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Outside The Valley
Jovian Gautama at Arc
Where startup leaders get real about what it's really like to build remote teams.
5 days ago
Chris Ruder (Spikeball): Shaping Up Your Company's Culture and Values
In this episode, we talked about how shaping up company culture and values, the “a-ha” moment when Chris realized that an office is not really required to get things done, how Chris deliberately works on processes and culture within the company, and his advice for companies starting out with remote work.
9 Jun 2020
Recruiting and Remote Work in a Post-COVID World
This week’s episode is a replay of our recent webinar Recruiting and Remote Work in a Post-COVID World. We invited remote work thought leaders to talk about how the recruiting landscape will shift in the “post-COVID” world, how remote work will play a huge role in employer branding, building the infrastructure for your remote team, and more.
27 May 2020
Jennifer Aldrich (InVision) - Why Remote Work is More Than a Job Perk
In this episode, we talked about how InVision’s culture has adapted to their rapid growth, how their “design-first principle” has impacted their culture, the difference between a community and an audience, and her personal story on how remote work changed her life.
13 May 2020
Remote Engineering Team Best Practices (AMA with TaxJar and Help Scout)
Another special episode this week! This is the first Outside the Valley episode not hosted by me (you’re welcome). This week’s episode is a replay of our recent AMA session with CTO of TaxJar Matt Anderson. The AMA was hosted by our VP of Sales Mike Fossi, and a special co-host: VP of Engineering of Help Scout (and previous podcast guest), Megan Chinburg. It’s a conversation between engineering leaders of two awesome remote companies talking about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their teams, figuring out processes and goal setting, and how they go about hiring the right person for their teams.
6 May 2020
Brooke Hurford (Workfrom) - Building a Community of Remote Workers
For this week’s episode, we have Brooke Hurford, COO and co-founder of Workfrom, a platform connecting professionals to real-world spaces and virtual offices. We talked about how Workfrom is designed to help remote workers interact better, the benefits of remote work to local communities, how Techstars mentorship helped her and her co-founder, and more.
28 Apr 2020
All About Pair Programming: AMA with Ben Orenstein of Tuple
Welcome back! For this week’s episode, we’re going to replay our live AMA session with Ben Orenstein, co-founder and CEO of Tuple. We covered a lot of grounds in this session, including the benefits of pair programming in remote teams, best practices in pairing, the ups and downs of running a bootstrapped startup, and more! You can also find a simplified version of the transcript below.
22 Apr 2020
Remote Work FAQs - a Chat with the Arc Team
This week we have a special episode on the podcast! In this episode, we have our very first roundtable chat with other Arc team members. During this chat, we talk about our recently-launched Remote Work FAQs. We created this resource hoping to help companies who need to go remote because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode’s guests are members of different teams at Arc. We get their perspective on how the current remote work transition has been affecting their team, processes, and more. Joining us in this episode are our Head of Marketing Christine Orchard, Hiring Consultant Emiliano Rodriguez-Wyler, and Front-end Engineer Ting Chang!
8 Apr 2020
Darren Murph (GitLab) - Why Companies Should Go All-Remote
This week on the podcast, we have Darren Murph, Head of Remote at GitLab, book author, and Guinness World Record holder! We talked about why GitLab uses “all-remote” to describe the company’s remote identity, how hybrid model remote teams can lead to anxiety and guilt, GitLab’s handbook-first approach, and why “story-telling ability” is essential in remote teams.
31 Mar 2020
Steph Smith (Integral Labs) - The Main Qualities of Effective Leadership
Outside the Valley is back! Today we have Steph Smith, author, developer, and Senior Analyst at The Hustle! In this episode, we talked about the “give and take” approach in remote hiring and why you should actively hire “givers”, the three must-have aspects of effective leadership, how to be a better communicator through deliberate practice, and more!
