Jordan Kretchmer is founder and CEO of Livefyre, a Social Content Management System that allows brands to integrate real-time social content.
Transparency is the most important quality a leader of a growing startup can have. Transparency breeds trust which is vital for employee retention and for motivating new employees to be as productive as people who have been at the company since the beginning. It’s a broad topic, and I do everything I can to deliver transparency to the organization on a daily basis. I expect the same in return from my executive team and every employee at the company. The ability to admit when you yourself could have done better, and to be able to do that very publicly, is a key indicator of how honest you are with your employees. Today in our International all-hands meeting I admitted to the entire team that I’ve messed up by not communicating our product objectives clearly enough, and that as a result I caused undo confusion that hurt not just the company as a whole, but individuals.
I decided that as a company, we were ready to start making strategic acquisitions in order to accelerate product innovation and hiring. We acquired Storify about 6 weeks ago, and will be making other strategic acquisitions in the coming months.
Unlike most young startups these days, Livefyre is a tried-and-true (read *old-school*) Enterprise Sales business that just happens to build insanely innovative products. That means that good old fashioned lead gen marketing is the fuel that grows our business. The single most effective marketing tactic I’ve employed to date was hiring one of the best lead-gen marketers I’ve ever met to run marketing and ramp our pipeline, and hiring the most aggressive and pro-active sales leader I’ve ever met to build a killer team to turn those leads into revenue.
I hired an architect to build out our current office. We were arguing about the color of the chairs we should buy. I wanted red-orange (the color of our logo), he wanted dark grey. He said to me “Don’t buy chairs that overshadow the people, the people bring the color, you just set the stage.” He won the argument because I realized that what he said applies to how I built Livefyre’s culture from the very beginning. I don’t tell people what the culture is and I never will. ...