Adam Pisoni on Founding Yammer, Responsive Org, Abl
My guest today – Adam Pisoni (@Adampisoni) – is the co-founder and former CTO of Yammer, a business communication software company which sold to Microsoft for over 1 Billion dollars.
I met Adam last year as a part of the Responsive Org community, which Adam co-created.
Adam’s new company A.b.l. is the next step in building resilience and responsiveness at work and beyond. We discuss how A.b.l. is striving to impact children’s lives through changing how schools allocate resources, which drive the day-to-day operations of student’s learning.
Throughout this conversation – and all of Adam’s endeavors – I’m impressed with his playfulness in the face of big and challenging issues. Among other examples, Adam is constantly considering the diversity of his own company. Tech start-ups are predominantly straight, white men. Diversity in Silicon Valley is a hot button issue and Adam tackles it head on, voicing his strong opinions, recognizing his own privilege, and being willing to be proven wrong.
I couldn’t be more pleased to have Adam on the podcast. He’s a tested and proven entrepreneur – which I take to mean just a starter of things. His efforts to start the Responsive Org movement have paved the way for many of my own events and community organizing. Adam is thoughtful, curious, and playful in the face of challenge. I hope you enjoy this rambling conversation and interview with Adam Pisoni!
Quick note: If you enjoy this conversation with Adam Pisoni, check out the 1st Annual Responsive.org Conference, happening in the Bay area, on September 19th and 20th. Adam will be a speaker, and it is going to be an incredible event. Check it out here!
“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari
2:30 Always Be Learning (A.b.l)
4:00 Origin of the education system and the need to update
9:30 Adam’s life growing up
12:30 Adam’s perspective on privilege
17:00 Being a contrarian at Yammer
21:00 Naming the Responsive Movement and predicting its future
27:30 Working in large (Yammer) vs. small (A.b.l) organizations
30:00 Building a diverse workforce from the start
34:30 Hiring at Robin’s Cafe
40:30 Moving beyond the comfortable
45:00 Compassion for other people
48:45 Robin’s key lessons from opening the cafe
50:30 Breaking of hierarchy stereotypes
56:00 Robin’s Cafe – 3153 17th Street on 17th and Shotwell
Monday – Fri 8am – 5pm
Saturday – 9am – 4pm
Join Adam, me, and a host of amazing speakers at the 1st Annual Responsive.org Conference. Hope to see you there!