My happy new year 2018 email

Mathilde Collin

Mathilde Collin,

CEO & Co-founder at Front

1 May 20180 min read

A sample of the internal email I send to my team during the new year.

When I interview candidates, I’m always surprised by how many of them have read my writings online. It isn’t the explicit intention of my posts, but it’s great that they can give a foretaste of what kind of culture to expect at Front. On New Year’s Eve of 2018, I sent an email to the whole company, that got a lot of positive reactions, so much so that I sometimes share with newer hires. A few of them even told me that, had they read it before accepting the offer, it would have made their decision even easier. So if you’re one of these candidates, this post is for you. I’m not sharing it on social media or deliberately pushing it: I silently put it out there, and assume that those who’ll find it, were the ones who needed to see it most :)

“Hello everyone,

I am incredibly happy to write this email tonight. We’re at the end of a year that didn’t start so well: same time last year, Laurent had just told us that he was sick, and would be in the hospital for most of Q1.

Fast forward one year, not everything is perfect but we’re in such a great position! Laurent is cured, we’ve hired amazing people, we’ve kept growing at a very fast pace, we’ve added huge features to the app and have gotten even more ambitious for the future of Front. I firmly believe we have a unique opportunity: we have a lot of freedom to build the product we want — we have runway, we have ideas, and nobody is actively trying to compete in our space. We have a healthy business that is never far from profitability, yet we have a real shot at radically changing how people work. We have a stellar team that only gets better as we grow! We have excellent, experienced investors to help us along the way. I couldn’t have imagined a better position for us one year ago.

Talking about the Series B: I’m happy to tell you that it closed officially a few days ago (🤐)! I knew, working with all of you every day, that we were building an awesome company. But I hadn’t anticipated the excitement I saw and the praise I received, and from people who see hundreds of companies every year! The speed at which we were able to close this round is a testament to your hard work and impressive results.

Next year will be intense. The opportunity is so big, we can easily consider that we’re just at the beginning. I don’t have a secret recipe to take us straight to the end of this journey. What I have is a deep trust that we can do it: it is in our collective hands. If we’re creative enough, open enough and ambitious enough, we’ll keep making great things. Of course, we’ll have to listen to our leads, to our customers, and build what they want. But maybe more importantly, because our vision is so different from the current state of things, we’ll have to listen to one another! We all have a unique perspective on how things should be: that’s a strength and we should tap into it. Always welcome new hires and new ideas. Always take the time to step back and re-assess how we do things. In short, always be learning. I’m convinced that the best companies thrive because they learn at a faster pace than their peers.

Last but not least, don’t lose track of why you’re doing what you’re doing. If, like me, you subscribe to the Eachus* school of thought, you know that “it’s just a job” — but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be the best job possible. Creating a work environment where we care about each other, about our customers, where we can make friends yet remain accountable, where we learn, grow, and have an impact together, and of course where we sing, we play sports & board games together, is all I could hope for, and all I continue to hope for. For you it might be something else, but I’m sure you can find it here. Remember to take care of your own happiness, and assume the best of intentions from everyone else around you.

Enjoy New Year’s Eve and see you all in 2018!


*Ben Eachus is one of our employees 🙂

Written by Mathilde Collin

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