Zapier was co-founded by Wade Foster, Bryan Helmig and Mike Knoop in 2011. It's a unique company in that it has raised $1.2m and continues to operate one hundred percent remotely. Zapier lets users create integrations that push data between hundreds of web applications without having to write any code or wrangle APIs.
Founding of Zapier
"When we started, I was spending a lot of time on marketing automation. I was trying to send automated emails based on certain events that were happening based on the database we had. If customer did X then we wanted to send out an email. I was trained to hack on these email APIs, but not being a developer it was tricky for me. Then on the flipside, one of my co-founders and I got to talking and he pitched me this idea where you could hook up any two APIs to do what you need to do. It resonated with me because then I wouldn’t have to hack together all of these emails. That was the original nugget and we started off by building just a couple of services: PayPal, Highrise, and Twilio. Now it supports 260 some odd services and people all over the world are automating their work."
"Delight was a really simple way for us to say that we appreciate what you do. It fit really well and it was just a really obvious thing to do."
Great Culture with a Remote Team
"We are an entirely distributed team. Culture for us is not about ping pong tables or things like that. it’s more about how we do our work. That’s how we think about culture. A lot of us have been in the workforce for a while and we have this shared vision where work doesn’t have to suck. You can work from home, you can have flexible hours, and you can still put in really good work to get things down. So a lot of us have these core beliefs anyway. So when we bring people on to the team, we make sure they jive with those things that we already believe."
"It tends to work out really well from that on the day-to-day perspective. We let people be autonomous. We also have weekly check-ins every Friday. Your standard stand up meeting sort of thing to keep people on the same page. We use a lot of tools as well. We use Campfire and a Wordpress theme called P2 to keep information flowing and everyone up-to-date. The last thing we do is two to three times a year we do a big company retreat where we go somewhere. We get everyone together for a week or so and helps us focus on longer term planning and make sure we still do the things that we want to be doing."
Why Zapier Uses Delight
"It was just one of those things where 'man, that’s awesome'. It’s kind of hard to give perks to a remote team. When I think of perks you always think of things like free lunches or massages or transportation or stuff like that. In a remote setting that doesn’t work out that well, because you can’t coordinate lunches for everyone. It would be really hard to do. Whereas with Delight it was super simple and we were just like 'hey, here you can have Music and get what you like each month'. It was a really simple way for us to say that we appreciate what you do. It fit really well and it was just a really obvious thing to do."
How Zapier Recruits
"I sell them on the fact that you get an autonomous workflow and that you can work wherever you want to be. We’ve had people that have moved since joining Zapier. There’s a lot of things that make it an attraction place to work if you can’t be tied to a specific spot for any particular reason. We tend to recruit just straight from our userbase. We put an “is hiring” bar up by the logo and that brings in tons of people that are excited about working at company like ours."
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