The company stays innovative because all departments play a role in predictive analysis. Everybody benefits when Local Corp. holds its daily check-in meetings, sharing relevant news and information of the day.
“One of the major tenets of our culture is we’re focused on never-ending improvement,” Thiel says. “The power of teamwork and groups, not enough can be said about it.”
But working in a fast-pace industry of advertising technology does have its perks. For instance, it is easier to test ideas and thoughts in one morning and in real time, helping managers like Thiel see if pursuing an idea is worth the investment.
“It’s an amazing rush to kind of walk out of a room when a new idea or concept has been hatched and then know that because the team is so good at executing, they’re going to get an initial, minimum viable product out the door in days, or worst case weeks, so we can test our hypothesis and see if it’s right,” Thiel says.
By doing this, Local Corp. has been able to stay forward in its industry. With 13 patents already under its belt and additional ones pending, the company continues to captivate the passion and innovation of its employees.
“It’s an industry where if you have the right idea and you’re able to execute at the right time in the right way and you have the right partners, you can be hugely successful.
“We spend, as an organization at the executive level, lots of time on the creative side of the business as well the execution side of the business,” Thiel says.
He stresses the importance of being aware of what’s going on in your industry and constantly considering what could happen. Your efforts to prepare and to make sure there is a plan set to handle such unexpected risks can pay huge dividends.
“Don’t be complacent. The uncertainty is just around the bend,” Thiel says. “It’s a lot easier when the avalanche hits to already know what you’re already supposed to do rather than to be trying to figure it out while the snow is pushing you down the hill.” ●
- Ask questions to improve your product and service.
- Encourage everyone to participate in your culture.
- Don’t be afraid to slow down to deal with external risks.
The Thiel File
NAME: Fred Thiel
COMPANY: Local Corp.
Born: Paris, France
Education: Attended grade school in New York and high school in London. Took classes at Stockholm School of Economics. He is a self-described proverbial technology college dropout.
What is the best business advice you ever received? Never stop improving what you’re doing. There’s always a better way to do it, and there’s always a way to do it faster and less expensive, while creating a better experience for the consumer.
Who do you admire in business? Andy Grove for asking the question ‘Why?’ five times. You end up with a much better idea at the end of the day.
Jack Welch for understanding that if you are not changing as fast as the outside world or faster you will soon be out of business. Sir Richard Branson for his sheer tenacity and passion about the consumer experience and his brand. Elon Musk, who takes on challenges that are supernatural in size and executes. And of course Steve Jobs, for totally believing in his vision.