We talk to Job van der Voort about the Remote Economy and the big opportunity for regions like Africa, his life hacks, and the challenge of going from zero to unicorn in 18 months.
Our guest for the 21st interview with unicorn start-up leaders is Job van de Voort
, co-founder and CEO of Remote
Remote helps companies of all sizes hire top talent all over the world, in full compliance with local laws. A global platform for distributed teams, Remote makes it easy to onboard, pay, and delight remote employees and contractors, anywhere in the world. The company was founded in 2019 by Job and his co-founder Marcelo Lebre
, in what was their second venture together. 18 months later Remote raised $150m and became Portugal’s fifth unicorn.
A neuroscientist by training, Job admits that the scientific world was too slow for him so he left it to found his first startup and then work at GitLab to the point where he ran their product for five years. For him, GitLab is a role model of a fully remote company and inspired him to create Remote and help other companies overcome the challenges of setting a remote. According to Job, he does not need to convince companies to make this change because "the weight of the decision does not lie with the employers anymore". He adds, "it's either you go remote in some capacity or you're going to lose out on a lot of good talent." For him, South America and Africa will boom immensely and benefit most from a remote working world.
Among his advice on how to work efficiently remotely, he acknowledges that most meetings are a waste of time. He reveals that one of the best ways to make people productive is to teach them how to avoid meetings. Job also stresses that being brutally honest and open about any issue has been his life hack. For him, this is vital to successfully leading a company. He also points out that the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is not following up and fixing things, to just sit with that and let it be - you should always deal with the issue as fast as you can.
We have distilled the most valuable, actionable insights from our first 15 interviews with leaders of unicorn companies and bottled them in our book ‘Growing without borders: The unicorn CEO guide to communication and culture’. You can download it here.