The Walls Are Down: Crosschq Co-Founder and CEO Mike Fitzsimmons

Feb 16, 2023

Season 3 - Episode 2

Co-hosts Yolanda Fintschenko (Startup Tri-Valley) and Lynn Naylor (Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group) finish up the Startup Tri-Valley #GameChangers2022 podcast series with a conversation with Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO and co-founder of Crosschq, the company who has  pioneered Human Intelligence Hiring™, the next essential software category for building great companies and optimizing quality of hire. Crosschq is backed by GGV, Bessemer, Tiger Global, Rocketship, SAP, Okta and Salesforce / Slack on its mission to change hiring forever. Read their latest report on hiring here.

In addition to his role as CEO of Crosschq, Mike serves as a partner at sports tech venture fund, Intersect Ventures.  Mike has founded and led several companies, including Connekt, Inc. and Delivery Agent.

Mike is an industry thought leader who has been featured on CNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg as well as in publications NY Times, WSJ, and Forbes.  Over his career, he has completed commercial deals with partners including Comcast, CBS, Fox, Disney, HBO, Sony, Amazon, LG, PayPal among others and has successfully raised over $200M in capital from financial and strategic investors including Bessemer Ventures, GGV Capital, Intel Capital, Liberty Media, Samsung, Dentsu, Deutsche Telekom, SAP and Slack among others.  Awards include Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Media Company, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, and Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 Silicon Valley.

Read the Episode Transcript
Startup Tri-Valley Podcast – Mike Fitzsimmons

Yolanda Fintschenko: Today we’re here with Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO, and co-founder of Crosschq. Welcome, Mike. Hey there. Thanks for having. Thanks for being here.

Lynn Naylor: We’re so delighted to have you. I first met Mike at the Game Changers event last year hosted by Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group. When we shine a spotlight on some of the amazing game-changing organizations coming out of the Tri-Valley and we immediately loved his story, and have had lots of interesting founders from Danville. Sometimes people forget that Danville’s on the top of the Tri Valley, there are actually five cities as part of the Tri Valley, and Danville has some amazing contributors. Just in the last couple of years, we’ve met Trove and Elysium Therapeutics. And so we’re really pleased to have Mike here today from Danville to talk about what’s on everybody’s mind right now, which is talent, talent, talent.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So, to lead off, Mike, why don’t you just tell our listeners a little bit about Crosschq what you do and how you came to do it.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah, for sure. And I think a little context to my personal journey might be helpful. So, my co-founder and I started this company to solve a business problem that we both had unfortunately run into too many times in our careers.

So, between us, we’d started seven companies. Uh, one was a Nasdaq IPO. So, we’ve kind of been around the block as operators and, and one of the things that we learned along that journey was just how hard it is to hire great talent. And so fundamentally, as we looked at the math in the world, that 46% of new hires don’t ever get ROI positive for the company that hired them, kind of stops you in your tracks to say, gosh, what are we doing wrong?

And so Crosschq was created to help companies fundamentally make better hiring decisions and solve that problem. of how we hire better people that will last longer, perform better, better impact our culture.   All that good stuff. So that’s what we do. We use data to do it and you know, it’s a, it’s a, it’s an exciting kind of time to be in this space.

Yolanda Fintschenko: It sounds like it. Yeah. We’ve got a lot of churn. First, we had, you know, it was absolutely impossible to find people. Now we’ve had layoffs, still people struggling to staff positions, so this couldn’t come at a better time it sounds like.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Look, there’s a lot of mixed messages. in the market. I recently read a report from an economist and his comment was, anyone that’s trying to summarize this talent market in one sentence is out of their mind. Right. Because exactly what you said. It’s like, how do you react, okay. Tech layoffs at an all-time high and then flip the page of the proverbial newspaper and see unemployment at an all-time low. Right. At more job openings. Right now. And so it is, there’s a lot of mixed messages.

Certainly, the tech industry itself is taking on some water.  Conversely, other industries, healthcare is on fire. Certainly, we know light industrial, we know high volume. So, we know all of those realities, but there’s, it is a, there’s a lot of mixed messages. So it is, part of our role is to help use data to help companies kind of cut through all that stuff and figure out what, what they need to do to build their own organizations.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So how would a company, how does a company work with Crosschq?

Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah, so, so I’ll tell you the big problem that we have. Discovered when we set out to create the company was kind of a simple concept, but if you think about most operations within an organization, we’re driven by ROI, and we know outcomes.

And so, if we’re going to go spend a dollar on X, we expect Y.  Telecomm doesn’t work that way. We have a mentality that we want to fill butts in seats quickly. And that’s the same mentality we have at Starbucks. And, I hate to say it, it’s the mentality that they had at Google, which got them into these situations.

Right. And if you think about how fundamentally recruiters and how the whole ecosystem is set up, that’s what it’s driven by. It’s like, I want to fill this open role as quickly as possible with a presumption that it’s going to drive productivity. And so historically talent decisions haven’t been connected with outcomes and it might seem so simple.

But it’s fairly complex and that’s really what we do. So, we’ll go in and help companies kind of organize their data around their hiring and connect that, uh, in the cloud with direct outcomes.  And then we have, I think we’ve touched 25 million hiring decisions, and you can imagine.

The machine learning that kicks in and then all the pattern recognition and the ability to get analytics and help you optimize, you know? Right. Everything that goes into it. Right. You know, so it’s, that is, that ultimately what we’re trying to do is help companies, uh, both measure the quality of their hiring decisions and then optimize. They’re hiring processes so they can get better at it.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So, you really come into each company as a partner. So, your software is a tool, but the entire relationship with each of your customers is almost a collaboration.

Mike Fitzsimmons: It is. And you know, from a platform perspective you know, we think about the Tri-Valley and some of the powerful companies that live here.

I mean, the good news is that technology is sitting in a bunch of different places. Excuse me. Data is sitting in a bunch of different places. So Workday is a partner of ours. And so, if a company is using Workday, which is one of our neighboring companies here but one of the largest in the human capital market space. They have all the data about how long someone lasted did they get a pay promotion? How did they perform? So, we just suck that data out of the Workday system, right?  Like, what we do on all the pre-hire data. You know, we work with all these different platforms as well. So there’s this whole thing in our, in our kind of data system where we’re integrating the data from their native systems in order to help them organize it and start to get some insights and analytics out of it. So yeah, we partner, but it’s not like each company that we deploy with is a new instance, if you will. We’re able to take advantage of all those existing integrations, and I think we have 40 different integration connectors now with different kinds of partners, like the Workdays of the world.

Yolanda Fintschenko:   That’s wonderful. So, you’re really helping companies extract the most out of the data and the data platforms they already have.

Mike Fitzsimmons: For sure. That’s the goal.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So, you talked a lot about outcomes for employers. Do you see better outcomes for employees? Like when, when you have something where there’s a better fit. What are you seeing from the standpoint of people who get hired?

Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah, it’s interesting. So, when we, one of my early advisors was a gentleman named Rusty Rueff, and I love Rusty and Rusty’s been a thought leader in the people space for a couple of decades now, and he, he kind of gave me this impassioned speech around the moral obligation of recruiters to get this right, not just for the company, but for the individual themselves.

And he always told this great story about, we all know what it’s like. You go home, you sit at the dinner table with your kids, and you have to tell your kids that you got laid off, right? Maybe you moved across the country, not so often in remote work, but maybe you moved across the country for a new job opportunity, and it didn’t work out and now you’re just stuck in this spot.

Like we’ve all had versions of that, and it really sucks. Excuse my language, but so collectively, we’ve always had that in our souls about solving this problem for both sides of the equation.   Back to the math of 46% of hiring decisions don’t work out.   It stinks on both sides. 

And so, to that end, yeah, for sure. I mean, we’ve seen quantifiable data to show how we’re impacting diverse hiring as well.   By removing bias from hiring processes.  You know, we have companies that are showing a 30% plus increase in hiring more diversely because they’re using our tools.

You know, we’re certainly seeing companies with extended tenure and extended performance of the hires they do make, which ultimately in our opinion is the name of the game. We want both sides of this equation to win, you know, and so it’s, we’ve always also said we want to, we don’t want to be screening people out.

