Written by: McKay Allen, VP and Head of Marketing
This month marks my two-year anniversary at Kenect.
I signed my offer letter on March 10, 2020. March 11th was the day the pandemic became ‘real’ for the majority of Americans. It’s the date the NBA suspended their season. It’s the date the WHO declared a ‘pandemic’. The stock market fell more than 1200 points.
It was the day, in many ways, that COVID began.
When I started at Kenect a couple of weeks later, it was clear I wouldn’t be working in the office and wouldn’t meet my new colleagues face-to-face for quite a while.
It’s been an eventful two years at Kenect. Now I’ll try to sum it up in one blog post.
The headline for my two years at Kenect is GROWTH. Today thousands and thousands of businesses in multiple different industries use Kenect. These businesses use Kenect to text their customers, to send them review requests, to collect payments via text and to gather more leads via text.
Two years ago, Kenect was used predominantly by companies in one or two industries. Today it’s used by thousands and thousands of companies across North America.
When I started we had 40 employees, and everyone was basically WFH. Today we have nearly 170 employees spread across the US, South America, and we have taken two floors of a brand-new office building near Salt Lake City.
We’ve gone from humble beginnings to being listed in the top 5% of the Inc. 5000 list, listed as one of 36 fastest growing companies in the world in the Deloitte Fast 500, and being consistently honored as one of the best places to work.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Kenect is one of the fastest growing companies in the world.
I could write a book (and maybe I will one day), about what I learned in my first two years at Kenect. Some high-level learnings:
- Keep Selling – Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, the uncertainty of the market, and the uncertainty with basically everything in March and April of 2020, we just kept selling. No matter what else was going on, at Kenect we kept selling. We kept finding businesses that needed texting to communicate with their customers, we kept finding businesses that needed texting to help them collect payments, and we kept finding businesses that deeply needed our solutions.
We didn’t let fear paralyze us. We kept working and we kept selling.
- Be Adaptable – The marketing tactics, sales techniques, product features, and even internal processes that worked at a company with 40 employees may not work at a company with 170 employees. When you’re experiencing this level of growth, you’ve got to be adaptable.
In the marketing world, the tactics that I assumed would work, didn’t work. Some of the things that we knew would work (tradeshows) didn’t happen for an entire year at Kenect.
We had to be adaptable.
- Hire Well – You’ll never hire perfectly, but you should try. We’ve been very very consistent with demanding quality from those we hire. You can really screw up a lot of things on the way from 40 to 170 employees if you don’t hire well.
- Expand – Don’t be afraid to expand rapidly.
I’m not a big ‘personal motto’ or ‘value statement’ kind of guy. I’ve always found those things sort of silly. But I will openly admit this: Kenect has a set of company values that have grounded and helped us during this period of hypergrowth.
These values have guided us as we’ve made product decisions, hiring decisions, growth and market decisions. They’ve helped us as we’ve taken investors, talked to customers, and entered new markets.
In future posts we’ll discuss these values one by one.
It’s been a remarkable 2 years at Kenect. Growing from 40 employees to 170 is no joke. I’ll write another version of this in two more years. Maybe by that time we’ll have 300+ people on the team.