Howdy! Just wanted to check in and share some updates from Expensify:
1) Expensify crosses 35,000 global customers
Did you know that Expensify now has more customers than Concur? Continue Reading…
Nobody likes to talk about firing. It’s not something to celebrate: if you need to fire someone it means you screwed up. Either you hired the wrong person, or — more common — you hired the right person, but failed to enable their success. Either way, the blame falls on the company (not the individual), so it’s no surprise that companies tend to avoid talking about their failures.
But despite that discomfort, firing is an important topic because in the long run, careful application of firing is actually more important than hiring. To understand why, consider this simple chart:
There’s an old adage in Silicon Valley:
A people hire other A people, while B people hire C people.
Said another way, great people want to work with other great people, but not-so-great people prefer to work with people worse than themselves. This is because great people love to be challenged by their peers, while not-so-great people prefer not to be challenged at all.
It’s easy to agree with the above in theory. But building a company that adheres to this in practice is very, very hard. So hard that extremely few companies actually do it, despite the best of intentions along the way. You can tell if your company is doing it by seeing if it’s followed this path: Continue Reading…
Compensation is really, really hard to get right. Very little directly-comparable data exists to make a truly objective decision, and what data is available, is easily sliced in such a fashion to support whatever conclusion you want to draw. This intersection of “high importance” and “high ambiguity” makes the whole topic stressful, where even if you feel great about your personal compensation, you can’t help but be suspicious that others are being paid more for doing less. This stress and suspicion erodes the trust necessary to maintain an open and collaborative environment: you can’t pull your oar the hardest if you’re looking back over your shoulder.
There are a variety of ways to solve (or at least manage) this problem. The most common of those is to create a series of formal titles, and then create “compensation bands” around each, where every role has a range of possible salaries and equity grants. Then when you are hired, whoever is hiring you assigns you to one of those — and then picks a place in that band for you. Continue Reading…
One of the greatest perks of working at Expensify is that you are surrounded by passionate, mature people naturally motivated to do the right thing. This works because we hire people who have three key characteristics:
All three matter in different ways, but the third is particularly relevant here because it’s what ensures everybody has an appreciation for the limits of their knowledge — which translates into a low-drama, super collaborative environment.
Now, when people hear “collaborative environment”, they typically think about the various off-the-shelf management techniques, like Scrum, Agile, Holacracy, or whatever the pop-business gurus are selling these days. We don’t use any of those. Rather, we try to live by two main principles: Continue Reading…