In 2013, I co-founded Assist with Robert Stephens (Founder of Geeksquad & CTO of Best Buy) that brought commerce and services to communication tools like Messenger, iMessage, Slack, Google Assistant, and more. We became the leaders in AI and bots, and worked closely with partners at Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter to power conversations between the top Fortune 500 companies like T-Mobile, Fandango, 1-800-Flowers, Sephora, Best Buy, MGM hotels and their customers.
And we built a remote-first company: we had team members in over 7 countries and 10 different states that worked seamlessly to deliver this platform. And in 2019, Assist was acquired by Conversocial to extend our international reach. I'm now an SVP at Conversocial.
I co-founded Squared Away which employs military spouses as executive assistants. 100% remote. It has grown to 100+ people. Operates profitability and just crossed $4m in ARR.
I have lived the remote-work thesis repeatedly throughout my career. Building companies that are remote-first, and understanding trends and tools that will power this future of work.
Working with my co-founder of Assist, Robert Stephens, he also taught me about how to scale remote companies. Robert founded GeekSquad in 1994. GeekSquad went on to be one of the biggest remote companies in the world. 25,000 people across the globe and doing $4b in revenue today.
My first startup, Gist.com, was the first social CRM in 2008, raised capital from Vulcan Capital and the Foundry Group, and was acquired by Blackberry for $45m in 2010. We grew from 0 to 100m people in < 2 years.
Learn more about me here: Shane Mac.
In 2017, I founded a Fintech startup and made the decision that we were going to be remote-first and fully-distributed. I never wanted to commute anymore, I needed to spend more time with my family, and I knew we would be far more talented and cost efficient operating that way. Remote was the obvious choice.
Something that was incredibly important to me was the culture and experience my team had. That started with the foundation on which workers did their work on top of; the equipment. As I got my team set up for the first time it became apparent how expensive and time consuming it was. When the tools and equipment never turned up we lost 5 days' productivity and it became a massive problem. Knowing we would eventually hire 10–15 more remote workers, and never wanting to go through that experience again, we set out to create a solution.
My prior experience meant this was a problem I was uniquely placed to solve. I was responsible for putting exactly the same equipment we are putting in remote workers homes on Oil Rigs in the globe's most remote locations for some of the largest oil and gas operators on the planet. I managed the supply chain of materials needed and the remote teams to install them. We built Firstbase an internal problem to solve this.