Every company should be a “Mom” company. Here’s what I learned working at one.
Imagine this: It’s 8:14 on a Monday morning. You’ve caught the San Francisco Bart train and were lucky enough to snag yourself a seat. This is a blessing, as you’ve just gotten to the good part in Stephen King’s The Shining.
A buzz against your leg signals a message on your phone as you turn to the next page. Must be a Zinc. Jimmying the phone out of your pocket, you see that it is indeed a Zinc message from the Bart Bashing group.
The message, from Stacey Epstein, reads: “Hey guys, medical emergency on my train at Embarcadero. Expect some delays!” You respond with a little thumbs-up emoji, then put the phone back in your pocket and return to The Shining. A couple minutes later, the Bart train grinds to a halt and the operator comes on over the intercom: “There is a medical emergency at Embarcadero station, there will be delays of 5-10 minutes, we apologize for any inconvenience.” The people around you sigh and groan, but to you, this is already old news.
The thing about working for a company that lives, breathes, and bleeds communication is, you start to get used to getting your information faster than everyone else.
While getting my information faster didn’t necessarily help me get off Bart sooner, real-time communication can be the difference between a 4-star and 5-star hotel, the wrong material being used on a construction site, or less second-time visits for field service workers. Time means money and lots of it.
For the past 4 months, I’ve been working for Zinc, a fast-growing software startup in San Francisco whose internal communication platform is “Built for the future of work.” Ran by long-time marketing executive and mother of two, Stacey Epstein, the company hired me to be a sort of “Jack (or Jake) of all trades” intern for the summer.
During my time, I learned how an organization like Zinc can continue to grow so rapidly and smoothly by helping the various teams in the company. Assisting in small business sales for the Sales team. Running exhaustive testing for the Product team. Developing a Help Center and helping draft up press releases for Marketing. And, of course, developing spreadsheets for everyone (an intern classic). Toward the end of the summer, I couldn’t help but see parallels between the way Zinc and the way a cohesive “Mom” family runs.
The “Mom” Company
A mother is someone you trust to be responsible and on time; someone who can take care of your life better than you could do on your own. A “Mom” family works together and is always in sync due to the communication and streamlined organization a mom provides. Zinc embodies the “Mom” company because it functions as a single entity, rather than a disjointed group of branches sharing the same product. In doing so, the entire organization thrives and benefits, and develops more of a unified culture.
This is not a company run by “Entrepreneur Make Money Quick” types, but rather, a cohesive team of highly experienced, highly motivated individuals who all have the need and the means to “Get Shit Done.” (The motto printed on Head of Product, John Stetic’s, favorite mug). And the results are there to back up my words of praise. New customers like Vivint Smart Homes, BlueLine Rental, and Marriott Hotels keep lining up to try out the new face of internal communication for themselves.
But how did Zinc come to be a “Mom” startup, and how does the organization continue to feel small even though they’ve doubled in size since I’ve started working here?
Constant and immersive communication through our very own product, Zinc, an intuitive communication platform for the enterprise.
Sales forecasts are run through the Conference Call feature. Project updates are sent by Zinc messages, avoiding the slow dinosaur of email. When I finish writing this article, I’ll send the file to both Stacey and our Content Marketing Manager, by using the file sharing function in Zinc.
The Zinc platform allows for all branches of an organization to be connected through smooth, reliable, and fast communication. This creates constant opportunities for collaboration and improvement, making company-wide growth a natural reality, rather than a hopeful aspiration.
Zinc Transforms Companies into Adaptive Growth Machines
As more Millennials such as myself enter the workforce, the need becomes even greater for businesses to adapt to the communication-centered lifestyle we’ve grown up in during the Internet Boom. Not only fast, but INSTANT and immersive communication has become vital to being a growing business, regardless of the industry you occupy.
To Millennials, instant communication does not mean email, which we find ancient and slow, it means immediate access to real-time messages, desired files, and face-to-face video conversations with a single touch of a button.
Zinc provides the platform on which all companies can find themselves transformed into an adaptive growth machine, by harnessing the power of the employees that already work there. Faster communication means more efficient use of an employee’s time, less confusion on the job, and ultimately a better work environment. And a better work environment means happier employees, which also leads to more motivated and productive employees.
As a Millennial entering the full-time workforce next year, I couldn’t imagine working at a company that doesn’t run like a “Mom” company. A company like Zinc.