On the eve of the eve of the eve of Monday.com’s earnings report, I listened to a presentation the Monday.com founders, Mann and Zinman, gave in March of last year. It looks like it was a keynote address to a group of software developers but I thought, for us, it is an interesting chance to hear the co-CEO’s talk openly about their leadership and values. Titled as “Our Top 5 Mistakes in Scaling with Monday.com”, they actually discuss 5 things they thought they did right and 5 things they thought they didn’t do well.
Although I summarize it below, you might want to watch it to get the texture and feel for these two leaders.
You can find it here: (a re-cap of their main points begins around 36:00)
Hope you find this helpful,
Five things they thought they did right:
Measure our key metrics from day one. The answers are in the numbers.
-It was important for them to measure everything themselves and to track it in their own data base, creating a system they now call the “Big Brain”.
Build together: transparency leads to ownership
-They have created a culture of transparency in the organization. The only thing that is kept private is employee compensation. All data (revenue numbers, how much money they have in the bank, churn numbers) is available on dashboards posted all over their offices. The result is that no one can go to someone else and say or imply: I know what is going on and you don’t. They harness everyone’s intelligence instead of having information owned by very few.
Move fast and integrate until you get it right.
-If you work on something for 3 months, that is enough time for people to form opinions and work hard on it to perfect it. BUT, then, when you get feedback on what you have worked on, you have already spent so much time on it, it will be hard to hear the feedback and it will be hard to be flexible to make changes.
- Deliberating too much at the beginning is not smart because you are spending time trying to figure something out at the very point in time when you know the least.
- Be open to changing constantly; Growing fast is fueled by agility.
- Gave an example of changing their name 4 or 5 years ago. They had started their company with a name that no one liked. They were growing really fast and felt like it wasn’t the right time to change and it felt like a huge risk to change it. BUT, they realized you have to re-think everything you are doing even when everything is going well.
- Don’t default to what others say and do.
-Gave an example of not making their sales teams commission based like many others. They wanted their sales team to do what was right for the customer, not what was right for the sales team.
Five things they thought were mistakes:
- Our only focus was internal.
- Found out it was important to listen to what others are saying about your company. Now they consult with other CEO’s and CFO’s.
- The areas of the company you are most passionate about might be where you are digging the biggest hole.
- They came from a background of building product and they did that part themselves and it was hard to let that part go but, over time, they realized they needed to make that change and added others to building the product.
- Roy Mann said he really loves online marketing and he did it a lot at the beginning but as it got more complex he didn’t build a lot of infrastructure into the marketing team and it took him a while to realize that because he just liked it so much. He said when you enjoy doing something, and then, when you feel bad about something, you are inclined to just go do the thing you enjoy and you have to be careful of that habit.
- Just because you have leadership, doesn’t mean you have a leadership team.
- The hired a bunch of VP’s but it wasn’t enough to hire super smart people. Founders at the beginning of the company are very dominant but as you scale the company, they feel the founders have to take a step back and focus on building a leadership team. They felt they didn’t do this enough and they were becoming the bottleneck so they decided to step back and focus on how people work together.
- Lead by goals: where to go, not how to get there.
- This is key. Their goal was to build a really great product.
- As you scale, maintain a culture of constant feedback.
-They had one on one meetings every so often to give feedback but they realized they’d didn’t do it often enough so they now give feedback on a daily basis. They ask for feedback themselves proactively and once people learn to feel comfortable giving feedback they feel comfortable getting feedback.