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The absence of a manager, or the structure of forced “360” reviews in a large company, means that for some growing businesses, those moments of reflection on performance and work experience are infrequent—and potentially not happening at all.

Happy Monday! I found some great self-reflection tips for Monday mornings that can help re-focus and boost productivity. I spend a few minutes every Monday doing this (usually while biking to the gym) to make sure I feel like I’m hitting the week strong.

http://www.inc.com/laura-garnett/5-questions-you-should-ask-yourself-every-monday-morning.html

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This begins by leveraging popularity with employees to kick-start the conversation, but it ends with a solid case for software consolidation and expansion, and enterprise-friendly features including usage visibility, administrative control, and multi-user pricing options.

At Klink we’re following a similar game plan: create amazing end-user experiences that can spread across employees in an organization, built on top of an enterprise-grade security and administration platform.

http://venturebeat.com/2014/09/28/how-best-of-breed-apps-can-topple-the-enterprise-monopoly/

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Only 17% of consumers are satisfied using phone self-service systems to make a purchase and only 22% are satisfied when calling to get service. Such low satisfaction rates present a big opportunity to improve the customer experience, call center efficiency, and overall sales rates.

http://www.invoca.com/blog/9-tips-optimize-caller-experience-increase-sales

Great post from our friends at Invoca. We’re excited for Klink to compliment them in the space by bringing unique insights and data to the calls you have on your mobile and desk phones.

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It’s tempting to take the quick wins early on. But there’s nothing sweeter than winning that first true, unaffiliated deal. It took us 15 months. Yes, 15 months. The rigor and measurement they put us through made us go back to the drawing board again and again, but because of that, our technology works better, and each deal after that was easier to win.

Excellent article by the CEO of LatticeEngines about the importance of finding early customers outside of the Valley, helping to validate your product using more “real world” users (i.e. not early adopters).

http://venturebeat.com/2014/09/28/why-its-critical-to-find-early-customers-outside-of-silicon-valley/

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In some respects, it’s a little like taking the red pill and getting ejected from the Matrix. Everything you do in a startup makes a difference. No longer are you surrounded by a safety blanket world where you’re a small cog in a large machine.

“5 Reasons You Should Work At A Startup At Least Once” via TechCrunch.

I don’t see working at an early-stage technology company as “better” than working at a big company, but it is definitely very different.

One of my favorite parts (besides working so close to the product) is being able to shape the culture at a very fundamental level. Early in Klink’s life I ran a Team Values workshop to create our ten “Leadership Principles”. It was wonderful (and scary) to create our values from scratch.

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High performers hold themselves and others accountable not only for results but the methods to achieve those results. The end does not necessarily justify the means with these people.