20/20: Tap into the Advantage of Hindsight for Your Startup

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By Jennifer Welsh, Founder of CultureOps

When you’re starting a company, the decisions you make are crucial. Each one has exponential, lasting effects. These early decisions impact your burn rate, runway, brand, investor confidence, your ability to scale and to recruit and retain top talent … to name a few.

I’ve seen it all.

I’ve seen companies be focused and intentional about early decisions and reap the benefits. They go on to win awards and recruit ideal candidates. They spend money on the right initiatives that support their business goals. Employees are happy and more productive as a result. Everyone wins.

I’ve also seen companies make misguided and emotional decisions early on that ended up wasting funding and resources, made employees angry, and left people talking about the what could have been.

I launched CultureOps to keep that from happening to you.

Here’s how it all started…

In 2010 I was living in Chicago – a hotel concierge by day and a cocktail waitress by night. I thought everyone had figured out their life purpose except me. I was in a period of soul searching when a group sat in my section one Friday night. One of those people was the founder and CEO of a young, promising startup called Zocdoc. I treated that table like I treated all my customers – with intense attention to customer service. By the end of his dinner, the founder was impressed by my attention to detail and customer service, and he said “You have to move to New York and work for my company.”

I moved to New York City a month later. I was one of the earliest employees to join Zocdoc, and I was immediately tasked with making our company the “it” place to work in NYC. My hospitality experience parlayed nicely into my new role where employees became my customers. I built a new office, implemented internal employee programs, organized incentive trips, created internal processes, and more. I wore all the hats. Later that year Crain’s named us the #1 Best Place To Work In New York City. That would be the first of five consecutive Crain’s “Best Places to Work” awards.

I spent six years at Zocdoc where I expanded their global footprint to 700 employees, while managing my own teams in New York, Phoenix, and Pune, India. We won every culture award imaginable and brought in another $220M in funding.

I’m inspired by opportunities to help other companies benefit from my experience, to help startups get $#!+ right during the early stages.

I've spent the last two years working with some of the fastest-growing startups in the country, advising them on how to navigate office operations and company culture initiatives with a view toward the future.

CultureOps helps early-stage startups avoid expensive mistakes – to help you get it right the first time, instead of wasting valuable and limited resources. As a consultant, I’m a lean solution that allows you to stay focused on your Mission Critical. I design flexible and scalable office operations, and I help companies design intentional cultures that support their missions.

This blog will share startup stories and lessons from my experience and beyond. If you’re passionate about building an intentional company culture, I hope the tips and stories I share will become part of your success story.

Reach out to me here, and I can walk you through some suggestions for avoiding expensive mistakes in your business.