August 2018: What We’re Reading

By The Center Team on August 31, 2018

News and insights to keep you up to date and on track—scaling while bootstrapping, radical transparency, challenging best practices, and more.

We’re here to help you make your business spending more strategic, intelligent, and connected. Stay up to date and on track with recent insights from business strategy experts and fintech thought leaders.

Lessons Learned from Scaling a Team
Des Traynor for Inside Intercom | @InsideIntercom

Growing companies can get off track quickly when the team is not aligned around the what, why, and how, or when organizational structure is not defined clearly enough. Des Traynor shares a wealth of insights and practical tips from his seven years scaling the Intercomteam.

“The challenge for us all is that as our ideas flourish and our ambitions scale, we get further from the thing we’re actually good at. The thing that made us excited enough to start this thing in the first place.”

Why This CEO Makes Everything She Does Transparent to All Employees
Stephanie Vozza for Fast Company | @FastCompany

After a traumatic experience with an employer who kept the team in the dark about company finances, the CEO of Fronthas created a culture of radical transparency—including making her calendar public—to increase productivity, ensure accountability, and build trust.

“Most companies tell all the good stuff but not challenges. That creates a lose/lose situation.”

‘The Beginning of a Wave’: Technology Tiptoes Into the Workplace
Steve Lohr for The New York Times | @nytimes

Companies are increasingly exploring the use of artificial intelligence to automate back-office tasks. Here’s a look at some of the most common applications, and the impact on workers.

“So far, often in pilot projects focused on menial tasks, artificial intelligence is freeing workers from drudgery far more often than it is eliminating jobs.”

WeWork Takes the Green Workplace to a New Level
Jena McGregor for Washington Post | @washingtonpost

WeWork is taking a bold stance on values—and reducing its carbon footprint—with a new no-meat policy that shapes everything from company menus to travel and expense rules.

“It’s a sign of the way things are moving, as employees today expect employers to have a social and environmental conscience.”

Scaling While Bootstrapping: How LucidChart Reached 10 Million Users on a Shoestring Budget
Kyle Poyar for Openview | @OpenViewVenture

LucidChartlanded a sizable round of funding that it didn’t need to spend because of its well-established lean operating principles. COO Dave Grow shares how relentless focus,  a strategy of building on successes, and smart data investments have helped the company spend efficiently while growing rapidly.

“We’ve always been a product-first company. It’s in our DNA. If we had the means to support additional investment, it usually came in the form of another engineer who could help accelerate our product vision.”

Why You Should Blow Up Your Best Practices
David McCann for CFO | @CFO

Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach’s book Detonate challenges business leaders to shake up conventional thought patterns, including the relationship between costs and revenue.

“By thinking about what behavior needs to happen to cause revenue, you then naturally have to think about what your business needs to spend to cause that behavior…Sometimes this might look like it might have in the past. Many times it won’t.”