If Dailybreak’s Vice President of Operations Ryan Durkin could summarize the company’s culture into one sentence, it would be: “A blue collar work ethic in a white collar.” He describes the founding team as just a group of UMass Amherst guys who wanted to make something of themselves. After recently raising $5 million, it’s safe to say they’re on their way.
Dailybreak first debuted its platform as CampusLive in 2008, dishing out challenges to college students who could, in turn, compete, rack up points and win prizes. The challenges took place on any brand website or Facebook page, but they needed something bigger—they needed a bigger audience outside of college students.
CampusLive changed its name to Dailybreak this summer and Durkin can now admit, “We did a disservice to ourselves using ‘campus’ in the title.” When he talks to aspiring student entrepreneurs today, he urges them to shy away from the words “campus” or “college” and to choose a name for their company that makes them sound bigger. “It was more difficult to be taken seriously when we were named CampusLive.”
With a team of 30, people are starting to take the company more seriously. Yet, despite the outside world paying more attention, the Dailybreak team still knows not to take themselves too seriously. “You’re in a startup,” Durkin says. “You should work hard, but you should also have some fun.”
And once a month, Durkin sits down with every member of the team to ensure they are still having fun. The first question he asks is: “How happy are you, on a scale from one to 10?” If they’re an eight or above, perfect. If not, Durkin says, “My goal is to get them from a six to a 10.” If they’re looking to learn more, the company will send them to Intelligent.ly classes or pay for any necessary learning materials.
Yet, the team also helps by banding together. Every Tuesday morning, they gather for an all-hands meeting, and every meeting has a different theme, ranging from the serious (sales optimization) to the more humorous (Shark Week). There are two consistent components to every meeting no matter the theme, however. The first is “props,” which allows any employee to call out someone from another team who they think is doing a great job. The second is, “Who needs help?” Once the question is on the table, people can speak up, and then the team knows what it is they need to rally around immediately after the meeting.
“People are very open, excited and willing to help out with everything here,” admits Aidan Bradley, Dailybreak’s director of marketing and communications.
Durkin agrees, yet adds that help extends outside the office. “Our employees are really in tune to helping one another connect with other people in town they know can help specific employees,” he says. “For the marketing team, that may mean connecting Jesse Morgan with other awesome marketing professionals who are experts in email marketing or user acquisition. … I always like to reiterate to every young person in our company that access is no longer their problem when it comes to reaching their career goals.”
To even be considered a part of the company, however, new hires need to show potential and have the similar blue collar mentality Dailybreak was founded on. Durkin describes them as “leaders in the making,” admitting he wants to work with someone who always wants to learn.
Outsiders can see that quality in those working for the company. Although Dailybreak doesn’t have a vacation policy, Durkin admits, “Most people here don’t take enough vacation.”
Yet, the people could be just the reason why. Dailybreak Founder and Executive Vice President Boris Revsin says “the people” are the big reason anyone would want to work at Dailybreak, where they don’t just work, but know how to have a good time. As he says, “If you want to work for a company that’s going to go from five to, hopefully, 500 people, this is the place you want to be.”
For a peek inside the Dailybreak office, check out the photos below.