Alex Furman, founder and CEO of Performica, discussed his journey from software engineering to HR, and how he developed the internal HR organization graph at Invitae, which seeded the idea of Performica. In a wide ranging discussion, Alex also shared with the audience his fundraising experience and management philosophy.
[01:19] Alex gave an overview of Performica. It connects various business systems of the customers and creates a picture of how work happens in real time (“org graph”). It helps companies understand how much time people spend together in meetings, cross functionally, all the way to knowing which engineers checking code into the github repository.
[03:15] Alex discussed the importance of “org graph” and how Proforma can inform organization how work is done in reality.
[04:37] Alex discussed how he got into HR and discovered the blindspots of the HR function. By developing an org graph functionality at Invitae, the company was able to fill in the leadership gaps by discovering hidden talents already existed within the organization. That was basically how the original idea of Performanica was seeded.
[09:48] Alex took a deeper dive on the org graph.
[15:04] The current target customers of Performica were discussed.
[17:37] Alex shared with us the revenue model of Performica.
[18:45] Alex discussed the key differentiation of Performica against other competitors: 1) It’s been in production and used by multiple organizations for several years now. 2) The Performica team figures out the right way to collect feedback that doesn’t take hours to finish and doesn’t put people in positions where they have to lie (creating unbiased results)
[23:51] Alex shared with us his fundraising experience. The key lesson he shared was: don’t wait for the perfect pitch. Don’t wait for the perfect financial model. Try to talk to investors early.
[33:31] Alex discussed his approach on handling difficult investor questions. Try to be honest but do not undersell your business idea as there are no modesty points.
[37:36] Alex discussed his management philosophy at Performica: radical transparency to build trust among the small team.
Book mentioned on the show
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
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