DreamCon Speaker Series #1: Brett Dunst

Sould out at DreamCon

What does it mean for your company culture when your company…sells out?

I don’t know!  I’ve never had to go through that whole ordeal.  Many people have, though.  Their experiences range from “awesome” to “awful.”

What about when your company experiences explosive growth?

I have gone through that.  And oh, do I have some stories to tell.

Whether your business is getting acquired or is simply a victim of its own success, you may someday find yourself with extra funding on-hand, and you know what they say…

Mo' money, mo' problems.

Entrepreneurs usually start out small.  When you’re getting your company off the ground it’s easy to kick things off loving what you do, how you do it, and who you do it with.  It’s easy because when you create and employ processes that define what your business is and how it operates, you’ve got total and complete control of everything.

But being able to love what you do and do what you love…might not be sustainable – or scalable!  No one person can do it all – at some point you’ve got to take on new employees, launch new products, maybe enter new markets, and give up some of that control to hired hands.

Your employees are the soul of your company.  Keeping them happy, challenged, and entertained will define your company’s culture.  It’s so, so easy to make business decisions that have unintended short-term and long-term consequences on your company’s culture, and it’s something that most entrepreneurs unfortunately don’t pay enough attention to.

Yeah.  Let's keep this one.  Good culture.Yeah.  Let's keep this one.  Good culture.

Whether you realize it or not, you’re running into key decision points every day that can impact your company’s culture – some for the better, some not so much.

The key is to recognize those decision points before things get away from you and you wake up one morning just to realize that your baby is a monster that you can’t stand to be around anymore.

How do you chart a course for growth without alienating the employees who helped fuel your success or losing touch with the customers who helped get you there in the first place?

Good question.

I’ll happy to report that I’ll be speaking on this very topic in August at the inaugural DreamCon, the very first DreamHost user conference!

DreamConMy session at 1pm on Friday, August 2nd, will teach you to…

  • Recognize key decision points that could impact company culture
  • Scale and maintain the “startup feel”, no matter how many employees you take on
  • Hire smart by looking beyond a resume and focusing on cultural cues
  • Learn when it’s okay to take things outside of your culture’s comfort zone
  • Understand DreamHost’s own struggles to grow without losing the best parts of its culture

They tell me I should say some personal things here so that you might be more inclined to attend my talk.  So who am I?

I’m the VP of Marketing at DreamHost and I’ve been here for nearly 15 years!  That’s longer than most cats live.  Longer than I want mine to live, anyway.

I write our newsletters.  I write some blog posts.  I am one of the world’s few remaining gin drinkers.  I think Facebook is generally better than Twitter.  When feeling fat, I can go for weeks at a time on just 1200 calories a day.  I think e-readers are the best invention in tech to come out of the last decade.

I met a few hundred customers last year during our Reach Out & Touch You tour.  Being able to put some faces and stories to our 350,000+ customers changed my whole outlook on what DreamHost is and can be. You people are amazing.

I’m excited about DreamCon and hope to see you there!

-Brett!
@DreamHostBrett