Why We're Taking Over the World
“[Jive is] the fastest growing hosted Voice over IP company in the universe right now.” —John Pope, CEO
“How in the world are we going to reach our employment goal by 2015 if we don’t hire so many people a month?” —Theo Zourzouvillys, CTO
Yeah, those are pretty big statements. These guys are serious, though. Since I got here a month ago, thirteen people have joined Jive’s development team. According to Mike Sharp, COO, “we’re more than doubling year on year.” Those are not common numbers. It therefore follows that Jive must be doing something uncommon.
So what is this uncommon factor? In the wake of the Great Recession, what is Jive doing that’s allowing—or causing—such explosive growth? Well, a couple things about its culture might give us a clue.
First off, Jive recruits the right people. As cliché as that may sound, Jive is choosy in selecting employees, and it pays off. We expect fifty hours a week and dedication from our developers; we don’t hire people who are just looking for a 9-5 job and a paycheck. As Theo Zourzouvillys, CTO, explains, Jive recruits “people who are going to be highly motivated by complicated, challenging tasks.” Enthusiasm and passion are the standard.
For excited people, Jive finds exciting tasks. When I talked to different developers about why they liked working at Jive, their answers all had a common denominator: Jive pushes them to do awesome things and work on problems no one else has has solved—sometimes problems that they’re not even sure can be solved. Fun, right? Jive’s developers think so. It’s one of the reasons they want to work 50 hours a week.
And they don’t work those 50 hours in isolation, either. Jive believes in pair programming, collaboration, friendship—all of the above. Zach Morin, one of the software engineers, said, “I like working in a place where I get to work with really smart but really nice people.” He added that because of the people he works with, he gets to become smarter too. Which, when you think about it, is quite an opportunity. Jive isn’t about exclusiveness or cliques; it’s about getting things done the best possible way, and that requires everyone’s best ideas coming together.
Despite all the work that needs to get done at Jive, we also believe in rest, recuperation, and play. Having a good work-life balance is something Jive feels strongly about; without having balanced employees, a company will not remain sustainable in the long term. So use the weekend for family and friend time, or go to Vegas, or watch football . . . you get the idea. Being a workaholic = no good in our book.
So Jive’s got some good reasons for why it draws fantastic employees, and a lot of them. Of course, the business end of Jive is growing rapidly too, which is why we need so many more people to build and maintain it.
Big stuff, all this. As people at Jive enjoy saying, “We’re taking over the world.” It’s the goal, we’re well on the way, and we’re looking for awesome people to join us and help make it happen.