4-person startup looking for performance-based internet marketing 5th

David Barrett —  September 18, 2009 — 1 Comment

Another update: As of 2009/10/26, we’ve got more than enough applications to make a decision and aren’t accepting any more.  Thanks for your interest, and good luck in your search!

Update!: We’ve re-posted this with a greater focus on data-driven, performance-based marketing. If you didn’t apply before, now’s your chance!
Also: Our preference is to hire full time, but we’re open to hiring a contractor to this role: if you’re interested but would prefer a contract, let us know!

A bit about us:
We’re a 4-person startup working like mad to disrupt a multi-billion dollar financial industry from the bottom up. The company is named Expensify, and we do “expense reports that don’t suck.” We do that by importing your expenses *and your receipts* straight from your credit card, submitting PDF expense reports by email, and by reimbursing entirely online — now with QuickBooks support. Basically, we’re the expense report system you always wish existed.

That might or might not sound exciting to you, and that’s okay. Most of the *really* exciting things can’t be shared openly. But needless to say, it’s a real problem that affects millions of people — people who spend a lot of money — and there are already billion dollar companies who focus on this problem alone.

We have users, investors, partners, awards, and a crapload of good technology (not the least of which is an iPhone application, with BlackBerry, Palm, and Android on the way). We pay pretty decent salaries, are very generous with equity, and provide solid benefits.

We’re really happy where the product is at overall, but we also realize our limits: we don’t have the DNA to blow out this product in a huge way. So we need more new DNA in the team. Which is why we’re talking to you.

A bit about you:
The most important thing is that you are awesome. You work incredibly hard on a huge diversity of tasks. You can do pretty much anything you set your mind to, often better than people who have spent their whole lives doing it. You have more ideas than you’ll be able to accomplish in a lifetime. Does this sound familiar? If it doesn’t that’s fine. But it means I’m probably not talking to you.

Next, you’re cool to be with. We work really hard, sometimes from really distant locations. (Every year we go overseas to work from a remote beach: we just got back from Istanbul, but previous years — in a previous startup — we’ve gone to Thailand, Mexico, and India.) You’ve got to be extremely passionate about your work, but also respectful that sometimes things don’t go your way, and that that’s okay: everyone will return the favor, so in the long run, if you’re right more than you’re wrong, you’ll end up getting your way regardless.

(Incidentally, we work 3 days a week together — M/W/F; the rest your on your own. We don’t currently have an office, we’ve been doing the coffeeshop thing for the past year, but we’re considering getting a space downtown SF now that the team is growing)

If all those are taken care of, then ideally you would also be a whiz at performance-based internet marketing. You’ll never, ever be pigeonholed, and you’ll be involved across the board in decisions big and small. But we are specifically looking for someone to pick up and run with the following responsibilities:

– Write a bunch of SEO-optimized copy for the site
– Rebrand the entire site and product with a professional style
– Establish a multi-tier pricing plan
– Do a short, intense SEM burst to gather data
– Calculate the cost to acquire customers for each tier
– Re-optimize everything (site, pricing, keywords, etc)
– Repeat this process endlessly
– When we’re confident with SEM, add lead gen
– When we’re confident with lead gen, try affiliate
– Keep adding new channels

This is a very experienced, performance-based, number-crunching and ROI-focused role to manage a comprehensive marketing campaign for Expensify. You have a history of successfully establishing low-cost methods of acquiring customers using the full range of internet tools: SEO, SEM, lead generation, affiliate marketing, etc. All the resources of Expensify at your disposal, as well as full authority to go out and hire outside specialists as needed, but ultimately this role is about actively executing rather than delegating.

Next steps:
We’ve got a process worked out. It involves you answering a bunch of the standard interview questions up front, in your first email to us. This saves everyone time (if you’re willing to spend hours with us interviewing on the phone or in person, why not spend half that time in email?), lets us talk with more candidates than we could feasibly do otherwise, and we find the best candidates actually enjoy the process. If you don’t enjoy it or don’t have time for it, it’s probably a sign that this job isn’t right for you and that’s great! We’ve saved you the time applying, and us the time turning you down! For everyone else, here are the questions without further ado:

1) What’s your story, in a nutshell? What have you been up to with your life, and ultimately, what do you want to do?

2) What about the above job post most appealed to you? Why do you want to work with Expensify?

3) What about the above job post causes you concern? There’s got to be at least one thing about it that rubbed you wrong. What was is it?

4) We’re currently thinking something along these lines; what are your thoughts?
a. Write a bunch of SEO-optimized copy for the site
b. Rebrand the entire site and product with a professional style
c. Establish a multi-tier pricing plan
d. Do a short, intense SEM burst to gather data
e. Calculate the cost to acquire customers for each tier
f. Re-optimize everything (site, pricing, keywords, etc)
g. Repeat d-f endlessly
h. When we’re confident with SEM, add lead gen
i. When we’re confident with lead gen, try affiliate
j. Keep adding new channels

5) Which of the tasks in (4) can you (or would you) do yourself, without any outside help whatsoever, and which would you delegate to contractors?

6) For those tasks that you’d delegate to contractors, do you have specific people or firms in mind, ideally with who you’ve worked in the past? (Don’t exaggerate here: if you come interview I’ll ask for specific names so I can follow up with them, as in effect your success depends on their success.)

7) What kind of budget would you need to succeed in your role (both for the ads themselves as well as for contractors), and how do you measure success?

8) Do you think this role is scoped correctly to make the best possible use of your skills? Which of these tasks do you think you shouldn’t do; which aren’t listed that you should?

9) If you were hiring for this role, what questions would you ask (that I’m not asking) to separate out the good from the great?

10) And most importantly: how did you file your last expense report, and did it suck?

Please send your answers to dbarrett@expensify.com whenever convenient, along with a resume (if you have it, but don’t fret if you don’t). I guarantee I’ll reply to you if you actually fill out the questions. Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Founder, CEO of Expensify
You should follow us at http://twitter.com/expensify

David Barrett


Founder of Expensify, destroyer of expense reports, and savior to frustrated employees worldwide.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. 4-person startup looking for 5th (ideally a product marketing whiz) « Expensify Blog - October 6, 2009

    […] a comment » Update: This post has been superseded by a newer, better job post here.  Basically, we realized this post was way too general and brand oriented — we’re […]

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s