- Joshua Driver And so it's always been confusing to me why startups don't think about their culture from day one. And because we spend so much of our wake time at work, especially on our stage and the positive vibes or feelings you get out of helping others or contributing to the betterment of your community or society or making a difference for somebody else is such an important experience I think everybody should have,
Why aren’t we focusing on culture from Day 1? Today, we look at building connection in the world of start-ups. My guests are Josh Driver and Zach Rodenbarger from Selfless.ly. They have a lot to say about how to build connection AND their technology platform is also a platform for companies to give back, so this is like a double-impact interview.
Zach and Josh’s origin story begins just before the pandemic, launching their platform with high hopes and ideals into a pretty brutal business environment.
They are talking about how they sustained connection, built their company, and expanded the scope of influence in the midst of the dual pressures of start-up life and a bruising global pandemic. As a bit of a teaser, you will hear about the importance of taking a walk, how “hangry” can get in the way of communication, and why Nerf guns could be a good idea for your office culture.
Zach and Josh are both tech guys who are from the same Indiana town of Valparaiso. The met in 2018, committed to the concept of building a platform where companies and individuals can give not just money but time and effort to support causes that matter. The website describes the platform memorably: “Selfless.ly is a unique company that was designed by selfless people to help the world become a better place.”
- Liesel Mindrebo Mertes I'd love to hear from both of you. Why do you think that that is even an important conversation to be having? And how would you define empathy work to me.
- Zach Rodenbarger There's a few tangible examples.
That is Zach Rodenbarger, the COO of Selfless.ly
- Zach Rodenbarger Sometimes in our interactions, Josh will come in or I'll come in and we'll have something and go back and forth. And then one of us will say, do you need to go for a walk?
- Zach Rodenbarger And I was like.
- Zach Rodenbarger Yes, I need to go for a walk. I need a little fresh air, you. And maybe that's just because we've been at our computers for a couple of hours or longer and need to have take a pause and have a step back. And so we've had that over the year, especially when we're working hard and looking at new timelines and goals and things. And I know I've needed a walk or two here and there.
- Liesel Mindrebo Mertes We had other good practices. Sometimes it's a walk. I also find that sometimes it's a snack. I have you eaten recent links to a snack?
- Joshua Driver Yes. We've encountered the snack situation as well. Yes. Hunger is a thing so much.
And this is Josh Driver, fellow-hangry sufferer and the Founder of Selfless.ly
- Liesel Mindrebo Mertes That was like one of my biggest learning curves early on in my marriage. I I used to think it was just Luke. It's totally both of us be like, Is this really a thing, or am I just really hungry right now? And you can't know until you're no longer hungry, like, you can't even find out.
- Zach Rodenbarger I think that's a good follow up on empathy. It's probably easier to see in other people. And then when do we take that step back and look at ourselves and actually admit that? And I think that is really helpful to business partnership or even as we continue to onboard new employees, you know, thinking through, how am I coming across to others?
- Liesel Mindrebo Mertes But also, do you put yourself in their shoes and how are they feeling and so kind of both well and hearing that it actually takes a foundation of some relationship and trust to be able to take some