This talk was given by Matt Rissell, VP TSheets Time Tracking Segment of Intuit at SaaS Connect 2018 in San Francisco, May 1-2, 2018. Get the slides

Even the largest companies start somewhere. And TSheets, a $340M acquisition, began its life as a startup in Idaho.

Matt Rissell, former CEO of TSheets and now a segment leader at Intuit, detailed that growth for the audience at Saas Connect — both the triumphs and the failures, the good times and the hard ones.

This journey is one that businesses can learn a lot from.

Where did TSheets start?

TSheets always had a potential for high growth. But, like a lot of businesses, it didn’t start growing right at the outset.

There was, in fact, a moment when the company’s leadership considered quitting entirely because the company was so small and stagnant. They weren’t sure whether there was a market for their time-tracking and employee-scheduling product. But they kept going.

From this, Rissell learned an important lesson: “Don’t ever let anybody tell you when to quit.” 

What did TSheets learn from growth?

Rissell cites the book “The Lean Startup” as instrumental to TSheets’ early growth. Here are some of the core lessons his team learned from that book:

  1. Don’t make big bets.
  2. Don’t follow your gut. Follow data.
  3. If it’s working, do more of it. If it isn’t, do less of it.
  4. Talk to your team.

By following these core lessons, TSheets was able to grow and eventually get acquired by Intuit. 

What lessons can other businesses take away from that journey?

  1. Data. Always have data to prove your growth, at every point in the partnership’s lifecycle. This will help you prove yourself to your partners.
  2. Know your own product. If you have not, on a personal level, experienced what your platform is like or what it’s like to partner with your organization, do so. You will instantly feel empathy for the customer and what they experience.
  3. Pick the right place. Something as simple as picking the right place to locate your office can greatly affect the success of your business.
  4. Be transparent. Be honest about the problems you’re trying to solve. People will naturally help you if you let them know that you need it.

How did TSheets approach the partnership with Intuit?

TSheets was focused on what their customers would get out of the integration and focused on customer satisfaction.

From here, they built relationships at every level in the organization. These relationships were built on what TSheets could do for Intuit, not the other way around.