First published Oct 17, 2017 soon after I started at ClearScore at https://www.clearscore.com/blog/two-years-two-weeks-of-clearscore
Most tech companies’ CEOs are almost synonymous with their brand. Bezos, Page, Zuckerberg, Jobs, Gates and… Moose? When I crashed ClearScore’s end of race event just before starting here, it was Moose’s face that watched down on us from above the seven digits that tracked our number of users.
With Moose keeping an eye on the numbers, Justin Basini, the CEO and co-founder, congratulated the team (I had to remind myself that this probably didn’t include me just yet) for their efforts over the last three months. Then, with perfect timing and a big round of applause, the 4 at the start of the number ticked over to 5 – officially taking us over the 5 million users milestone.
ClearScore at that point was almost exactly two years old, having launched in August 2015. Two years after they were founded, Facebook had 5.5 million users, Twitter 5 million. When Justin and the other founders first made a plan for ClearScore, they made three predictions about how quickly the business might grow: one pessimistic, one realistic and one optimistic. The optimistic model had ClearScore on roughly 3.5 million users by the end of year two, with 5 million not predicted for another two years.
Despite the celebrations kicking off, Justin was quick to remind the team that the achievement was no excuse for arrogance. Rather than complacency, five million users demands humility. After all, that’s a lot of people relying on our work for their financial wellbeing. It’s this attitude of both pride and humility that stands out about my first two weeks at ClearScore.
My first week was a whirlwind of new information, from fumbling my way around a Mac to discovering that the director of our latest ad also did the music video to A Design For Life (which should really be our coaching plan’s subtitle). Four days in I had a briefing, along with ten other recent starters, on the “ClearScore Operating System”. Justin talked us through his vision for the company, the benefits ClearScore brings, and why our working culture is central to achieving these goals. In such a highly independent working environment, taking the time to understand how our working culture and key principles tie into the importance of the jobs we have to do, is a useful focal point.
In a flash, it was the end of the week one. This also meant it was time to take part in a ClearScore tradition for new-joiners: saying hello to the team while decked out in an item of novelty fancy dress. I’d already seen a few ClearScore rituals by this point, like the post-probation wall-signings and 1-year-service mug awards, but this was the first I was directly involved in myself and it’s a great way to quickly meet everyone.
With week one a crash course in new ways of working, week two is an exercise in applying them. Whilst still constantly learning about the working environment here and the capabilities of the product we’re building, I’ve also been flat out conveying these things to job applicants. There’s also been a lot of work with the People & Potential team to discuss upcoming initiatives that will help to improve and nurture this culture. ClearScore’s Glassdoor rating is 4.6 and while that’s high enough for us to have been featured on Glassdoor’s list of exciting places to work, here that also means plenty of room for improvement.
Before I started, a friend congratulated me on landing a job with ClearScore but asked if they were worried that other big agencies were now following suit by offering free credit scores. I didn’t know the answer at the time, but as soon as I started it became clear this was seen internally as a huge success – disrupting the credit scoring industry was one of ClearScore’s main goals. But, as our vision states, free credit scores are just one part of our goal to help give people control over their financial wellbeing. What sticks in my mind two weeks into ClearScore, two years into their mission, is there’s plenty we’ve done to take pride in, and plenty more to do.
If you want to join the team, we’re hiring and have a number of exciting roles open. Just check out our Careers page for more information.