Q&A: Urban Airship's Scott Kveton

The cofounder and CEO of the Portland-based mobile app company, founded in 2009, shares the secret to his success: transparency.

By Zach Dundas October 1, 2013 Published in the October 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

You’re known for transparency. What’s that look like? We have monthly “all-hands” meetings—it used to be weekly, but we just got too big. We talk about revenue, cash on hand, how we made certain deals. Each time we make a major business decision, I’ve explained how we did it and why.

Why let employees in on all that stuff? Many people here will go on to found their own start-ups. One of my back-of-the-napkin goals when we started was to help Portland develop great companies. If I’d known more as we started, we might be bigger now than we are already. So I think it will be useful to know about fundraising, or building and scaling a sales team.

But the money! Isn’t that highly proprietary? I’ve worked at companies where I didn’t understand those things, and then bad things happened. We always assume everyone will do the right thing, until proven otherwise. 

Two ideas worth stealing from Urban Airship

PAID-PAID VACATION After three years, UA employees must take a two-week vacation; they get $3,000 to pay for it.

FREE FRIDAY  Every quarter, employees spend a day working on anything they want, company-related or not.  

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