Sramana Mitra: Can you name some of the locations that you specifically went after in this mode where there was enough technical talent that you were looking for but were also low cost?
Cedric Saverese: There wasn’t a particular location that I was aiming for. I was aiming for US, mostly from a timezone perspective. I wanted to be able to work with people in normal business hours. We did hire people in Europe. Usually it doesn’t work very well. Now we have people in Japan, Philippines, and India, but it’s because they’re working with customers that are in those timezones. Early on, I wanted people to be in my timezone to be able to work with them effectively.
Sramana Mitra: What parts of the United States were you hiring from?
Cedric Saverese: It really depends on the candidate. We have people from Texas and California.
Sramana Mitra: How do you find these people in these diverse geographies? Do you post jobs in those particular locations?
Cedric Saverese: Now, it’s very common to just post online and say that this is a remote position. This is more common now than 10 years ago. At that time, there was some more specialized forums that I was going to like the Y Combinator HackerNews. You could just post there.
If you go to some of the big job boards like Indeed, you could just advertise the position as remote. When we do that, we get hundreds of applicants for every position that we open. It’s hard to sift through all the applicants and to find the right person. Once you find someone that has the right experience and skillset that you’re looking for, then we really don’t care where they’re at.
Sramana Mitra: What percentage of your employees are in North America versus elsewhere?
Cedric Saverese: I would say 20% are not located in the US.
Sramana Mitra: In terms of product line, are you still working with one product or are there multiple products in your portfolio?
Cedric Saverese: We’re still working with one product – the one I started 10 years ago. I never had to pivot or change strategy much. It was more about growing and maturing our product and offering over the years and making sure that we keep our customers happy.
Sramana Mitra: Do you want to sell the company or do you want to do this forever? What is your desire?
Cedric Saverese: That’s a good question. Things are going well. Business is growing. I enjoy working with the team. It’s not that it gets easier, but there are different sets of problems and it keeps me excited. With that being said, if the right opportunity presents itself, I would totally consider it. It has to work for myself, the team, and for our customers. I have to keep that in mind.
Sramana Mitra: But you’re still motivated to keep going with what you’re doing and just keep building the business?
Cedric Saverese: Yes, I have a long wish list for what I like the product to be doing. I’m a very product-oriented person. I spend a lot of time working on the product itself.
Sramana Mitra: Those are the best kinds of entrepreneurs – the product-oriented people. Especially if you want to bootstrap a company in technology, the best kind of entrepreneurs are product people.
Cedric Saverese: Exactly. You have to work on the product over and over again. If you don’t like it and you don’t enjoy that part, it’s going to be hard.
Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.