The Agile Operations Podcast

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3 minutes: Transparency and trust, please DFIUFE

Keep the company's best interest in mind. Don't pop a can of beer in the office before the 9 am meeting. There is shared accountability for things. Collective accountability is super powerful. We defer to this idea of trust, rather than of totally explicit boundaries. Hire great people to begin with and if they do mess up, clip 'em.

Catch the full episode here with Dusty Davidson here

About our guest:

Dusty Davidson is the co-founder and CEO of Flywheel, a fast-growing WordPress hosting company based in Omaha. Prior to Flywheel, Dusty started a wide range of ventures, including Tripleseat, Silicon Prairie News, Big Omaha, and more. When he’s not building something, Dusty can be found traveling, eating, spending time with his family, and advocating for Omaha.

S1E1: What the Hell is DFIUFEE?

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When you’ve built as many ventures as Dusty Davidson, you tend to learn quite a bit about building strong cultures, accelerating growth, and navigating the complicated process of building something great and sustainable. As the co-founder and CEO of the WordPress hosting company, Flywheel, Dusty has great insights into the challenges of maintaining a company’s culture as it grows and expands. And much of these lessons have been learned the hard way.

In this episode of The Agile Operations Podcast, Dusty joins Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe to talk about the ins and outs of starting and growing companies, including:

  • How to be data-informed, not data-driven
  • The importance of embracing weirdness
  • The secrets behind successful onboarding
  • His guiding culture principle (‘DFIUFEE’)
  • And more!

About our guest:

Dusty Davidson is the co-founder and CEO of Flywheel, a fast-growing WordPress hosting company based in Omaha. Prior to Flywheel, Dusty started a wide range of ventures, including Tripleseat, Silicon Prairie News, Big Omaha, and more. When he’s not building something, Dusty can be found traveling, eating, spending time with his family, and advocating for Omaha.

S1E2: How to Teach People to Think Like a CEO

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Rob May thinks a lot about growing fast and empowering people to make the best decisions. As the co-founder of Talla and Backupify, he’s managed to learn how to go slow in order to go fast, and the importance of routine, high-quality employee training.

In this episode of The Agile Operations Podcast, Rob joins Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe to talk about the myths and realities of sustainably growing a business, including:

  • Why CEOs hate getting only good news
  • Tips for tightening feedback loops
  • Determining the right cadence of company-wide conversations
  • Are CEO office hours a hoax?
  • When agile operations tools become a burden
  • The one-step process for a shitty press release

About our guest:

Rob May is CEO and co-founder of Talla, which builds intelligent assistants to help knowledge workers better do their jobs. Prior to Talla, Rob was CEO and co-founder of Backupify, the world’s first cloud to cloud backup company. Rob is driven by complex systems and the interaction of economics, brains and computers. If you’re interested in similar topics, you should check out his newsletter: InsideAI.

S1E3: Creating a Culture that Scales

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Building a strong, diverse corporate culture is not easy, but if anyone has the framework down, it’s Christina Luconi. As the Chief People Officer at Rapid7, Christina has honed her ability to focus on authentic growth and operations instead of best practices. Whether she’s preserving the company’s unique culture or making senior hires, Christina works hard to make the people the center of the company.

In this episode of The Agile Operations Podcast, Christina joins Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe to talk about the counterintuitive and constantly evolving keys to scaling culture, including:

  • Axing annual performance reviews
  • Why best practices are bullshit
  • How to preserve culture as your company becomes political
  • The connection between Italian cooking and people operations (seriously)
  • And more!

About our guest:

Christina Luconi is the Chief People Officer at Rapid7, where she leads strategic people initiatives, focusing on the entire employee lifecycle: recruiting stellar talent, preserving corporate culture, and acquisition integration. Prior to Rapid7, Christina founded People Innovations, a consulting firm focused on the creation of innovative people strategies.

S1E4: Achieving Organizational Self-Awareness

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Few people spend as much time questioning startup conventional wisdom as Hiten Shah. Whether he’s re-evaluating existing processes or questioning best practices, Hiten always seems to find a way to do things better, faster and more nimbly than most.

In this episode of The Agile Operations Podcast, Hiten joins Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe to talk about returning to first principles and constantly checking in on organizational health, including:

  • Why Hiten hates the phrase “bootstrapping”
  • The metrics that matter at different growth stages
  • The constant tradeoff between time and money
  • How to be better than yesterday
  • Why companies get slower over time
  • And more!

About our guest:

Hiten Shah has started and run many SaaS companies, most recently FYI, a tool that helps you find all of your important documents in three clicks or less. But that’s just the beginning — Hiten has also founded companies like Product Habits, Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and more. 

See how FYI can help you search and organize all your documents all in one place.

S1E5: The Real MVP: Minimum Viable Process

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The harder the problem, the more Karen Rubin wants to solve it. Whether she’s looking for new ways to learn from data or finding ways to make intelligent decisions more quickly, Karen is a true advocate for the agile operations mindset.

In this episode of The Agile Operations Podcast, Karen joins Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe to talk about how startups can use data and creativity to grow fast, including:

  • How to know when something is “good enough”
  • The dangers of automating too early
  • Tips for avoiding over-engineering
  • The key to finding the Minimum Viable Process
  • And more!

About Our Guest

As VP of Growth for Owl Labs, Karen Rubin finds solutions to sticky problems and looks for creative ways to grow quickly. Prior to Owl Labs, Karen served as VP of Product for Qunatopian, Entrepreneur in Residence at Matric Partner, and Product Manager at HubSpot. She’s passionate about startup culture and the energy, creativity and intelligence of the people who work there.

S1E6: How to Build a Thriving Remote Team

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Growing a distributed team isn’t easy, but Jessica Meher is one of the best. Leading the marketing team at Notarize, a largely remote company with several offices, Jessica is constantly looking for new and better ways to collaborate, make processes more efficient, and produce amazing results. But it’s not always easy.

In this episode of The Agile Operations Podcast, Jessica joins Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe to talk about the opportunities and challenges of scaling a decentralized company, including:

  • Choosing between live and digital conversations
  • Picking the right communication channels
  • Overcoming time zones
  • Her favorite Slack plugins for remote teams
  • Key tools for decentralized collaboration
  • And more!

About our guest:

As VP of Marketing at Notarize, Jessica Meher is responsible for building a marketing team and program for a fast-growing SaaS business. Prior to Notarize, Jessica led the marketing team at InVision, achieving rapid growth and building one of the strongest brands in the industry. Jessica loves building strong teams and finding creative ways to generate demand and take products to market.

Lola Podcast Host Wrangler Introduces us to 3 Lola.com Podcasts

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Lola.com Senior Marketing Manager, Matt "Dez" Desilet is interviewed by Funnel Radio producer, Susan Finch as Lola prepares to launch their third podcast.

This short episode gives you the behind the scenes stories about our three hosts and podcasts:

Road Warrior Radio with host Ryan Ball, Table Fries with host Jeanne Hopkins and our newest - The Agile Operations Podcast, as well as details about the Lola Book Club.

In keeping with the current style of publishing an entire season at one time, we are following that pattern here for The Agile Operations Podcast. 

The Agile Operations Podcast is a new show hosted by Lola.com’s CEO, Mike Volpe. Episodes will feature a conversation between Mike and folks who think outside the box as they handle operations at their companies. Mike will also be featuring several leaders at Agile Operations companies on the show, creating the platform for the next great conversation in the Agile Revolution. 

By the first week in April 2019, we will have six episodes ready for you to binge. 

Guests include:

Dusty Davidson
Ron May
Christina Luconi
Hiten Shah