with challenges, we come together; when there’s something to celebrate, you couldn’t be in better company.
That’s us. That’s our Simply Family.
In the last year, we’ve grown by 72 people, moved offices, and are going through exponentially more Talking Rain. Like anything that gets rapidly bigger, there are growing pains. With bigger conversations come bigger orders of noise-canceling headphones. With higher attendance at company gatherings comes a greater urgency around streamlining systems in a way that is true to our culture.
The image I’ve just painted sounds quite challenging, but it’s very exciting. There’s more to the growing pains than systems that no longer work; there’s a newness present, too. In this newness, we’re still a family, but we’re growing into something new—we’re also becoming a community.
What does our community have? This is what I’ve seen:
Our community has agreements, disagreements, innovation, and something to rally around. We have the opportunity to dream without sounding crazy.
We’re here to hit quantifiable targets, sure, but we’ve also set a high bar for targets around what we want in our culture. Walking into Simply Measured, each person is committed to having crazy amounts of passion about their day-to-day work. And our community is driven by autonomy — this is another agreement we hold in high regard. When you feel the energy of 125 employees geeking out over their ‘thing’ and finding ways to make it happen, you can’t help but get shit done, too. It’s absolutely infectious in a way that noise-canceling headphones can’t even drown out.
As we grow, we’re going to continue building the house and the foundation at the same time. There will be inevitable growing pains. But there will also be the prevalent kicking-ass-and-taking-names energy that keeps us all, well—kicking ass and taking names.
In short, I love my job. I really do. And you’ll love your job at Simply Measured, too. By the way, we just happen to be hiring. You should check us out.
Adam is the Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Simply Measured. In 2010 (aka the dark ages of social marketing), Adam joined Damon Cortesi and Aviel Ginzburg to found "Untitled Startup, Inc" with the goal of helping marketers and analysts use social data to do their best work. The company quickly evolved to become Simply Measured and the trusted leader in social analytics. Outside of Simply Measured, Adam is a golfer, breakfast enthusiast, and long-time data geek.