BizTechDay Inspires with Tips for Small Biz from Successful Entrepreneurs

There is a huge amount of innovation being developed by and for small businesses. The Concur Breeze team was honored to be one of a handful of tech companies asked to demonstrate this past weekend at the Seattle leg of BizTechDay, a series of conferences in three cities designed to inspire entrepreneurs and business leaders across the country.

There are many great speakers lined up for BizTechDay events including best-selling author, Seth Godin, in New York on Sept. 24, the founder of Gymboree, Joan Barnes, in San Francisco on Oct. 24, and Ben Huh, founder of the Cheezburger Network, who was on hand in Seattle. While we don’t have room to write about all of the Seattle speakers, one stood out as particularly useful insight for companies of any size.

PEOPLE: How to recruit, screen and keep great talent

As Chief People Officer for Zynga (known for its games like Farmville and Mafia Wars), Colleen McCreary knows the challenges in finding and keeping great talent. It’s an incredibly difficult job since Zynga has grown from nothing to a reported $3.3 billion dollars and revenue of $200m a year in less than three years. She shared a few ways they recruit and maintain talent, ideas that make sense for any size company:

  • Hire 20 percent on technical skills and 80 percent on passion, drive, and intelligence.


  • Make everyone a CEO of something. People thrive when they have autonomy and purpose, and it also shifts the focus off of self and onto the company.


  • Performance reviews can be negative. Look for “in the moment coaching.” Employees can chat about these four things during quarterly meetings with managers:

1. This is what I rocked

2. This is what didn’t go well

3. This is what I want to do next quarter

4. This is what I want out of my career/out of my company

  • Be mindful of the ego to talent ratio and only hire leaders who are humble.


  • Low cost recruiting tip: Use all the regular recruiting channels, then go to Facebook and “stalk” friends of friends.

Details on other presentations and a full list of product demos will be posted on the BizTechDay Blog.

Did you attend BizTechDay in Seattle or have plans to go in New York or San Francisco? We’d love to hear your thoughts and what you took away from these events. *Photo: RLWood

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