My guest today is Parker Conrad, co-founder and CEO of Rippling. I wanted to speak to Parker because he is building Rippling in a way that we don’t come across often. Rather than focus narrowly on one product, he is building a suite of interrelated products simultaneously to carry out the functions of HR, Finance, and IT for companies. He calls it a compound company and we discuss the idea, as well as some of his other non-traditional theories, in detail. Please enjoy this conversation with Parker Conrad.
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[00:02:36] - [First question] - Overview of what a compound startup is
[00:06:32] - What he’s learned about picking customers effectively
[00:08:48] - Key chapters when it comes to building a compound startup
[00:13:48] - What great looks like at the base level infrastructure of employee data
[00:20:15] - His overall philosophy on product development writ large
[00:25:09] - His role as a capital allocator and distributing resources to his teams
[00:27:19] - The amount of products they offer and whether or not there’s a tradeoff between time, cost, and quality when building software
[00:31:36] - Possibly incorporating an app-like store on top of their existing infrastructure
[00:34:43] - Speed and the kinds of people that can sustain it for long periods of time
[00:36:30] - What motivates him on a personal level and harnessing motivation in general
[00:42:31] - Whether or not there’s an end to feeling hurt by false public perceptions when building in public
[00:44:12] - The intersection of leadership and communication inside of a business and what he’s learned about great communication
[00:48:00] - The paradox of how focusing on non-scalable actions perpetuates growth and productivity and his views on productivity-per-person
[00:50:36] - The best example of a moment that required the most grit and perseverance while building his company
[00:52:28] - How to successfully get former founders to come work for him
[00:54:47] - What good private equity investors do
[00:58:31] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him