March 2, 2017

The Benefits of a Joyous Culture, with Rich Sheridan

Episode 58:

Menlo Innovations CEO Rich Sheridan had the all-consuming thought during a difficult mid-career in the chaotic technology industry that things can be better. Much better. He had to find a way. His search led him to books, authors, and history, including recalling childhood visits to Greenfield Village every summer. The excitement of the Edison Menlo Park New Jersey Lab served as his siren call to create a workplace filled with camaraderie, human energy, creativity, and productivity.

Ultimately, Rich and his co-founder James Goebel invented their own company in 2001 to “end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology” by returning joy to one of the most unique endeavors mankind has ever undertaken: the invention of software.

Their unique approach to custom software design, they named it High-tech Anthropology® has produced custom software that delights users rather than frustrating them. The programming team creates the software that works every day without the emergencies that are all too common in the tech industry. The process itself is so interesting that almost 4,000 people a year travel from around the world just to see how they do it. Many spend a week or more studying “The Menlo Way” being taught by the Menlonians who love to share their experience and knowledge.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Rich’s background
  • Menlo Innovations’ joyous culture that people come in the thousands every year to witness
  • Why you need to turn your sights outward to who you serve and deliver joy to them
  • Why Menlo has its employees work two to a computer and bans the use of earbuds
  • How Menlo simulates the work environment during the interview process
  • Why Menlo doesn’t even look at resumes
  • The three-week paid trial new hires at Menlo enter into
  • The tower of knowledge problem that becomes a prison on knowledge problem in the IT industry and what Menlo does about it
  • How Menlo systematically gives each other feedback
  • The one meeting Menlo has every day (and why they avoid other meetings at all costs)
  • Why the Menlo team doesn’t even look at email on vacation
  • Why staying the same is riskier than growing

Ways to contact Rich: