IBJOpinion

Employees drive company success

July 24, 2010
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Letters To The Editor

Mickey Maurer’s [July 12] column on choosing the right people is so “right on.”

When Dr. Don Brown and I co-founded Interactive Intelligence in 1994, our mantra was to hire the “best and brightest,” but we also wanted people who were compatible with our style and mission (and personality): to change the world in business communications, with an entrepreneurial spirit who believed in our mission. Our internal mission statement was “To do great things, and have a lot of fun.”

Our first hires were Ph.D.s and master’s in computer science. Our first 20 team members worked about 50-60 hours per week, willingly. Our company paid for dinner if you were there at 7 p.m. These developers ate way too many pizzas.

Everyone had stock options, and were “owners” of the company. At our initial public offering in September 1999, we had 27 millionaires on paper. We also gave everyone private offices as knowledge workers, and no cubicles, like other high-tech companies. We offered loads of benefits, including foosball tables, a masseuse, and a sleeping or nap room, among many other things.

Of the initial 20 hires, only one did not work out in the long term. Most of our original team members are still with the company today—16 years later. I said years ago that, “The world has gotten down to bits and bytes, and 1s and 0s, but it still really comes down to people.”

I must admit that after 50-60 hires, it was tough to maintain the very best and brightest, as we needed people in a rapid growth mode. Interactive Intelligence now has about 650 team members worldwide. Even though Interactive Intelligence provides a great place to work (annually ranked in the top 10), it has been choosing the right people who have made Interactive Intelligence the success it is today. And yes, Mickey, this was something I did not learn in business school.

__________

John R. Gibbs
Co-founder, retired
Interactive Intelligence

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT