Co-Founder Jordan Walker of Yac shares advice and lessons learned on building a startup by relying on a liquid workforce.
Co-Founder and COO Jordan Walker founded Yac to offer the most efficient way to communicate with your team. Yac offers “screen sharing and the beauty of a phone call – asynchronously.”
Solving Remote Team Challenges
Yac was born out of SoFriendly, the remote design agency of Jordan and his co-founders. At SoFriendly, team members were across the US and around the globe. Finding common times to have calls was tough and an ongoing challenge. It was always inconvenient and 11 p.m. for someone on the call. At the time, there weren’t any tools that supported what true remote teams needed, so Jordan and his co-founder decided they needed to build it for themselves. “We ended up solving our problem, which resulted in Yac coming to life,” Jordan shared.
Yac was initially launched inside Product Hunt’s 2018 Maker’s Festival. Jordan’s team quickly built the first version of it in only a few days over the Thanksgiving break. Jordan says, “What happened next – we never expected. The feedback from the community was amazing, and the sign-ups were rolling in like crazy. We ended up winning the Makers Festival and grew our waitlist to 3000+ teams.”
Startup Lessons Learned
Through founding Yac, Jordan and his co-founders have developed a new appreciation and valuation for the processes involved with successfully growing a startup. For example, Jordan notes, “making the investment in good legal resources is well worth it and is critical for ensuring fundraising is smooth sailing for everyone involved.” He also advises that being prepared for the fundraising process is essential. “Fundraising is hard. You shouldn’t get discouraged while trying to raise funds. People are going to say no, and it sucks, but you have to keep moving forward.”
Starting with a Liquid Workforce
Yac has relied on its liquid workforce from the start – the founders knew that these resources would be essential in helping the company quickly get to where it needed to go. Jordan shares that “using a liquid workforce has helped us scale tremendously.” The founders had already been using outside resources to support SoFriendly, so they were already familiar and comfortable with engaging freelancers and contractors. “Initially building Yac, it was almost as if it was just another agency project for us – everyone knew their role, and what to do, we knew what liquid resources we would need, and immediately got to work.” “It’s also a great way to save funds which might be needed elsewhere. Freelancers don’t require all the benefits of employees. So, to say the least, a liquid workforce has helped us scale since day 1.”Jordan Walker, Co-Founder of Yac
“In the day-to-day, especially in the context of a startup, it’s nice to have the ability to spin up resources on a moment’s notice,” Jordan said. He added that “things can change extremely quickly, and new variables get introduced all the time that require a certain degree of flexibility.”
Engaging a liquid workforce has also benefited the company financially. Jordan said, “It’s also a great way to save funds which might be needed elsewhere. Freelancers don’t require all the benefits of employees. So, to say the least, a liquid workforce has helped us scale since day 1.”
Jordan advises companies engaging flex workers for the first time to make sure you have a plan in place and frequently communicate with your contractors. “Too many times have I seen folks get frustrated and discouraged when it comes to contract work because of mismanagement on their end or bad communication. Creating the framework early on and setting expectations from the jump is crucial in a successful venture with a liquid workforce.”
Balancing Work, Life, and Changing the World
Jordan describes his perfect day as waking up, drinking some tea, and relaxing outside for a bit, working on Yac all day with 0 meetings, then working out, reading, and playing a game to end the day! Looking ahead, Jordan says that Yac is “here to help champion the change to remote, asynchronous work. Our company was built on the premise that you don’t need to be in meetings constantly or have no life outside of work.”