3 Mar 2020
Laurel Farrer (Distribute Consulting) - Re-skilling Via Remote Work
Today we have Laurel Ferrer, CEO of Distribute Consulting and founder of the Remote Work Association! In this episode, we talked about how remote work can help the development of rural areas by enabling entrepreneurship, strengthening local technology culture, and re-training the local workforce to utilize their skills for remote work opportunities. We also talked about how to measure the impact of transitioning a company to remote-first or fully distributed, how to measure productivity costs, and why remote work is not just limited to the tech industry.
25 Feb 2020
Ken Weary (Hotjar) - How to Regain Productivity in Your Remote Team
Today we have Ken Weary, VP of Operations at Hotjar! In this episode, we talked about the reason why Hotjar prefers asynchronous communication, why software tools aren’t as important, and the “Tribes” system Hotjar uses in project ownership. We also talked about Hotjar’s onboarding process, meeting culture, documentation principles, and why being a self-starter is the number one attribute to have as a remote worker.
17 Feb 2020
Fred Perrotta (Tortuga Backpacks) - Encourage Remote Team Risk-Taking
Today we have Fred Perrotta, Co-founder and CEO of Tortuga Backpacks! In this episode, we talked about the challenges of developing a physical product when you’re a 100% distributed team, building an epic place to work, and applying the principle of “players and coaches” in your company. We also talked about Fred’s million-dollar mistake, how to figure out if someone can be a good remote worker, and why you should always do project post-mortems. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please consider leaving a review on iTunes!
11 Feb 2020
Jesse Mecham (YNAB) - Building a Helpful & Kind Remote Team Culture
Today we have Jesse Mecham, Founder and CEO of You Need A Budget (YNAB)! In this episode, we talked about how Jesse started YNAB in 2004 and how it evolved to be a remote company, his approach in delivering feedback and criticism, and the deliberate steps that Jesse took along the years to become a better remote leader Jesse also shared about YNAB’s cultural manifesto, unique questions the team uses to assess new team members, and the impact of remote work on Jesse’s family life. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please consider leaving a review on iTunes!
4 Feb 2020
Max Makeev (Owl Labs) - Making Remote Meetings Better
Today we have Max Makeev, Co-founder of Owl Labs, the company that created the Meeting Owl. This is the first-ever episode that we recorded live in Arc’s office, so the audio is noticeably different! In this episode, we covered how their flagship product, Meeting Owl, was created, and the struggles Max and his co-founder faced in the early days of Owl Labs, We also talked about the unique challenges of building a hardware startup, how Max prepares for — and runs — meetings, and his learning/challenges faced when he was still the CEO of Owl Labs.
21 Jan 2020
Laura Roeder (MeetEdgar) - How to Build a Company That Doesn't Need You
Today we have Laura Roeder, CEO and founder of MeetEdgar! In this episode we covered how Laura built a company that can run without her, why MeetEdgar has a “CEO” _and_ a “President,” and the importance of transparency in company culture. We also talked about why MeetEdgar doesn’t believe in deadlines, why they use the title “advocates” instead of “managers,” and how you can give better criticism and feedback in a remote team. Laura also has a special gift for Outside The Valley listeners! Get one free month of MeetEdgar with the coupon code PODCAST here. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please consider leaving a review on iTunes!
13 Jan 2020
Kieran Flanagan (HubSpot) - Remote Work as a Growth Lever
Welcome back to Outside The Valley! For our first episode in 2020, we have Kieran Flanagan, VP of Marketing at HubSpot and host of the Growth TL;DR podcast! In this episode, Kieran talked about how remote work had helped him in his life, why he thinks career opportunities should not be limited by geographical location, and one of the hardest parts of being a distributed team leader. Kieran also shares his insights on why remote hiring is one of the best things you can do for growth, avoiding too many processes in distributed teams, and the “goldfish face” problem in remote meetings. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please consider leaving a review on iTunes!
10 Dec 2019
Tammy Bjelland (Workplaceless) - Leveling Up Your Company with Remote Work
This week on Outside The Valley we have Tammy Bjelland, CEO and Founder of Workplaceless, a company that helps remote professionals, managers, and organizations to thrive in a remote setting. Tammy shares about how she got into advocating for remote work, what fascinates her the most about remote work, and why she thinks remote work can improve the education sector. We also talked about the specifics of how Workplaceless helps companies transform into remote-friendly organizations, and whether it’s possible to “hire for potential” in a remote organization. We’re taking an end-of-year hiatus after this episode and will be back next year with more cool discussions with other remote leaders! Until then, see you and have a great holiday season!
