October 1, 2013
If you have a credit or debit card, signing up for Plink should be a no-brainer.
Once you hook up Plink to your card, it will start recording purchases you make at participating stores, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Sears, and Kmart. In return, you get rewards like Amazon, Walmart, and iTunes gift cards, Facebook credits, Red Cross donations, and (my favorite) airline miles. You don’t have to manage multiple loyalty cards, and all your points are pooled into one single account.
Cofounders Peter Vogel, Bryan Tyler, and David Asseoff have been working to make Plink this simple since 2011. Below, Vogel offers some tips for younger startups on how to survive the startup life.
Tech Cocktail: How do you keep your team motivated?
Peter Vogel: By over-communicating and being 100 percent transparent. Many of us are dealing with very disparate parts of the company, ranging from fundraising, sales, technical development, etc. We find that the more that everyone is aware of each other’s challenges and achievements, the more we’re on the same page and the easier it is to stay motivated. We use one service called TINYpulse, which allows our team to fill out anonymous survey questions each week rating their satisfaction at work, providing suggestions on how to improve our culture, and there is even an opportunity to submit “cheers” for a fellow employee(s). We’ve found this type of structured, regular feedback to be an important part of our all-company meetings, and we tend to have someone different read the feedback each week, so we’re all contributing and part of the process.
Tech Cocktail: What keeps you motivated on the hard days?
Vogel: I find that it’s always helpful to get feedback from people external to the company. It’s really easy to get “stuck” in your head and forget that your startup is doing some pretty cool stuff. It’s easy to overlook what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve gotten, and an outsider’s perspective can often provide that different vantage point.
Tech Cocktail: What personality trait has served you best as an entrepreneur?
Vogel: Being comfortable with uncertainty. Time and time again, we face challenges where the outcome is unknown and we have to push forward and hope for the best, not knowing where we’ll end up. I think startup life requires this willingness to not only take risks, but be willing to strive towards a goal that is changing, often regularly.
Plink was a showcased startup at our Tech Cocktail Denver mixer in September.
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