Catchpoint CEO Mehdi Daoudi builds company culture around his staff

MehdiDaoudi
Mehdi Daoudi makes sure employees know they are appreciated. (Catchpoint)

Catchpoint CEO Mehdi Daoudi is putting as much energy into his employees as he is into his company.

Catchpoint, which measures the speed and reliability of web services, has built a culture where its workers are not only encouraged, but incentivized, to be teammates.

“I am passionate about this,” Daoudi told FierceCEO. “Our employees are our front line and they deserve to be recognized for this and feel informed and part of a team.”

That means every quarter, Daoudi and other executives gather Catchpoint’s 180 staffers to tell them what they have reported about operations to the company’s venture capital investors. The knowledge of Catchpoint’s financial and operational standing gives staff a high-level, inclusive view of why they are doing what they are doing.

“It’s important we feel we are in the boat together,” Daoudi said. “We are a team, not multiple teams.”

Still, twice a year, the company breaks off into teams to brainstorm new ideas and build new products. It builds camaraderie and goodwill when people from different departments are put together. The three winning teams receive additional equity in the company and a monetary reward.

Daoudi extends his largess beyond employees, to their families. Each summer the company holds a large picnic for staff and their significant others.

“It’s our way of appreciating the sacrifices of the families because we can tend to work late,” Daoudi said.

“We want staff to be happy and fulfilled,” Daoudi said. “We’re here to provide them with an experience that can deepen their lives while having fun doing it.”

The goal is to keep employees satisfied and productive at Catchpoint, which uses software to make sure that internet-driven systems are performing as they should.

Clients, which include companies like Priceline, tend to have heavy internet traffic and can’t afford to see its system slow down or go down.

“Organizations are increasingly beefing up their data centers as well as leveraging outsourced infrastructures like the cloud to maintain strong performance as online traffic volumes explode,” Daoudi said. “Ironically, this increasing complexity, in terms of the sheer number of elements and variables ultimately impacting the user experience, can make it harder to deliver great performance, simply because there are more single points of failure.”

When applications are slow, “customers become likely to develop negative sentiment towards a brand, vent on social networks and/or migrate to a competitor, while employees will cease to use sluggish applications, putting significant investments at risk,” Daoudi said.

The system, borne from tinkering with a small monitoring system in his apartment, is unlike others because it combines synthetic and real-user applications, Daoudi said.

The synthetic monitoring consists of “dummy” traffic generated from the cloud, which gives companies a view of user performance levels in any location. Real-user monitoring measures performance for actual users once they enter a site or application.

Daoudi believes integrating synthetic and real-user performance monitoring data provides the most comprehensive, actionable and contextual information.

“We want to make sure clients are never caught off guard with their services,” he said.

Fast Five with Mehdi Daoudi

What is a trait of a strong leader?

Listening, because we don’t have all the answers. If you don’t listen, you’re a dictator.

What keeps you up at night?

Making sure I don’t let my employees down.

What is the key to generating revenue?

Sitting down and listening to the problems and challenges of customers.

When have you had to adapt and what did you learn?

As the company grows, we can’t build walls. We have to be as flat as possible.

What do you know now that you wish you had known five years ago?

I would have spent a lot more time on sales and marketing.

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