Key Points From the Interview
ulture... Company culture.
A nebulous concept, and one sometimes greeted with eye rolls by spreadsheet-oriented types.
But my biggest takeaway from today's interview with Michael Arrieta is how much I have been overlooking it.
Michael was an early employee at DocuSign and grew with that company's rapid rise and eventual IPO.
After such a successful run, rather than stay in tech and reach for the next rung of the Silicon Valley ladder, he decided to step out and buy small businesses.
The result is holdco Garden City, started in 2020, which has since acquired 3 businesses.
We hear about those acquisitions today, and we spend a lot of time on Michael's philosophy of how to implement change and what changes to prioritize.
The question I'm now asking myself is, whether the biggest opportunity in buying small businesses is not getting rid of the fax machine and putting in cloud software tools — but rather, bringing in a new culture.
Because in the same way that the previous owner may not have had the time or awareness to focus on the fax machine, he may not have had time to focus on culture, either.
And so over the years a culture developed at the business you buy without much direction or intention around it.
And so by you bringing intention & direction to that legacy culture, and elevating it, you can improve the organization in much deeper ways than just tossing out the fax machine.
See if you agree. Here is Michael Arrieta, founder & CEO of Garden City.