Taylor Brown and his childhood friend, George Fraser, built a fast-growing company that has earned a $5.6 billion valuation in under a decade. Taylor is COO of Fivetran, a SaaS data integration platform that helps companies extract data from multiple sources, load it, and transform it for data warehousing. Working alongside George, CEO of Fivetran, Taylor continues to drive the company to multi-billion dollar success, never accepting failure as an option.
We recently spoke with Taylor on the Forge Ahead podcast about carrying on in difficult times, learning to adapt to frequent changes, and being a problem solver.
1. Carry On in Difficult Times
Startups require grit and a singular vision to weather everyday challenges and unexpected obstacles.
Taylor says that he and George kept working through challenges, knowing “eventually [they were] going to get there.” He says going public took longer than he expected, but they finally made it after nine years in business together.
What can we learn from Taylor’s experience? Partner with someone you trust and dig your heels in for the long run to see your company persevere.
2. Learn How to Adapt to Frequent Changes
Fast-growing companies face constant challenges as they adapt to their ever-changing size. Whether you’re developing products or hiring new talent, be ready to handle change management head-on.
Taylor warns not to get comfortable at 100 or 200 people because your company won’t stay that size. He says the pressure increases the more your team grows, which can feel uncomfortable. Taylor suggests that the best thing leadership can do is communicate with employees to prepare them for each new growth phase.
The takeaway? The more your company grows, the more you need to communicate with your employees. Prepare them for the ebb and flow of your company, and they’ll ride the wave with you.
3. Be a Problem Solver
Operations won’t be perfect from the get-go at your new company. Always look for ways to improve, streamline, and optimize your processes. When you identify an area for improvement, figure out how to correct it yourself instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
Taylor says he noticed his company was outsourcing technology to Pakistan, which created issues because of the time and language differences. He “jumped in” and started learning how to code to solve the problem. Taylor says this problem-solving experience made him even more invested in building the company.
When you see an inefficiency, jump in. Be empowered to solve problems and get hooked on building the company from the ground up.
Visit the Forge Ahead homepage to hear the entire conversation with Taylor.