Aaron Rubens, CEO of Kudoboard, tells us how individuals can celebrate someone with an online group card filled with messages, GIFs, photos, & videos!.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Kudoboard.
Aaron Rubens: I taught high school math through Teach for America, which was an amazing experience. At the end of the year, I had my students write their names at the top of a blank sheet of paper, and then we passed them around. Classmates would check the name at the top and then write something positive about their classmates. When we finished, each student would have a piece of paper full of compliments, encouragement, and kind words. It was so powerful. I realized that sometimes it just takes a little push and the right tool to make it easier to say something truly kind to the people you care about.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Aaron Rubens: I stop work at 5 pm each night and focus entirely on my family until the kiddos are asleep. It can mean some late nights, but it’s worth it to have the dedicated time.
How does Kudoboard market its product/services online?
Aaron Rubens: The virality of our product has created tremendous growth. You invite others to contribute to a Kudoboard, and soon they’re making their own boards. We also market specifically to businesses looking to improve their workplace appreciation programs by adding meaningful moments around employee work anniversaries, birthdays, farewells, etc.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Aaron Rubens: We use social media and advertising platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and review sites like G2, Capterra, and Sourceforge to reach our customers where they are.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Aaron Rubens: We put a lot of stock in referrals from our current employees. If they’ve worked closely with an individual and came away impressed, that’s a great first sign. In terms of retention, we are a fully remote company that provides employees with quite a bit of autonomy and flexibility. Long story short, we focus on allowing people to build their work around their life (and not the other way around).
How are you funding your growth?
Aaron Rubens: We were bootstrapped and profitable for several years. We are still profitable, but we raised a round of financing in 2021 from PeakSpan Capital. They are a growth equity firm based in New York City and Silicon Valley. Having partnered with over 30 scaleups and with $1.5B+ in AUM, PeakSpan’s mission is to be the partner of choice for growth-stage entrepreneurial teams who are building amazing software targeted at business buyers of all sizes.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Aaron Rubens: We compete directly with GroupGreeting and indirectly with various workplace appreciation platforms. We’ve successfully faced the competition by continually iterating our product to better meet customer needs. For instance, we recently added the ability for users to deliver a gift card to a Kudoboard recipient along with the digital product.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Aaron Rubens: Gusto was looking for a way to express appreciation and engage employees meaningfully throughout their company.
“When it came to celebrating special occasions remotely, we needed more than just a slide deck. We needed a platform that would engage employees to make them feel seen and heard, despite our physical distance.” – Gusto.
With Kudoboard, Gusto is able to mark everyday occasions like birthdays, work anniversaries, and more while bringing everyone together. Kudoboard was the fast, effective solution for Gusto.