Don’t Lose The Hustle As You Grow

Bigcommerce #Poached Campaign in San Francisco

Limited resources can breed creativity and produce results faster because of constraint. That’s why so many startups can create such amazing products so quickly. As companies grow beyond a small team and into more mature organizations, sometimes the hustle that got you to where you are is exactly what you need to keep driving you forward.

Structure and a clear role for everyone in a fast-growth startup are foundational for departments like sales and business operations, however across departments like engineering, marketing and HR, there’s a huge amount of room for hustle, or leveraging what you’ve got to have a bigger impact than you otherwise might have.

The formula to make hustle work as your business scales is leverage + creativity = hustle. I believe that everyone should hustle in some way, shape or form to improve their contribution to the business. Here are a few recent examples that come to mind from how we do things at Bigcommerce.

Weekend hack houses

Our Sydney engineers have regular weekend hack houses where they build product features, platform improvements or internal tools that might not be on the immediate roadmap, but that they know will add value to the business.

Five or ten engineers, product managers and designers will rent a beautiful house on the ocean from Friday to Sunday and treat the time as a 72 hour hustle. Most weekends they will finish what they set out to build or will at least get an idea going so that it’s much closer to reality than it was before the weekend started.

There are no stand ups, no management (we don’t have managers in engineering anyway) and no interruptions. They just hustle to create value for clients. Our Single Click App store started out as a weekend hack house project late last year.

#Poached Recruiting Campaign

After opening our San Francisco office about a month ago, we needed to hire dozens of engineers to help scale our platform and continue innovating.

We had to hire extremely fast though, so I got together with some of our execs and internal recruiters and after the initial idea to rent all of the billboards along the 101 in San Francisco proved too expensive, we decided on our #Poached campaign, which just ended.

For 3 straight days a bunch of our guys and gals setup stalls with poached egg sandwiches and coffee at the bus stops Google and Facebook engineers use during their morning commute. When they received our breakfast goods, they of course got the chance to learn that we are hiring and that they could stay in the city for work instead of commuting for hours every day. Win, win.

Our recruiting pipeline absolutely exploded, we were picked up in various tier 1 media outlets and the #poached hash tag got huge exposure on Twitter. We backed this campaign with a contest for non-engineers to refer their engineer friends and I have no doubt our San Francisco office will be full within a few weeks. Our team hustled their butts off, with many people flying in from Sydney and Austin to lend a hand.

Tech Support LAN Party

In our Austin office where we have the bulk of our support team, we recently held a recruiting LAN party where potential tech support ninjas could come along, see our office, eat pizza, drink beer, meet everyone and just get immersed in our culture.

We wanted to fill our recruiting pipeline quickly and ended up hiring 4 people in a single night with dozens of applicants. This cost us a few thousand dollars and took a few hours to setup and promote using social media and LinkedIn. It used leverage (our office, our team) and creativity (who doesn’t like LAN parties?) to create the ultimate hustle.

These are just three examples of how we use hustle to improve the business – and we’re definitely not the only mid-sized company that hustles. Encouraging everyone to work with limited resources and to move fast while maintaining quality can have a huge impact on any business. You’ve just got to cultivate the environment and mindset that encourages people to respect the hustle.

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