My 8 year journey with GoCo building a platform for SMBs
In 2015, I was approached by 3 founders with an idea to build an all-in-one HR platform for small to medium-sized businesses. I worked closely with them to draft the initial mockups and build the front-end prototypes for the first MVP.
We built and launched the first MVP of GoCo in about 3 months and started getting our first customers onboard.
In November 2015, we raised $1.8M of seed funding from OneDigital, which helped us continue investing in products and growing the business.
Along the way, I worked closely with the team to design, build, and ship hundreds of product features and enhancements across many use-cases and scenarios. Here's a quick overview of the problem GoCo was solving and the solutions we designed to tackle them.
HR teams spend a lot of time on paperwork and processes leaving less time to focus on keeping their team engaged.
Small businesses usually have HR departments run by a small team, which can often be the owner. Staying on top of all the HR tasks and ensuring your company stays compliant is very time-consuming and challenging. The traditional way uses physical paperwork, filing cabinets, spreadsheets, and email to accomplish all the HR processes needed to hire and manage employees.
Organizing manual paperwork and data in filing cabinets is tedious.
Staying on top of all the compliance laws for your entire team is difficult.
Processes handled via email or offline are hard to track and stay on top of.
An All-In-One HR platform that has everything you need to manage your team.
GoCo helps companies get organized around their HR processes and data. No more physical paperwork, filing cabinets, or emails that get lost. You can hire employees, manage your HR workflows and data in a single and secure place, and empower your team to log in to submit requests and track progress.
I helped design and ship several core product features that helped thousands of SMBs streamline their HR department.
Our process was to move fast to deliver customer value and learn quickly.
GoCo started with a small team of just 5 people that moved quickly to build and ship features that delivered value to customers. Our product development processes evolved over time, however there were some core steps that were a consistent theme throughout our journey:
Feature Pipeline / Strategy 📝
We had limited time and resources so we couldn't build everything, so our team met frequently to discuss the strategy and prioritize the most impactful features that would help our customers and the business.
The Product Spec ✍️
We would put together a spec that outlined the problem, business impact, customer research, competitive deconstructs and solution ideas to quickly get alignment on what we could build.
Build & Ship Fast 🛠
We typically aimed to deliver new features in 2 week development sprints, however some features took anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to build depending on their complexity.
Learn & Iterate 💡
We'd gather feedback from our team and customers and use that to help prioritize the next set of features and enhancements we could build.
GoCo raised $27M+ in funding, acquired over 6,200 customers, and hit $16M+ ARR
Recently reached Series B funding with over $27M in total raised capital.
Helping over 6,200 small to medium sized businesses manage their HR processes.
Annual Recurring Revenue
Achieved $16M+ ARR milestone.
Annual Recurring Revenue
GoCo allowed me to grow as a product designer in many ways I am grateful for
While it's difficult to quantify all the learnings I gathered over the years at GoCo, here's a few that had a great impact on me:
Ship Fast and Learn 🚀
The speed of development at GoCo was extremely fast paced with huge priority on shipping product and learning fast.
As a designer I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and could spend hours tweaking the smallest details. GoCo's environment allowed me to learn how to balance perfection with progress. We could pay attention to the small details, but at the end of the day we must ship it and learn.
Company Culture > Everything Else
GoCo's founders invested heavily in ensuring the company had a great culture. This culture promoted values like transparency, collaboration, grit, giving first and always challenging yourself and others to evolve.
I was able to experience first-hand what it's like to build an amazing company culture from the ground up, and how continuously investing in your people helps make an environment people are excited to work at.
GoCo allowed me to wear many hats and as a result I've learned many new things along the way including:
- Design Systems: designed reusable components to help scale the product
- Pitch Decks: designed pitch decks that helped raised millions in funding
- Marketing: built landing pages and conversion funnels with A/B tests
- Videos: produced videos to help tell the story of GoCo's features
- Frontend Code: contributed to our frontend ReactJS app
- User Metrics: implemented interaction tracking for better decision making
- Partnerships: collaborated with large partnerships that leveraged GoCo
- Company Culture: helped define cultural processes and values