My friend, David Niu, recently started a company called, TINYhr. David is one of the most positive guys that I know. He's a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He previously founded NetConversions (sold to aQuantive) and BuddyTV. What I like about TINYHR and his first product TINYpulse is that he's figuring out how out how to consumerize the HR function for companies. His company's mission is to help companies basically facilitate happier and more productive employees. The product anonymously polls your employees every week with different questions so that you can better gauge the overall mood of your business. In addition, it includes a virtual suggestion box and a 'cheers' feature that enables your employees to send kudos to each other (these can be anonymous if you choose). I have been beta testing the product for a couple of months and really love it. You as the manager can track the heartbeat of your company constantly. Its like having Salesforce.com for your company's overall health. Checkout the post that TechCrunch on TINYhr.
I like the idea of having a real-time performance management system that you (the manager) can drive. No more waiting for those monolithic human resource-driven processes every year. As TINYhr gets more scale, the product will be able to better benchmark your companies morale against other like sized companies. You can look at what TINYhr is doing as a complete democratization of the HR department.
I encourage companies large and small to checkout TINYpulse. I am not an investor, just a happy customer.
A recent Geekwire post from friend and former colleague, Kelly Smith, was very thoughtful and transparent concerning the typical reality of most startups - the pivot. In the post, Kelly articulates in detail how he had to refactor and launch his Zapd application (again). It’s a good read and I encourage all current and aspiring entrepreneurs to read it.
Attached is the memorable clip from the sitcom, Friends feature Ross's anxiety-ridden screams of "PIVAT!"
Often times we only hear news from entrepreneurs about the 'up-and-to-the-right' proclamations that are almost always designed to mirror the tough realities of a startup. Startups are very hard and the path to success is often riddled with changes in direction in strategy, product, etc. It’s exciting and a journey that can be quite rewarding. I did a post last year on Geekwire about the story of AdXpose that might be useful, too.