An Open Letter to all Future b2b2dot0 Employees

Written March 4th, 2012 by
Categories: CEO's Blog, Company News
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Last week I had a great conversation with a person that I’m certain will make an incredible addition to the b2b2dot0 team in the near future.  We’ve been working together for a few months now and during that time he’s demonstrated all of the qualities that I know will serve him well here at b2b2dot0.

He is: very bright, has excellent technical, analytical and communication skills, an impeachable work ethic, is very passionate about what he does, is very in tune to the concept of “the customer” and is open and honest.

It’s that later trait that inspired today’s post.  At some point in the conversation, I asked him the single question that is at the heart of our Agile way …”What’s preventing us from making this work tomorrow?”  Here are the four reasons he gave me and my responses to them.

  1. I’m afraid to put all of my eggs in one basket.
    • Sometimes, a single basket is the best way to nurture a world class egg :-).  No bureaucracy, minimal administrative overhead, nothing but high class people to work with, everyone empowered and dedicated to building something that is bigger than they are individually.
    • I get the fact that working for a small company could be risky from a financial perspective.  However, our solvency shouldn’t be in question.  We’ve been profitable for the last two years.  We have no debt and no outside investors.  Our software-as-a-service business model, combined with our management style, all but ensure our future success.
    • Working for b2b2dot0 is a privilege not an obligation. If you “have” to work here, we probably don’t want to hire you.  We’re happy to engage you as a sub contractor from time to time, but working here won’t be the right thing for you.  We want you making the right business and technical decisions for the right reasons, not because you have to keep your job.
    • Lastly, the day that we both decide that it makes sense for you to join our company, the decision will be obvious.  No one will have to agonize over it.  Let’s work together for awhile and build up the trust in one another.  That trust will fuel our relationship.
  2. I’m afraid to lose my technical skills and expertise
    • The real question is: are you willing to learn new technologies and acquire new skills?
    • We are at the cutting edge of a new market, the “hybrid SAP applications” market.  This market is characterized by leveraging core SAP knowledge and skills to enable more usable interactions over mobile and web platforms.
    • More specifically, we’re 100% focused on enabling eCommerce business processes in the SAP market and have embedded Magento into our platform.  Magento is the #1 open source ecommerce platform that was recently purchased by eBay.
    • Our corporate expertise now lies in being experts in each of those platforms individually (SAP and Magento) and integrating the best of both of them to enable world class ecommerce business processes at an affordable cost.
  3. What will happen to the product/assets that I’ve developed over the years?
    • We love entrepreneurs because we’re entrepreneurs.  We’ve worked for the SAPs and IBMs of the world, and while we admire them, we see our opportunity in the speed and cleverness of our execution.  Let’s try and incorporate your assets into the b2b2dot0 portfolio.
    • If they’re central to our growth plans, we’ll buy them from you.
    • If they’re not additive to our business, we’ll help you create assets here that you could be equally proud of!
  4. I want to make $400,000 per year.
    • So do I!  Frankly, there is no reason why you can’t.  Let’s set that as a goal and back into a plan that will make that happen.  (I may elect to take half that pay and only work half the time :-))
    • There are three ways to make money at b2b2dot0; 1)Base salary, 2)profit sharing and 3)equity.  I think it’s safe to say that no one at b2b2dot0 will be making $400K per year in base salary alone…in the foreseeable future.  b2b2dot0 has no immediate exit plans so cashing in on any equity earned is probably not a great wealth creating strategy either.  That leaves us with profit sharing.
    • We run the business in an open book fashion and pay out profits quarterly.  Planning the $400K compensation is fairly easy.  Let’s plan the minimum revenue, and the maximum expenses, that will yield enough profit to create a payout that will equal the difference between your base salary and $400K.  That’s the way it works at b2b2dot0!

b2b2dot0 is a very special company that could be the perfect place to work for the right people.  However, we know that it isn’t for everyone.  We have no entry level positions.  We have no communal Foosball table or Friday beer parties.  What we do have is an ideal environment for the Agile minded, team spirited, client oriented, skilled professional who loves technology, eCommerce and is comfortable collaborating virtually.

We want people who take pride in what they do and appreciate being compensated for the results of their efforts…not just for their effort.

Welcome to b2b2dot0!

Sam