EXOBlog

The official Blog of EXOGAL

A Brief Rant

​This last weekend, Dan Lyons (a former writer for Newsweek) wrote this article http://goo.gl/nJoxWG about his time working at HubSpot. 

HubSpot is one of these "Unicorn Startups" that comes out with a big fanfare, gets tons of Venture Capital money, employees and contractors get whipped like slave labor, the company goes public, the founders get enough money to bury a house, and sometimes the investors and employees all lose big in the end. 

There's something fundamentally wrong about this entire thing. Having a crazy idea is important to innovation. Jim Kinne had a crazy idea and the result is the Comet. But supposedly savvy investors buying into the obvious BS on a PowerPoint Pitch Deck or a flashy Vimeo infomercial knowing full well that the promised results can't be delivered is inexplicable. Employees swearing their undying allegiance to a master who's going to screw them out of their stock options after they've been bled dry in coding sweat shops is inexplicable. I guess hope springs eternal. 

Why am I writing this? Because starting a company is hard. Growing it is harder. Keeping it alive is even harder. These so called "Unicorns" wreck everything for everybody. Investors expect crazy growth and profit performance and once they get burned, overcoming their skepticism then becomes a challenge for the next startup. Telling a 19 year old college dropout that you value his or her experience and wisdom is disingenuous and sets them up for huge disappointments later in life. Burning out younger employees is unhealthy. Crashing companies into the sun is bad for the economy. Books get written with bad advice that gets foisted on, and ruins other perfectly viable companies (I'm talking to you, every company that got rid of offices for long rows of tables!). We idolize fools with "innovative business models." And customers have been trained by discount retailers to expect ever increasing levels of performance at ever lower prices. Both the Amazon, Android and iTunes app stores have created the impression that complex software is either free or only worth a buck. This needs to stop. Innovation is hard. It's expensive. And it has value. 

At EXOGAL, we reject the entire premise of the Unicorn Economy. We really appreciate our investors who took the time to understand our business plan and trusted us with their money. We tried to use that money wisely to bring great products to market and not waste it on candy walls and pinball machines. We try really hard to include our employees in strategy and decision-making and empower them to make their own decisions and more importantly, to make mistakes. We try to bend over backwards to help our distributors, dealers and customers have a satisfying experience with our company and our products. (We also try not to get bent forward but that's another story!) We work really, REALLY hard to make sure that the products our customers buy from us deliver solid performance and value for the money. 

All of us need to take a hard look at how we interact with the economy... the companies we buy from... the decisions we make... and who we place our trust and faith in. The company you create, the job you save, the product you build... all these things are at stake! Can't we all just please be smarter?

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Comments 1

 
Guest - George V on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 16:39

Jeff, Thanks for posting this article and your comments that followed which are very reassuring especially since I am a customer first and subsequently an Investor, that this company is not just out to make a fast buck but truly cares about not only their customers, investors and distributors but even as importantly their employees!. Regardless of whether or not I make a dime from this investment its nice to know that this company is trying to do the right things for the right reasons and hopefully the American Dream will prevail for all those who are lucky enough have come in contact with Exogal as either customers, investors, distributors, or employees. Kudos from an Exogal Customer and Investor!

Jeff, Thanks for posting this article and your comments that followed which are very reassuring especially since I am a customer first and subsequently an Investor, that this company is not just out to make a fast buck but truly cares about not only their customers, investors and distributors but even as importantly their employees!. Regardless of whether or not I make a dime from this investment its nice to know that this company is trying to do the right things for the right reasons and hopefully the American Dream will prevail for all those who are lucky enough have come in contact with Exogal as either customers, investors, distributors, or employees. Kudos from an Exogal Customer and Investor!
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Monday, 26 June 2017

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