‘4E’: Execute on Extraordinary Experiences Everyday

June 2, 2008

Some of you may recall TQM (Total Quality Management) from 80’s auto industry management philosophy mania. While TQM was the management buzzword of its age, there was indeed something to it – it articulated an ideal for people within an organization to align themselves around.

In this respect I have a similar acronym here at FreshBooks. It’s “4E” and it stands for “Execute on Extraordinary Experiences Everyday”. Let me break it down for you.

“Execute” underscores the importance of getting things done. FreshBooks is an idea factory. Everyone here is creative and full of ideas about how to continually improve the business (for ourselves, for our customers, and for our partners). Ideas are great, but execution is everything.

“Extraordinary” means exceeding expectations, and this can be more easily achieved than you might think. For example, you don’t “expect” to get a live person on the phone when you call a website – therefore it’s extraordinary. How about getting a call from the CEO of your invoicing service to go out for dinner – were you expecting that? Probably not.

“Experience” delivery is the business we are in at FreshBooks. You thought we were in invoicing? We earn money because we provide extraordinary experiences to the people who use our service. This manifests itself in our application design, and the overall user experience when people interact with FreshBooks (both online and off). It also applies to how we treat people we work with, and the sorts of people we hire. Why? Because if your workday is an extraordinary experience, that will rub off on your work and the customers your serve.

“Everyday” is a cautionary reminder to ensure that every experiences our customers enjoy is extraordinarily executed, and that means doing it everyday. If someone calls us and encounters impatience when they need customer care – that shatters their extraordinary experience. When they encounter a bug in the application, again – experience shattered. Therefore, we strive for unrelenting execution, everyday.

“4E” describes the approach we take to everything here at FB, and I think it’s a great philosophy for any service oriented business. If you ever have an experience with us that does not measure up, please contact me directly at mike@fb.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.