When Customer Support Manager Amy Lozano was asked if she had a side hustle during her interview with AppSumo, she wasn’t sure how to respond.
She was initially hesitant to tell the team about the floral design company she operates. Yet she soon found out that entrepreneurship isn’t just accepted at the organization; it’s encouraged.
“It’s not usually my intention to share my business with companies, because I don’t want them to think I will be distracted or incapable of completing my main job,” Lozano said. “That’s not the case at AppSumo. It’s supported by our leaders, especially our CEO, Noah Kagan, so I feel very encouraged.”
Lozano isn’t the only employee who feels empowered to achieve outside business goals. Partner Success Associate Steven Bell has managed to meet with a product development firm nearly every week to fulfill his dream of creating a device that protects fitness wearables during weightlifting sessions.
“It’s really nice to have that guilt-free assurance that I’ll still have my job if I need to take a few hours every day to work on my product,” he said.
With two published children’s books and another one in the works, Senior Product Manager Tevi Hirschhorn has also profited from the company’s support of side hustles. The fact that the organization encourages employees to leverage the products available on its marketplace has made it easier for him to pursue a literary career.
In Hirschhorn’s mind, maintaining an entrepreneurial culture doesn’t simply benefit employees. It also helps them build a better product for their customers. “When we use AppSumo for our own businesses, we can discover new ways to support other entrepreneurs,” he said.
In an effort to cater to a wider array of business owners, the organization is growing quickly, both in terms of its employee headcount and customer base. According to Bell, while most of the platform’s users are based in the U.S, the organization has witnessed an increase in international companies eager to leverage its marketplace.
With plans to continue scaling and amplify its presence, AppSumo offers the perfect environment for those eager to move fast and make an impact. “People here don’t really like to sit still,” Lozano said. “Those who are excited about life and discovering what’s out there are going to go really far at this company.”
Below, Lozano, Bell and Hirschhorn describe how the company cultivates this distinct environment and their excitement for the organization’s future.
How does AppSumo cultivate this focus on entrepreneurship?
Lozano: Each year, we take part in an internal holiday called Founders Day, which motivates employees to embrace their side businesses. This year, we’re going to have the day off to work on our personal ventures. Additionally, the company is really supportive of businesswomen in particular. A little over one year ago, one of our marketing team members started reaching out to entrepreneurs who are also moms. There are currently so many opportunities available for working mothers due to the expansion of remote positions. It’s been really cool to tap into this underrepresented market. We’re planning on hosting a week of events dedicated to highlighting women entrepreneurs who work at AppSumo, which I’m really excited about.
Bell: Our entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in our hiring process, specifically regarding the fact that we prioritize character traits over experience when evaluating job applicants. For example, my manager was a teacher before she joined AppSumo. This company brings out the best in people and identifies how their experiences correlate with a role at the organization while helping them grow. It all goes back to believing in people and their potential.
In what other ways does AppSumo encourage its employees to prioritize their personal lives?
Lozano: I had been working at AppSumo for less than a year when the pandemic began. I was at home working by myself, because my husband was an essential worker, and we had a two-year-old and an infant. At the time, I thought, “I’m going to lose this job. There’s no way I can do this.” Yet during that time, I realized I had never felt more supported or successful in my career. If you treat your employees well and care for them as human beings, you’re going to see them be successful. This is the only job I’ve had where I’ve encountered that, and I’m so grateful. I’m always reminded of the company’s support, and I hope to treat my team members in the same way.
ISO: MOTIVATED NEWCOMERS
Hirschhorn: I live in Israel with my five kids, and I start my workday in the evenings. I love that I get to walk my children to school, make breakfast for them in the mornings, pick them up from school, and even take breaks to tuck them into bed. This company allows you to be yourself and live your life completely how you want to, whether that’s related to parenting or hobbies. For example, when one of my coworkers had a task they needed to work on and had just experienced a fresh snowfall, they stopped working to go snowboarding and got up early the next day to complete it.
What excites you the most about AppSumo’s future?
Lozano: I’m looking forward to AppSumo becoming a household name. I joined the company in its early years, when we faced many challenges as a startup. Now I come to work, and I see things that we always hoped for actually coming to fruition. It makes me think, “Wow, things are only going to get better from here.” I wholeheartedly believe we will achieve our goals. I can’t wait to see what we do and watch our continued growth.
Bell: What excites me the most is our determination to flesh out our current processes to prepare for new team members. We offer new hires an environment where they’ll feel so much peace, love and passion, they’ll be ready to tackle everything life throws at them. That’s been the case for me. I feel so much stability and work satisfaction, and my capacity to accomplish things has grown significantly. We’re very focused on building a strong foundation so that, as we continue to scale, we’ll be able to minimize as many hurdles as possible.
“We offer new hires an environment where they’ll feel so much peace, love and passion, they’ll be ready to tackle everything life throws at them.”
Hirschhorn: I’ve only worked at AppSumo for about four months, but I’ve been following the platform’s growth for nearly 10 years. For me, joining AppSumo was a dream come true. I never thought I would have the chance to work on this team, so I’m very excited about that. Our mission is much more focused now, which broadens our opportunities to target entrepreneurs and help them more effectively. I feel like we’re only just getting started.