3 Dec 2019
Liam Martin (Time Doctor) - How to Be a "Remote Executive"
This week on the show, we have Liam Martin, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Time Doctor and Staff.com. He is also the co-organizer of the Running Remote conference, the biggest conference on distributed teams and remote work. Liam shares his insights on growing into an “executive” role by “letting the entrepreneur inside you die,” how to help other people work with you, and the literal million-dollar mistakes that Liam and his co-founder Rob made when running their company. We also talk about why he started the Running Remote conference, the unspoken truths about running a large scale event, and what’s in store for next year’s conference in Austin, Texas. If you want to learn from the best of remote leaders, you can buy early bird tickets for next year’s Running Remote Conference here: https://ti.to/running-remote/2020
1 hr 9 mins
27 Nov 2019
Eddie Zaneski (Digital Ocean) - Fostering Remote Developer Communities
This week we are joined by Eddie Zaneski, Manager of Developer Relations at DigitalOcean! This episode is quite special, because we’re focusing on one single job position, which is, you guessed it: Developer Relations. We talk about how Developer Relations is a position that most of the time only makes sense when it’s a remote position, and how the rise of remote work affects this particular position. We also talk about The Remote Developer Experience report released by DigitalOcean this year, and the life of remote workers at DigitalOcean.
20 Nov 2019
Megan Chinburg (Help Scout) - A Look Into Help Scout's Hiring Process
Today on Outside The Valley we have Megan Chinburg, VP of Engineering at Help Scout! We talked about Help Scout’s hiring and onboarding process from start to finish, with a discussion around the “value screening” stage, and how Help Scout makes sure to reduce biases in the interview process. Megan also shared the one thing that Help Scout did in the early days that made them grow solidly, and her top two pieces of advice for engineering managers everywhere.
12 Nov 2019
Hailley Griffis (Buffer) - A Peek Into Buffer's Open Culture
Today on Outside The Valley we have Hailley Griffis, Head of Public Relations at Buffer. We discuss the culture of transparency and openness within Buffer, including how it affects the company’s marketing and hiring, how remote work affects Hailley’s productivity, and more. We also dive into Buffer’s internal processes, and talk about the most unique parts of them. This includes “internal applications” for new job openings, asynchronous all-hands meetings, why Buffer started offering paid sabbaticals, and more. Finally, we also talk about Buffer’s annual State of Remote Work Survey! Check out the survey here and please take a few minutes to fill it in!
5 Nov 2019
John Doherty (Credo) - Communicating Expectations Well
Today on the show, we have the CEO and Founder of Credo, John Doherty. Credo is a platform where you can hire reliable, vetted marketing professionals. This week’s episode is less about remote work itself, but more about managing and communicating expectations — whether you're a leader of a company, a client, or a freelance consultant. We also talk about managing communities affiliated with a marketplace-style business, and John’s thoughts on building a bootstrapped, profitable company outside of Silicon Valley. John is also one of the happy users of Codementor, an Arc product, and it really was a pleasure to have him on the podcast. Enjoy the episode!
29 Oct 2019
Peldi (Balsamiq) - Continuous Learning as a Company DNA
Today I’m joined by Giacomo “Peldi” Guilizzoni, the CEO of Balsamiq. In this episode, we talked about Balsamiq’s culture (specifically around the core value of continuous learning and the importance of experiments), the growing pains Peldi experienced as a leader, and more. We also had a quick peek into Balsamiq’s hiring and onboarding process. We also talked about why Peldi strongly prefers to employ remote team members, rather than have them as contractors (which is a common practice amongst remote/distributed companies). I really admire the self-aware nature of Balsamiq, which is a byproduct of Peldi’s personality as a founder and a leader. Hope you enjoy it too!
