Last week, I trekked over to Arizona in the US for a conference for about 3000 small business owners, boldly coined #ICON14. Run by US-based software company Infusionsoft, the company invited the Aussie contingent to tour its offices in Phoenix. So I thought I’d give you a sneak peek as well.
Infusionsoft is a classic startup success story. It was founded in 2001 by Scott and Eric Martineau and Clate Mask and now has over 500 employees in a Google-type building. While there are no slippery slides or sleep pods, there are lots of brights colours, quirky touches and countless proclamations like “We help small businesses succeed” plastered all over the walls.
I first explored Infusionsoft back in 2008 and decided it definitely wasn’t for me. But it appears that a lot has changed in six years. I decided to give it another go earlier this year and have been happy with the results so far. So it was great to be able to go behind the scenes to check it out. So here is my visit in pictures …
Placed prominently in the entrance of the building is a large sculpture of an animal balloon. Apparently, the birth of Infusionsoft was because co-founders Scott and Eric Martineau wanted to create an online application to help their father streamline his balloon-twisting business (he had to manage about 200-300 balloon twisters who used to visit restaurants every evening to entertain guests with their sculpting skills).
Shortly after passing the giant animal balloon, you’re confronted with this big sign. That’s because there is one person in the building that is allergic to pineapples and a chemical that can be found in cleaning wipes.
It has a free cereal bar in honour of its struggling startup days when its (then mainly male) coders pulled all-nighters to get stuff done.
And this is what they do with all those empty cereal boxes!
Infusionsoft has the luxury of a full-time Dream Manager. According to its blog: “A Dream Manager is a full-time employee at Infusionsoft who will be a personal coach to each employee to help them envision their dreams, plan for their dreams and hold them accountable so they effectively progress toward realizing their dreams.”
As you can see, the company seems to be doing well.
The company’s quarterly goals are broken down by priorities – and displayed for all to see.
Staff are constantly reminded that they serve small business owners.
The conference featured inspiring speakers like Simon “Start with why” Sinek.
And the legendary Seth Godin.
Was it worth the visit? Definitely. We were finally able to meet some people who we have only ever known through Infusionsoft’s “chat” help desk. The conference was inspiring and one I would definitely recommend if you are an Infusionsoft user – or plan to be.