Scott Voigt, founder and CEO, FullStory
We sat down with Scott Voigt, the founder and CEO of digital experience intelligence platform, FullStory to talk about his attitude towards genuine and effective communication within a multi-million dollar business, how he works to overcome his own weaknesses, and why sometimes it is best to say less.
FullStory is a technology company that focuses on creating the perfect digital experience. Their tech records the customer journey in a privacy friendly way, whether it's on a browser or a native device. The data is then reported back to the owners of those properties so they can understand exactly when, where and why their customers are receiving a lower level of digital experience, and how to rectify it.
Scott has been In the SaaS game for over 25 years. He worked at a number of companies over that time – but the FullStory story picked up in the early 2000’s when he was working on a startup (where he met his two co-founders) which was later acquired by Google. “The whole time we wanted to get the band back together, and so we finally got the courage, say, in 6 or 7 years after we had sold that company to Google to quit our day jobs, really to pursue this idea of perfecting digital experience by developing a very innovative piece of technology that didn't exist before”, says Voigt.
In 2021, the company achieved Unicorn status after securing an impressive $171 million in funding. Since then, it has continued to flourish, establishing a prominent foothold in Europe and Australia while also expanding its operations into Germany and Singapore.
When talking about his strengths as a leader, Scott said he is always sceptical of people who claim to know what their own strengths are, which is why it is important for people to communicate this to each other. Scott has always had the “gift of the gab” when it comes to talking in front of people, but revealed he has a weakness when it comes to writing: “For a long time I was very hesitant to put words on paper. And so, I think I probably would lean into to verbal communication. At some point I decided I wanted to go back to business school, university here in the States. And it turns out in order to get in, you had to learn how to write”, he jokes.
We asked Scott whether the culture at FullStory had changed since becoming a Unicorn. He made a conscious effort to ensure that it did not, and one way of doing this, he encouraged everyone to be proud and hungry to succeed, but not pay attention to the numbers. He says “nobody gives you a high five in the world when you refinance your house. That's just a financing event. And so, it is with FullStory.” Scott trusts that while it's gratifying to have some sort of recognition for their accomplishments, such as this big milestone, it's important not to become too fixated on that number since it is bound to fluctuate over time.
The FullStory founder and CEO believes that in order to be a successful leader, you must be genuine. He emulates this in every talk he gives to the company, by showing empathy and always encourages employees to “honour your inner sceptic”. In other words, questioning and testing that what he says is true so that the team can build real trust and be more aligned. Being genuine builds trust.
The interview, as usual, was co-hosted with Russell Goldsmith of the csuite podcast. Alongside Holly Justice, Senior Partner at Tyto PR.
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.