HIGHLINE portfolio company Ecquire moves data to and from your CRM without leaving your workflow. It’s a powerful contact management system you can use from Gmail and your social networks, and allows you to see contact profiles, avoid duplicates, improve your CRM data, and log emails, without opening new tabs.
Ecquire, which was co-founded by Paul DeJoe and Tal Raviv in 2008, participated in the GrowLab accelerator (now HIGHLINE) in Vancouver in Fall 2011. Today, they run the team remotely, and have managed to build the values of a nomadic lifestyle into their culture. Business Insider wrote a feature piece on Ecquire last year titled How One Startup CEO Leads A Radically Remote Workforce; it’s an interesting approach to running a business, so we asked Paul more about in the following Q&A.
Q&A With Paul DeJoe, CEO of Ecquire
The Ecquire team works remotely — what are some of your best team communication, project management, and productivity tips?
We get a lot of questions about running a remote team but it’s about the caliber of people on the team. Great people make the remote management look easy. If you have a very clear product roadmap that can be broken down into distinct items to complete, then the team can see exactly what needs to be completed at any time.
How do you motivate a remote team?
We don’t consciously motivate or need to motivate people. We can provide the ultimate freedom and life balance. Our culture is to allow the team to live in the place that they want to live with the schedule they want to have. Once those things are in place, the quality of the work shows. When the work feels more like a hobby than work, it’s an environment that doesn’t need artificial motivation or material rewards.
Running a startup comes with ups and downs. How do you bounce back in tough times?
My schedule is a big help. Going to sleep early and waking up early to get the hardest things done first helps to always keep things moving forward and give a sense of accomplishment. When those things are finished early in the morning, you can be creative the rest of the day, so even when things are the worst, you’re still able to think about creative solutions most of each day, which is the fun part.
What other founders inspire you?
Matt Mickiewicz (Co-Founder of SitePoint, Flippa, and 99designs) and David Barrett (Founder and CEO of Expensify). Matt and David are reminders that excellent people are always excellent. I have no idea how they find the time to be our most active and proactive advisors managing their own successful companies themselves, but they do.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?