Over five years ago I had an experience that started a long, slow chain of events that led me to start my own company, Tettra. Every entrepreneur has a similar story, and it informs why and how they attack the problem they want to see solved in the world. Here’s our story.
My first job out of college was an internship at HubSpot, a fast growing software startup in Cambridge, MA. HubSpot builds marketing software for small businesses and I was a design intern responsible for whatever small projects were thrown my way.
As I used the HubSpot product more and more, I kept finding little inconsistencies across the product. The dev team moved really fast on their own projects, so these types of inconsistencies were a common byproduct.
Over time, I started taking screenshots of these issues and catalogued them privately. One day I showed all my findings to my manager and he told me, “Why don’t you post that on the wiki?”
At HubSpot, “The Wiki” was and still is the backbone of collaboration and knowledge across the company. It’s full of epic discussions, important debates, and critical company protocols.
Reluctantly, I agreed and nervously published my post detailing these issues. Expecting the worst, I prepared for a onslaught of negative feedback.
To my surprise, within minutes of my post going out, the founder of the company, Dharmesh Shah liked my post and thanked me for putting it together. People across the company started commenting and including inconsistencies they found themselves. Eventually we formed a team to start attacking these issues.
I was flabbergasted.
Here I was, a 22 year old intern fresh out of college getting kudos from the founder of the company and being a catalyst for an entire initiative.
Could an experience like that happen at any company in the world? Could it happen at your company?
At HubSpot, every employee is empowered to contribute to the businesses. Information that most companies would consider “confidential” was openly shared and discussed.
But so many companies today still don’t operate in this way. Information is hoarded, teams are in silos, and employees feel like they’re unable to make a meaningful impact.
The disconnect is exacerbated by the fact that when we’re at home, we have instant access to information and to one another. Anyone can find answers, connect with people, and share their ideas in seconds.
Once we get to work, these same tasks are frustrating, complex, or even impossible. We can’t find answers quickly and we have barriers between us and our teammates. This creates a culture of secrecy and distrust. Teams are unable to reach their full potential. No amount of free snacks or swanky office space can fix that.
At Tettra we believe people should stop searching for how to do our jobs and instead start maximizing their ability to do them well.
Our mission is to help companies empower their employees to do their best work.
I know it’s a lofty goal and we have a long way to go, but I believe that this is a noble mission worth pursuing. There’s lot’s of ways to attack this as a business, but we think setting up a company wiki is a great place to start.