A Q&A with Employee #8: Scaling a Start-Up Into a Sustainable Business

When I was approached by our blog team to contribute an article for Women in Tech Week, I knew immediately what my contribution would be. I’ve worked very closely with one of our earliest employees and current VP of Product, Jen Morrisey, for the past five years, and I can’t think of a more inspirational and passionate leader. Jen has been a customer advocate and product fanatic over the past decade at LiquidPlanner.

A few fun facts: She’s in her seventh role at LiquidPlanner and spent her early days building and growing the early customer base. She then focused heavily on retention and getting customers to value (which, as the Director of Customer Success, I now own.) Today, Jen brings her customer experience lens to product development, where she works on exciting product innovations for the future of the company. 

A quick note: We, like others who are able, are observing social distancing practices — and hosted this interview remotely. 

Would you like to start off by sharing a little bit of your background and history before joining LiquidPlanner?

Well, with my double major in Business and Art History, I never thought I’d be building technology products! My first role out of school was at the Starbucks corporate office and I quickly learned through a few projects that project management was calling for me. After a few years of consuming a lot of delicious coffee, I went into project management consulting and supported clients with project controls and best practices.

So, as the title of this post implies, you’re employee number eight. One of the originals, practically! At the time, what drew you into wanting to be a part of this team?

During my time consulting, I realized that traditional project management tools just weren’t adding the value I thought they should. My clients struggled to keep their plans up-to-date and they absolutely dreaded using their project management solution. During this period of the late 2000s, the founders of LiquidPlanner were building a project management solution unlike anything the market had seen. I caught wind and ended up having coffee with Charles Seybold, a co-founder, to learn more about their technology and goals, and joined the team just a few weeks later.

Let’s go back in time 10 years, what were the early days of LiquidPlanner like?

During our start-up days, every employee — from developers to finance — fit into a conference room. We’d talk roadmap and triage customer requests and bugs — so many hearty debates were had and big ideas discussed! Our culture was very much centered around being “the LiquidPlanner family”. We spent a significant amount of time together, went through ups and downs, and were a very supportive unit for one another. 

Were there any apparent strains, being such a small team?

We launched our first version of LiquidPlanner during the Great Recession, so we were the definition of lean and scrappy. Towards the end of the month when I was in Sales, I remember staying up all hours of the night to close international deals. For several product releases early on, Support would sleep at the office until all of our help guide articles and videos were ready for launch the next day. Though long hours were had, we believed so much in our

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