Achieving Growth In A Downturn

Today we talked with Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu, the leading global digital publishing and discovery platform with over 5 billion page views and 80+ million readers. He shared how the psychology of teams matter, why it’s time to ramp up tactical action and why minimizing distraction is necessary in a changed framework.

More about Joe

Joe has more than 25 years of experience in start up and growth technology leadership globally covering stints in Asia, Europe and the US, from early stage through to IPO. Joe is the CEO of Issuu, the world’s leading omni-channel content tools and publishing platform, that through the Issuu Story Cloud, enables millions of marketers, brands and creators and publishers globally to digitally share and monetize their longer form quality content and create content marketing materials. He has been the CEO, led sales, BD and Product for some of the leading and most innovative companies in Silicon Valley, backed by the likes of Benchmark, Redpoint, Trinity, Floodgate, True, Baseline, MDV, DAG, Sony, Time Warner among others.

Key Takeaways

  • Work to minimize distractions for your team. Joe’s team is focusing on how customers are using their platform, data about the usage, and actively sharing information about how the company is growing and reacting. Being more open about your company regarding the current climate has helped to keep a positive environment and make employees feel assured about the job they’re doing. These assurances have also helped keep productivity aligned.
  • For their roadmap, Issuu is practicing radical prioritization. There’s no such thing as business-as-usual right now.
  • Data!!! Pay close attention to how your data is changing. If it is changing, do something about it. Are customers using the platform differently than they were beforehand? Has the type of user changed? Has the amount of time products were used changed? Additionally, use that data to send out specific communications to customers on how to best use products and features.
  • Look across your products and ask yourself: what are the areas where you can reframe your products given the current climate?
  • Being profitable right now helps assure your customers that you’re sticking around and that you’re a safe platform for them to use.
  • It’s okay to experiment with what works and what doesn’t work in this current market. If it doesn’t work, the entire market is down so you aren’t really losing much.
  • Increase the frequency of your team meetings. Open communication is a top priority right now. Issuu previously had one all-hands meeting per month and they’ve increased to twice a month. Their weekly manager meeting now meets twice per week. Joe’s also spending more time on Slack – both through direct messages to all staff as well as increased communications in channels.

Big thank you to Joe for sharing his story and experience with the Venture Lane community!

Today’s webinar was part of the Fighting Bulls interview series in partnership with Agile Sales Method

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