That’s why Service Titan’s performance reviews can
refect negatively on those who don’t fail at something—
because it might mean they’re too complacent. The
co-founders want to see their staf striving to achieve ambitious goals and learning from mistakes. This practice extends
to bosses as well: Mahdessian and Kuzoyan get 360-degree
reviews from their employees to understand where they
excel, where they sufer, and where they need to improve
When interviewing job candidates, the co-founders
ask them to articulate a challenge that they’ve weathered.
Mahdessian and Kuzoyan understand that running a fast-
growing startup is inherently high risk and comes with
unrelenting challenges—amplifed by the fact that they
are dealing with the livelihoods of their customers. They
want their own employees to connect with that urgency,
“We refect back on how much our parents sacrifced and
what kinds of struggles they had to fght through—failure
was never an option for them,” Mahdessian says. “We flter
for people who have faced moments of adversity and
have persevered, because that is going to be every day at
Mahdessian and Kuzoyan met on a college ski trip for Armenian students—benefac- tors, of sorts, of their fathers’ successes. Mahdessian was studying at Stanford while Kuzoyan was at the University of Southern California, and both were pur- suing degrees in software engineering.
After graduating, they teamed up on several consulting
projects before building Service Titan. Word quickly spread
throughout the Armenian immigrant community that the
co-founders had a tool that could ease some of the most
annoying operating problems of many entrepreneurs, and
soon business swelled.
They launched their Glendale, California–based business
in 2013—Kuzoyan’s parents served as the beta customers—
and it has experienced 1,437 percent growth in the past three
years. (It is No. 347 on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list of America’s
fastest-growing private companies.) Service Titan booked
$59.5 million in revenue last year.
To accommodate that kind of surge, the company is
moving to a larger ofce space this year. The new ofce
decor includes features such as unfnished wood and
exposed piping. It’s a reminder to the staf of who their customers are: plumbers, carpenters, and other tradespeople.
“The goal of the aesthetic is to further the emotional relationship between our team and our customers,” says Kuzoyan.
“We are using things like the environment to make them feel
like they can understand the lives of our customers.”
After all, Kuzoyan and Mahdessian know exactly how hard
their customers have to work.
EMILY CANAL isan Inc. staf writer.
While economists quarrel over where the U.S.
is in the current economic cycle and politi-
cians fght over fscal and monetary policy,
the state of the American workplace is strong.
Inc. and Quantum Workplace conducted
America’s largest national research effort for
Best Workplaces, collecting data on nearly
2,000 companies. The biggest takeaway:
Organizational health, as measured by
employee sentiment, is at an all-time high.
The nominations included workplaces of all
sizes and in all industries. Each nominated
company took part in a deep employee
survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace,
on topics including trust, management
and confdence in
the future. We gath-
ered and analyzed
the data. Then we
ranked all employers
using a composite
score of survey
results, and came up
with 346 Best Work-
places (for a com-
plete list, go to Inc.com/best-workplaces).
This year, 74. 2 percent of surveyed
employees said they were engaged by their
work—besting last year’s 72. 1 percent. The
segment of disengaged workers dropped
from 2. 1 to 1. 7 percent. Clearly, a tight labor
market has allowed employers to be smarter
about how to create competitive cultures.
The strongest engagement scores came
from companies that prioritize the most
human elements of work. These companies
are leading the way in employee recognition,
performance management, and diversity. It’s
a different playbook from a decade ago,
when too many frms used the same
template: free meals, open work environments, and artifacts of “fun.” Unusual
employee perks today include: free farm-fresh eggs and vegetables, paid newspaper
subscriptions, table-tennis training with a
former world champion, and a pay-it-forward
allowance to show kindness to strangers.
—Greg Harris, president and CEO,
With labor tight, frms are
getting creative to attract and
retain talent. Your foosball
table won’t cut it anymore.
said their work