22 Oct 2019
Hiten Shah (FYI) - Figuring Out Your Own Remote Work Structure
Today on the show we have Hiten Shah, founder and CEO of FYI. Hiten was also the founder of tech startups like Kissmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout. We talked about how Hiten has been leading remote teams since 2003, FYI’s Remote Work report, the importance of figuring out your remote work structure, and why hiring is about “opting-in.” An interesting theme in this interview is Hiten’s core message: “Figure out what works for you.” You can easily find articles about remote work best practices, remote work management, and so on. However, Hiten strongly recommends that you figure it out yourself. If your personality, management style, and team structure are not ideal for remote work, admit it and find a solution that works for you.
15 Oct 2019
Ho Yin Cheung (Remo) - Transitioning to Become a Remote Startup Leader: Challenges and Tips
Today I’m joined by Ho Yin Cheung, the founder, and CEO of Remo, a tool that helps you organize virtual events and office space, and Riotly Social Media, an Instagram social media agency. We discussed the challenges Ho Yin faced when he began transitioning to be a better remote startup leader, how his perceptions about remote hiring have changed from enabling cost-cutting to enlarging the talent pool, and how Remo help provides the right amount of transparency for remote teams. Ho Yin also shared the resources and thought leaders that helped him to be a better remote startup leader. Make sure to check these out in the Learning Resources section below! Since we recorded this episode, Remo organized several virtual webinar events, and has even more events coming up.
8 Oct 2019
Andreas Klinger (Angel List) - Why Hiring Outside Silicon Valley is The New Normal
Today on the show we have Andreas Klinger, the Head of Remote at AngelList, and one of the founding team members of Product Hunt. We talk about why hiring Silicon Valley engineers is now mostly a liability, how to systemize trust within remote teams, why onboarding is super crucial for remote teams, and so on. In this interview, we also mentioned two great resources: Andreas’ blog post “Managing Remote Teams - a Crash Course”, and his talk at the Running Remote conference. If you’re not familiar with these, be sure to check them out!
1 Oct 2019
Justin Mitchell (YAC Chat) - Using Voice to Bring "High-Resolution Communication" to Remote Teams
Today on the show, we have Justin Mitchell. Justin is the founder and CEO of YAC Chat, a voice collaboration tool for remote teams. He’s also a founder of SoFriendly, a software development company based in Florida. We're going to dive into how Justin got his first startup gig in high school, how YAC Chat got their traction via Product Hunt Maker's Festival, the importance of high-resolution communication in remote teams, and the role of voice in the future of remote work and everyday life . It was a fun chat with Justin. Hope you'll enjoy it too!
24 Sep 2019
Krister Haav (Toggl) - Creating a Fun and Playful Culture in Remote Teams
Today on the show we have Krister Haav, the CEO of Toggl, a simple (yet powerful) time tracker that helps you learn how much your time is worth. If you’re familiar with Toggl, you’ve probably already noticed that they have a super playful brand. They’re not afraid to experiment with comics, or even this addictive startup simulator game: https://toggl.com/startup-simulator/ In this episode, we discussed how Toggl evolved from a software consulting company to a product company, the importance of brand authenticity for remote companies, and why playfulness is an important element of Toggl’s culture. I had a very fun chat with Krister, and there’s a blooper at the end. So you can skip directly to the end, OR listen to the whole episode, maybe learn a thing or two, and then get to the blooper. Up to you!
16 Sep 2019
Claire Lew (Know Your Team) - How To Build Social Connections & Trust In Remote Teams
Today we have Claire Lew on the show! Claire is the founder and CEO of Know Your Team, software that helps you become a better leader for your company. We talked about building trust and social connections in a remote team, how you can be a better facilitator as a leader, and the role of empathy in a distributed team.
16 Sep 2019
Mark Faggiano (TaxJar) - How TaxJar Creates A Remote Culture by Prioritizing Employee Experience
Today I’m joined by Mark Faggiano, the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a 100% distributed SaaS company that helps businesses automate their sales tax calculations and filing. We talked about Mark’s genuine passion for remote work, why he personally handled new team members’ onboarding in the company, and how having an Employee Experience Team is vital for TaxJar.