Thursday, March 10, 2005

work is crazy and i'm liking it

with the exception of yesterday, i've been staying quite late at work. there's just so much to do! i've got tons of stuff to ramp up on, we're actively developing new stuff and i'm trying to get to know everyone as soon as possible. between all that, i've been putting in 10-12 hour days - not counting the time i spend checking e-mails before i head to work and when i work remote after i get home. hey, working at a high-intensity start-up isn't for everyone - but it sure fits me just fine :)

why am i so jazzed? first off, everything in the system at plaxo is subject to change. if something's not working, we'll see how we can fix it; if things are working well, we'll try to make it work better. none of this "if it ain't broke don't fix it" crap. think we're crazy? go see what's made toyota a leader in the global auto industry. in a recent interview with fortune magazine, toyota's ceo likened the growth of the company to pushing a cart uphill - he felt that if the company stopped for even a moment, the cart would come flying back down the hill, taking them along with it.

secondly, at plaxo, everyone is in it together. i'm not the only one who's got the drive and motivation to stay late and get stuff done. at microsoft, forget about it. most people pretty much do 9 to 5 nowadays, unless there is a major deadline coming soon. at google, a few people would stay late, but the "campus feel" of pulling late nights and getting stuff done was missing. during the two short weeks i was at google, i'd leave around 8 or 9 and i'd see maybe a few people on my way out. sure, there were a few diehards at the googolplex, but i got the feeling that most people were just staying for the free dinner and checking out.

lastly, we're actually listening to customers and using feedback and metrics to enhance their experiences. we don't hail from a grand vision at the top and plan out features that won't get shipped until 2008. we take real customer feedback and implement it into the system as soon as we can get the bits out the door. we try different things and empirically figure out what works and what doesn't. it's almost like a large scale science experiment, where the outcome is a better product and happy users.

for those who are wondering what's in the works, check out this article on SFGate. for those too lazy to click through, here are the interesting parts:
... "Ten years ago, people were afraid of buying anything on the Internet," said Golub, who knows a thing or two about Internet security from his days at VeriSign. "Largely, Plaxo has a perception problem. Plaxo is far safer than most of what is done online."

So, how you gonna make money? "We've started to introduce ways to make money," said Golub, who added the firm has plenty of seed money left but wouldn't specify how much. "We're creating premium services. Cell-phone synching. Address book optimizers that eliminate all duplicates in your system. And premium support. But there will always be a free service."
anyways, needless to say, some people's wishes will be answered soon. for those who had other requests, give us some time, we're getting to it as fast as we can :)


Blogger Pete'y said...

Hey mark.
Good to hear that all is going well at plaxo. How many people are in the organization? Ive been spending alot of time lately looking into online businesses and branding, thanks for subtle advice.

If you guys need any strategic marketing advice, i'm happy to lend an ear. i'm both experienced and qualified as a strategic marketer1


3/12/2005 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger EuroCANUCK said...


Great to hear that you are at Plaxo.
Out of curiosity what has Plaxo said about you keeping a BLOG and writing about your 'work experiences'?


3/14/2005 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is mark now a plaxoogler??

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