Josh Reeves is one of the co-founders of Gusto, which is a platform meant to help out small businesses with payroll as well as benefits. However, he tends to be better-known because he is the CEO of the company as well, meaning that he is the one responsible for overseeing its operations on a day-to-day basis.
1. Went to Stanford University
Education-wise, Reeves went to Stanford University, which is situated in Stanford, CA. It isn't uncommon for universities to be named for the locations that host them. However, that isn't the case for Stanford University, which is perhaps unsurprising for people who are aware of its full name as the Leland Stanford Junior University. After all, that name makes it very clear that the school was named for a real person. Theoretically, Stanford, CA might have been named for the same individual. In practice, that seems improbable because that kind of honor tends to be reserved for figures from earlier times. There is indeed a more logical explanation, which is that the CDP was named for the school rather than the other way around.
2. Studied Electrical Engineering
Subject-wise, Reeves studied electrical engineering. This is one of those engineering disciplines that make it clear just how huge the field of engineering happens to be. After all, electrical engineering encompasses everything that uses electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. Even so, it is just one of four main categories of engineering, with the other three being chemical engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering.
3. Has a Master's Degree in His Chosen Subject
Speaking of which, Reeves has a master's degree in electrical engineering, which is very common. It is possible for people to work in the field with just a bachelor's degree. However, engineering is like a lot of other fields in that a master's degree opens up a wide range of opportunities for interested individuals. Something that can help them a great deal with their career advancement.
4. Co-Founded ZenPayroll
In 2012, Reeves co-founded ZenPayroll. This was the original name of Gusto. Even so, ZenPayroll makes it very clear what the company was focused upon from the very start. Since then, it has expanded to include other services, which presumably explains much about its subsequent name change. Companies need a name that fits the nature of their revenue-earning operations, so ZenPayroll wouldn't have fit anymore when the company changed to help out with more than just payroll.
5. Co-Founded a Company that Has Seen Much Expansion
Currently, Gusto serves more than 100,000 businesses situated throughout the United States. As a result, it is safe to say that it has seen much expansion over time. It will be interesting to see how Gusto continues to expand under Reeves's leadership. Presumably, the company will continue to seek to increase its share of its chosen market. However, one can't help but wonder if it will seek to expand into adjacent markets as well. For example, there are a lot of medium-sized businesses out there that share their smaller counterparts' need for assistance with payroll and benefits. Similarly, the United States is far from being the sole economy out there that can support such platforms. Of course, such expansions can't happen without considerable changes representing considerable challenges.
6. His Company Has Raised More than $500 Million Funding
Companies need plenty of funding to fulfill their ambitions. Theoretically, companies can save and scrimp until they have enough funds for each subsequent step in their plans. In practice, that is very impractical, particularly since newer companies tend to have a harder time finding the necessary resources than their better-established counterparts. As such, it makes sense for companies to exchange ownership stakes as well as other considerations in exchange for funds. Of course, most investors won't just give out that kind of money without the proper scrutiny, which is what makes the fact that Reeves's company has raised more than $500 million in funding so impressive.
7. Helped Clients Apply for Critical Loan During the COVID-19 Crisis
Service providers can have a huge impact on their clients' livelihoods, particularly when those clients are on the smaller and thus more vulnerable side of things. To name an example, Reeves's company made changes during the COVID-19 crisis to help its clients apply for the Payroll Protection Program, which offered low-interest loans so that businesses could continue paying their workers. Of course, this was beneficial for Gusto as well. After all, a client that went under was a client that would no longer need assistance with either their payroll or their benefits. Having said that, there is research saying that the Payroll Protection Program didn't actually save a lot of jobs because most of the money went to businesses that weren't in danger of going under.
8. Doesn't Believe in Short-Term Gains in Exchange for Long-Term Sacrifices
One of the principles of Reeves's company is refusing to increase short-term gains by making long-term sacrifices. This is rather sensible. However, it is something that a lot of companies have issues with. Essentially, the problem is that the agents empowered by a company don't necessarily have the same interests as the company itself. As a result, it is very much possible for them to choose courses of action that are better for them but not for the company, with an excellent example being high-ranking executives who make money by creating a mess before leaving that to be handled by their successors. Certainly, there are ways for companies to bring their interests and their agents' interest into alignment with one another. However, the implementation of those ways is reliant on those at the very top making a conscious decision to avoid sacrificing the future for the sake of the present.
9. Believes in Transparency
Reeves's company also believes in transparency. This is something of a buzz-word. However, transparency is indeed very important for businesses. After all, the people who make up businesses can't hope to have a comprehensive understanding of everything at every level. Due to this, they are reliant on their counterparts to communicate truthful information, thus enabling them to make good decisions that are grounded in real circumstances. A lack of transparency can cause cascading errors up and down the company hierarchy. Indeed, it can cause serious issues that extended well beyond the company itself.
10. Believes in Ownership Mentality
Interestingly, Reeves's company also stresses what it calls an ownership mentality. This is defined as empowering every single employee of Gusto so that they can make its overall operations better. Such approaches show up a lot in tech companies compared with their traditional, top-down counterparts, not least because that makes them more responsive to their notoriously fast-changing business environment.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee