Nerd Tech: SurveyStud, Inc

George T. Reynolds is the Founder / Senior Partner of SurveyStud,Inc. In his role he focuses on technology leadership, product strategy, business development and company culture.  



Nerd Tech (NT): Your prior experience runs the gauntlet, therefore I could argue your experiences are pivotal elements of SurveyStud’s success. As an “all-in-one CRM platform… fundamentally measuring how direct to consumer sales works,” SurveyStud, Inc seems to target a niche audience. What was your inspiration? 

George: Interestingly, the target audience is actually the majority of in-airport sales. The most exciting ventures are those that demonstrably improve the way value is measured (or delivered) at scale in a market. At SurveyStud, Inc, we found that while there were lots of tools available in the market, the notion of an integrated platform remains a novel value proposition in sales, and therefore worthy of pursuit. Again, our inspiration came from having experienced the pain of using tools, as well as being a client in the industry, and we were able to create a clear vision of what life could be like on both sides of the table. Sometimes, grand ideas emerge, and it’s not clear how to be impactful. Inspiration doesn’t follow in those situations.

NT: In addition to business development and product strategy, you also spearhead company culture in your current role. For you, what makes for a positive company culture? 

George: How do you actively foster it within your organization? Company culture has lots of attributes, chief among them are the values that are shared by all employees. Two key values that go far in creating a team atmosphere are embracing challenges together, and being transparent about our efforts (and their successes or failures) as a group. In short, I find that positivity comes from bringing folks together and making sure that they are unified around a common goal.

NT: What has been the most challenging obstacle you’ve faced as a company, and how did you overcome it? Did you take away any insights that are applicable to a universal audience? 

George: The most significant challenges that leaders often face are typically turnarounds or pivots — situations where the company was originally marching north and needs to march west or even south. This presents a challenge either because of the time constraints on executing the change, or because of the changes in resources required to achieve the new business goals. 

In terms of insights, I’ve found that pivots and the change management that go along with them require a culture that habitually shares objectives and key results, recognizes and celebrates healthy behaviors, and practices making business cases for initiatives. I’ve frequently found that contributors need guidance on how to work backwards from business objectives and goals, and the training that goes along with that is what empowers contributors with healthy autonomy and self-organization skills.

NT: In what ways do you feel that your prior experiences in digital strategy and UX prepared you for this venture? Were any experiences particularly formative? 

George: I think the time spent funding my own businesses in years past was of the greatest help. In particular, helping other scaling businesses with marketing, product strategy and engineering were of the most utility. 

NT: In addition to business development and product strategy, you also spearhead company culture in your current role. For you, what makes for a positive company culture? How do you actively foster it within SurveyStud? 

George: Company culture has lots of attributes, chief among them are the values that are shared by all employees. Two key values that go far in creating a team atmosphere are embracing challenges together, and being transparent about our efforts (and their successes or failures) as a group. In short, I find that positivity comes from bringing folks together and making sure that they are unified around a common goal.

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