The Secret to Startup Success: In-Jenn-uity
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People often ask how TeamSnap grew from a tiny startup to become the world’s number-one team management application. Has it been our relentless focus on usability? Our commitment to superb customer support? Our fun and playful personality?
None of the above. We’ve actually got a proprietary secret to our business success that we’re publicly revealing today for the very first time:
Hire. More. Jennifers.
It’s that simple. Hire more Jennifers. While many companies have one, two or even three Jennifers on staff, TeamSnap has gone the extra mile by having no fewer than than six Jennifers in our company. That’s nearly 20% of our entire 32-person team.
As any MBA could tell you, this creates some amazing efficiencies that let us get our work done faster and serve our customers better. For example, when deciding who should take on a task, we don’t have to expend unnecessary brainpower trying to make a decision. Just saying “Jenn’s got it” is going to be right a shocking percentage of the time. And every morning when logging into our company chat room, one simply needs to type “Good morning, Jenn” to cover a wide swath of the company. Multiply this by 30+ employees and the time savings are immense.
Our Jennifers are smart, savvy and driven. They work in marketing and customer support and recruiting. Some of our best Jennifers were hired by Jennifer to work for Jennifer.
But before every Silicon Valley startup rushes to duplicate our success, we should add a cautionary note: staffing up with Jennifers is not without its challenges. Less than ½ of 1% of the American workforce is actually named Jennifer, meaning competition for top-performing Jennifers is fierce. And we’ve had to go to great lengths to make sure that each of our Jennifers can be individually identified when we need to talk to the right person.
Specifically, we have Jenn, Jen, Jennifer, Jennie, Jenny and JP.
Our crack emergency-response Jennifer-Nicknaming Team springs into action every time we add a new Jennifer (approximately weekly) to come up with a completely disambiguated name. They have assured us that they have nicknames standing by for the next generation of Jennifers.
Do we think 20% Jennifers is excessive? On the contrary. We’re doubling-down on our commitment to a Jennifer-focused workplace, not only looking to add more Jennifers but also remaining open to pivoting into Gennifers, Jennas or even Jennettes. Such is life at an agile startup.
We’re happy to share our secret to a winning company. Hire more Jennifers. At over 5 million customers and growing, it’s been our special formula for business success.
But just in case, we also recently hired our third designer named Matt.