Here's what the CEO of a 200-person company had to say about growing teams quickly - Technical.ly Philly

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Aug. 28, 2019 9:57 am

Here’s what the CEO of a 200-person company had to say about growing teams quickly

Ecommerce company Sidecar has grown from about 12 employees to more than 200 since 2014: "It's been a wild ride," founder and CEO Andre Golsorkhi said.
Sidecar’s digs.

Sidecar's digs.

(Courtesy photo)

Performance marketing firm Sidecar has been growing at full speed.

Since its official launch about seven years ago, the ecommerce company has grown from about 12 employees to more than 200, set up a new Center City headquarters and just finished a Series C-1 fundraising round of $7.5 million.

The company was one of the first to receive funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ new Global Opportunity Philadelphia Fund — aka the GO Philly Fund.

The Series C-1 came at a time the team was growing a bit faster than anticipated, founder and CEO Andre Golsorkhi said.

But, he said, “It was the right time to add a bit more fuel to the growth.”

So what’s it like to grow a company so fast in a few short years? We talked with Golsorkhi about running a team that’s constantly growing. The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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Technical.ly: Is there a company culture that Sidecar is looking for or keeping in mind when hiring?

Andre Golsorkhi: It’s hard to generalize a culture, because we’re hiring across so many departments, but everyone we bring on board, I think, is just representative of the Philadelphia community. They have a lot of ambition and passion for being part of a company that is growing at the pace that we are, that wants to be part of that story. There’s a loyalty, that I think is very unique to this community. Folks are really willing to put a lot forward, put a lot toward their jobs, to the overall team dynamic to build a strong culture to make the company successful. And I think there’s a commitment and loyalty.

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Do you think that’s unique to Philadelphia?

In other markets I think that might be a little more difficult. I think there’s a lot more transient workforce in other tech communities and here I think there’s far more deeper commitments to success and to team, to culture. From what I hear of other markets I think it’s a bit harder to have that commitment, that team, that passion that exists here in Philadelphia.

Let’s talk about growth. What has that looked like over the past few years?

We were about 12 or 14 people in 2014, and when we really found our product fit, our market fit around that year and realized who we were as a company, that number quickly rose.

So where are you now?

We’re over 200 people.

That’s a ton of growth. What has that been like?

It’s been a wild ride. There’s a lot of sort of ways to slice it, it has been such an awesome and amazing experience. I think building the brand that has the national, global recognition, that has become an industry leader in its space has all really has been fantastic. We’re building tons of growth from a value perspective, from a revenue perspective.

One of the most gratifying parts of running this business has been growing this team — and also being part of the evolution of the sort of operational changes, cultural changes, shifts in the business as it’s grown and seeing this many people in the building, working toward Sidecar’s success. Seeing people build their careers and friendships all here together, sure, there’s all the operating metrics, and sort of economic outcomes, and those are particular things to drive toward, but the growth of the team, and the community within the community we’re building here has been awesome.

Have there been growing pains over the last few years?

Of course it hasn’t come without its challenges. When you’re 15 people, the culture and the operations of the business are dramatically different compared to when you’re 50 and 75 … and 200. You have to continue to change and evolve. You’re always a little bit behind the [eight] ball at that pace, but it’s just a wonderful thing to be a part of.

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