Raw thoughts from Alex Dong

The rise of the “successful” unsustainable company

I do see companies that are sustainable even with high growth, like HubSpot whose revenue curve is as predictable as a plot on your TI-90 while also able to obsess over customer satisfaction and retention, or like Freshbooks who maintains an enviable corporate culture in addition to an unflagging revenue curve, or like SEOMoz whose insistence on TAGFEE wins over employees, customers, and investors alike, creating consistent growth even in the tumultuous market of SEO tools, or like Rackspace whose maniacal obsession with excellence in customer service allows them to charge premium prices and sustain an amazing 30% annual growth even at the massive scale of $1b in revenue.

It’s my goal to join the ranks of those excellent companies at WP Engine. With thirty employees, millions in revenue, a Rackspace-like commitment to customer service (we employ more WordPress experts per 1000 customers than anyone), an SEOMoz-like commitment to honesty and transparency, and a HubSpot-like obsession on introspective measurement, not just on marketing and growth but on customer happiness and retention, we’re experiencing fantastic growth, but in a way that I believe is sustainable.

So now it’s your turn to think about this with your own company. Is your company building something of lasting value? Are you valuing growth over sustainable growth? Are you articulating and then living up to company-cultural values which attract and retain the right sort of people who then turn around and create the right sort of product and service?

via The rise of the “successful” unsustainable company by @ASmartBear.