Wade Foster is the co-founder and CEO at Zapier.
Wade Foster is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Zapier, the company that moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work. Post YC in 2012, Wade raised $1.4M for the company from Bessemer and Threshold but since that round, he scaled the company to $140M in ARR and a $5Bn valuation with Sequoia and Steadfast buying out some early investors earlier this year. In Today’s Episode with Wade Foster You Will Learn: 1.) How Wade made his way from email marketing manager to founding one of YC's most successful alum in the form of Zapier? Does Wade agree with the "fake it till you make it theory"? How does Wade advise grads on starting a company vs joining a startup vs joining an incumbent? 2.) Remote Work: Zapier has been remote since 2012, what do Zapier do very specifically that Waade believes has enabled them to be so successful remote? What did not work? What were some of the biggest challenges of scaling the team remotely? In terms of tooling, what specific tools do Wade and Zapier use to make the org as transparent as possible? 3.) In the scaling journey, what have been the most significant breakpoints in the org scaling? How has Eade scaled his style of leadership? What has been the most challenging element to scale? How does Wade structure internal meetings? Who is invited to what? What materials are shared? How are the meetings structured? 4.) Why did Wade decide not to take the venture path and scale the company from revenues? What does Wade believe so many founders misunderstand when it comes to fundraising? What does Wade believe they gained from the bootstrapped approach? Why did Wade still maintain relationships with VCs? How did he choose those he wanted to stay in touch with? 5.) How does Wade feel about his relationship to money? What does Wade think about the rise of secondaries? In what framework does Wade advise founders who have the chance to take secondaries? What is the right amount to take off the table? How does one communicate this? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Wade Foster Wade’s Favourite Book: Harry Potter As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!
Enabling efficiency has always been at the heart of Zapier’s mission: the automation software startup was founded specifically to serve as the lynchpin platform between myriad web apps, allowing people to focus on their core projects without getting bogged down with mundane tasks. Moreover, the company has been distributed from the get-go, and has found that the requisite digital tools, meeting structure and business strategies that make remote work possible also happen to be the most proactive, pragmatic and productive ways to run a business. Zapier CEO and co-founder Wade Foster sat down with Greylock general partner Sarah Guo to discuss what he’s learned in the nine years since the company was founded, and how he sees the widespread shift to remote work affecting the way companies operate in the future. This episode is part of the #WorkFromAnywhere series hosted by Sarah Guo and David Thacker.
Zapier CEO and co-founder, Wade Foster, joins on us on Leveling Up today to discuss his business, remote work and the vital importance of building a company culture! It became apparent to Wade quite early on in the journey of Zapier that if they were going to grow in the right way and continue to scale what they were doing, a well-suited company culture was necessary. This led to the development of their ethos and core values and these steps have served the company immensely in recent years! We get to hear from Wade about some of the financial aspects of the company, including their freemium model and the way they lay out their pricing plan. He also comments on leadership, with particular reference to the challenges posed by a crisis. The global pandemic has provided many challenges for us all and Wade weighs in on his approach to these and making the most of the connected opportunities. The conversation also covers the utility of podcast appearances, hiring practices at Zapier, and profit-sharing! Tune in and hear it all!   TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES: [00:21] Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Leveling Up Podcast! [00:54] Zapier's place in the no-code ecosystem! [01:39] A refresher on Zapier and where they are currently as a business.  [03:24] The freemium model at Zapier, the pricing model, and how they make money. [07:28] Key lessons in growth and scaling for Wade around remote work and company culture.  [09:41] Evaluating communication skills during the hiring process.  [11:54] Practical steps towards building better company culture! [14:41] Employee retention at Zapier and how the remote model contributes to this.  [16:09] Lessons that Wade has learned during the pandemic about leadership during crisis. [19:45] Feelings about the current uncertainty; the positive and negative sides of the pandemic. [21:17] Profit-sharing and employee incentives at Zapier. [24:20] How Wade thinks about podcast appearances; qualitative feedback and recruiting. [26:11] Wade's favorite recent business book: The Outsiders. [29:48] The usefulness of Workona and Krisp!   Resources From The Interview:   Zapier Wade Foster  Wade Foster on Twitter Wade Foster Email Slack G Suite QuickBooks Trello MailChimp SalesForce Stripe Twilio Basecamp Glassdoor Nathan Barry Workona Krisp   Must read book: The Outsiders     Leave Some Feedback:     What should I talk about next? Who should I interview? Please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below. Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review here Subscribe to Leveling Up on iTunes Get the non-iTunes RSS Feed     Connect with Eric Siu:      Growth Everywhere Single Grain Eric Siu on Twitter    
Wade Foster is the CEO and co-founder of Zapier, a workflow automation tool used by over three million people to connect the work apps they use every day. Prior to Zapier, Wade worked as a customer development lead for The Idea Works, Inc. in Missouri. He is an alumnus of Y Combinator and has degrees in industrial engineering and business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
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Creator Details

Location
Area A (Mill Bay / Malahat), British Columbia, Canada
Episode Count
13
Podcast Count
13
Total Airtime
7 hours, 18 minutes
PCID
Podchaser Creator ID logo 850001