Pictured: Lauren Alweis, Jon Becker, Matt McCubbin, Brian Damman, Matt Haltom. Not pictured: Shawn Gabel, Thomas Gardiner, and Elliott Pyles.
Training and developing employees within an organization is not only important, but it’s also vital. In a recent survey completed by Forbes, employees who feel that their company offers positive learning opportunities are 21% less likely to have left their organization for a new role. Before it’s too late, now may be the best time to look at you or your company’s L&D (learning and development) programs.
Recently, we had the chance to sit down with one of our current members here at Shift Workspaces, Jon Becker, who also believes in the importance of L&D and what it can do for the workplace. Jon is the Founder and CEO of PlatCore, a Learning Management System (LMS). While speaking with Jon, we were able to find out more about their system and how they have become so successful in their field.
Tell us what PlatCore is and introduce us to your team! What inspired you to start a company in this industry?
PlatCore is a Learning Management System, which means we provide enterprise companies simpler ways to deliver their employee training. We started 3 years ago out of a small office in the Shift Bannock lower level. We have been making our way slowly up the stairs since then (and multiple times daily) – and have grown to a small, often remote group of eight on the third floor. We work and play hard and are ultimately driven by the success of our customers.
You’re the first Learning Management System to utilize ServiceNow. Why did you decide to use this platform?
ServiceNow started as an IT platform to help companies streamline repetitive business processes. I knew the ServiceNow platform was growing rapidly and being adopted by large enterprises globally. I had worked on the platform for about 6 years at two prior companies and knew the growth potential of ServiceNow. I wanted to be on the growth path too.
Companies were asking for a learning management product built on ServiceNow for several years; however, the platform technology wouldn’t allow it to be commercialized. When that transition happened, I decided it was time and PlatCore was founded. We were early but the timing for our approach to learning and the ability to go to market was perfect.
Fast forward to today, and ServiceNow is the fastest growing software company in the world and has been named the most innovative company by Forbes.
What do you think has contributed to your success?
Decent timing. Product-market fit. A fantastic team.
Truthfully, our earliest customers took a chance on an unproven startup with a minimum viable product and a small team. We were lucky enough at that, but they also gave us invaluable feedback. So, we listened, even when we didn’t like it.
We do our best to deliver on the promise and the trust that others have placed in us. It is important to who I am, and who our team is.
What type of businesses would benefit most from your product?
We serve small and large companies, and mostly (but not only) ServiceNow customers. Our customers often operate in highly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and the public sector. A majority of them need to track training and certifications for employees and/or produce reports for audit and compliance purposes.
What drew you to Shift to be the home base for your company?
The fancy, yet geeky, vibe felt like home almost immediately. But the wonderful staff at Shift Workspaces is what makes us excited to come back every day. The location and amenities are ideal, and we always enjoy impressing partners when we host business meetings.
I personally love the proximity to the Cherry Creek path and commute options are great. Downtown is almost exactly a 1-hour bike ride on the Cherry Creek and Platte River paths to home. In the summer it makes a perfect afternoon ride home.
We’ve seen your team rapidly grow and excel this year; where do you envision your company in the next 3 years?
Over the next year, we hope to continue our rapid growth in both customers and employees. We will begin fundraising this year which would also accelerate our timeline. Our primary focus will be on how we can sustain a stable, profitable company that is an amazing place to belong.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs that you wish you had when you started your journey?
There are many things I’ve been told prior to starting that all make sense “on paper” but aren’t truly understood until you’ve lived them. There are a few that probably are more critical than others though. And none have anything to do with running a business.
a) Make sure you are up for the journey. How committed are you? How committed are your co-founders? How committed is your family? Does working 80 hours a week for months on end scare you? Is your significant other willing to let something consume you? If you don’t have the drive and commitment, stop now. There are so many easier ways to make a living.
b) Create your personal support team from day 1. Being an entrepreneur and especially a founder is lonely when you start. It’s lonely when you have your first few hires. It’s lonely as you grow. You get to make hard decisions alone. Your circle of friends gets smaller and changes significantly. Older close friends have no frame of reference to even have a conversation with you.
c) As your company matures, the problems get HARDER, not easier. I thought problems would be simpler with growth and maturing my company. Well, I was wrong. Know you are on a journey that will transform your life, and the only guarantee is that you will grow personally. Looking back, if I really understood how hard it would be, I don’t know if I would have started the journey. Now that I’m on it, I can’t imagine any other way.