Behind-the-scenes Fastcase Subscription Site Case Study: Why They Don’t Hire Virtual Staff

We just published a new exclusive Case Study in Fastcase. I was lucky enough to conduct the interview myself as Insider’s normal editor out

We just published a new exclusive Case Study in Fastcase. I was lucky enough to conduct the interview myself as Insider’s normal editor out on vacation.  One neat thing you won’t find in the Case Study is the fact that this subscription site with more than 500,000 paid online users requires that nearly all 20 staff members work out of its offices in downtown DC.I thought that was kind of strange, given how (a) incredibly hard it is to find and hire truly outstanding people (yes, even during a recession) and (b) how the Internet has made it possible to allow folks to work virtually, thus expanding your potential employee pool. Why limit yourself to just the best pros in your hometown? Especially when that town is DC with almost nil un-employment in the sectors Fastcase hires in.CEO Edward Walters told me he considers NOT being a virtual company a critical key to their success. “There’s a real value to having a close knit team. For example, anyone on the team can pop into my office for five minutes when they have a cool idea. We did the virtual thing for a year and a half, and it was much harder and less fun. The office was better. You don’t have to reinvent everything to be successful.” I laughed when he said that and asked if he was wearing a suit. “I’m wearing jeans,” he replied.So, aside from field sales reps and a single programmer who moved with her spouse and now works from home, everyone else at Fastcase is in the actual office. That’s not the case here at SubscriptionSiteInsider.com. We do have an office in Providence Rhode Island that I and two other staffers work from. But Rhode Island has a very limited workforce to draw from, so we do extend offers to virtual workers. For example CFO Cassandra Farrington is in Colorado. It would be cool if they could all be here. The energy in the office when folks fly in for our twice-annual, in-person meetings is tremendous. I guess I’m a bit jealous of Fastcase…..

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