Zapier CEO Wade Foster on Scaling a Remote Company (in a Pandemic)

Wade Foster will be speaking at BoS Conf Spring.Online 26-27 April on the topic: “Reflections on Growing a Remote Company in a Pandemic”.

You might be forgiven for thinking that companies who were already operating remotely pre-2020 have had an easier ride over the past twelve months.

To a small extent that’s true: companies like Zapier who’ve been operating remotely for a decade didn’t have to work out how to work and hire remotely.

In practice though, even remote-first companies experienced huge productivity hits last year. After all, working remotely pre-2020 did not typically involve being locked up in your home β€” very often with equally frustrated partners, kids, and babies breathing down your neck…

Wade Foster speaking at BoS in 2018

Zapier’s Growth in 2020

Zapier however, led by Wade Foster as CEO, carried on growing and scaling rapidly in 2020 and 2021: both in headcount and profitability. They currently employ 350 people across 35 countries and count over 1.5 million people using their product to automate workflows.

Although Zapier raised $1 million in seed funding in 2012 after graduating from Y Combinator they’ve taken no further investment since then β€” partly because they were told that while the idea was “nice”, it was never going to be big enough. That said, some of Zapier’s original investors recently sold their holdings at a reported $5+ billion valuation.

In other words, exactly the sort of company story we love to share here at BoS.

What you will learn

Wade, together with Doist CEO Amir Salihefendic, will be delivering a talk entitled: Reflections on Growing a Remote Company in a Pandemic.

They will share and compare their experiences leading and growing remote-first companies: both before, during, and after the pandemic.

Neither Zapier nor Doist fit into the stereotypical tech company mould. They have both grown steadily over a decade and continue to grow rapidly to this day.

They will discuss how they’ve adapted over the course of 2020 and beyond to maintain the health, growth and impact of their companies for the next 10 years and beyond.

Who is Wade Foster?

Wade is the CEO and co-founder of Zapier, a workflow automation tool. He studied business and engineering at University of Missouri.

Wade has spoken previously at BoS Europe in 2018 on Building Operating Cadence with Remote Teams. You can watch his talk here which also includes a mammoth Q&A after the talk itself.

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