We want to be screening people in. 

Yolanda Fintschenko: You know, that’s, that’s a great, nice philosophy. Yeah. That’s the game, right?

Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah. So, yeah. So, we’re proud of that.

Yolanda Fintschenko: That is something to be proud of. And, and, and I know initially I think it’s very common to hear when you start hearing about people being evaluated based on ROI.

Whenever people get numbers associated with it, I think it tends to make all of us a little bit nervous. And it sounds like from what you’re saying, what the data is allowing you to do is maybe find people a company wouldn’t look at ordinarily based on data that maybe they would be blind to because of bias that they’re not aware of.

And also, you know, kind of protect people from not, not going really far down a path that, where there’s just not going to be a good fit.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah. And it does get complex at the human level, at an individual level.   Right. And that does bring in some of those emotions you just brought up. And I, I relate, and I get that.

I would encourage you to think up a level. So, for program optimization, I’ll give you some examples. So, we just published, we have our quarterly Q report. which is our quality of higher report, where we publish radical insights from across our portfolio of customers. 

One of the things we’ve found is about internal referral networks.   So, I’ve worked with you before. I just started my new job. Right. I referred you for a job at my new company, right? Have a 26% lower outcome than the mean. That surprises me. And what we found is when companies started removing the financial incentive for an internal referral, the quality of hire went up because in that scenario, all you’re actually relying on is your own reputation within the company.

Right? Right. And I’m not bringing you in unless you really were that great. Right. But the reality is when there’s a financial incentive tied to it. and I don’t really care how you ultimately perform. Right. And the reason this is such a myth buster at a program level is that companies lean on that channel. Many companies will tell you that our greatest channel is our internal referrals. That it’s the least expensive, most efficient.

We also learn that that company’s guards are down when they’re internal, when they’re interviewing and assessing internally referred candidates. We also learn that it has a horrible impact on diversity if you already had a diversity challenge to begin with. Right. So again, it’s one, these, these types of things at a program level that if you weren’t looking at outcomes.   if you were literally just looking at the puts and seats mentality, and how many people did we hire from this channel, which is how the world has run, right?

You would be compounding a problem. That was not only expensive, it was not helping your diversity, uh, efforts, and it was leading to worse outcomes in the folks that you did hire. Right? So, we find a lot of that, right? And we did a similar study on interview correlation, and we found that, you know, many companies now do interview scores.

After I complete an interview with you, I fill out a scorecard and we found that the correlation between interview scores was only 9% to outcomes, and then what we learned is that 87% of interviewers are doing only two or less interviews a year. and it’s one of these things, well, why are you expecting me to be good at interviewing?

Yolanda Fintschenko:

Right. If it’s not a muscle that I have developed.

Mike Fitzsimmons:

Exactly. Right. Yes. And yet you’re relying on it really heavily to make a hiring decision. And so, there are conversely people that are really good at being talent scouts, but those are opportunities for us to develop better programs to train our team and, right.

So, you can fix these things at a program level. So, I just encourage you and your listeners not to get freaked out by the concept of trying to fix this. Right. Right. Uh, cuz it’s really not like scoring the person. That’s not really where we’re going. We’re trying to fix the whole thing. Right. Uh, all the way at the top and, and sort of help from a, you know, program optimization, and make sure we’re setting, setting the whole, the whole machine up.

So, it is done in a more fair way that ultimately benefits both sides.

Yolanda Fintschenko:  Well, those are both very powerful and I think relatable examples. I think all of us have been in that situation. I think my first interview I had most recently been a postdoc and I had never done an interview before and was walking around the halls asking people, “How do you interview someone?”

You know?

Mike Fitzsimmons: And even then, it’s hard, even if you think, I mean, I don’t know how many hundreds of interviews I’ve done, but I’m not very good at it. Yeah. And the data says it. I’m cool, and I can accept that. Right?

Yolanda Fintschenko: So, the data did not lie, the data did not lie. Yeah. So, I think those two examples are really powerful.

And as you said, I, what it sounds like is when you have something like Crosschq that’s letting you look at the data, you can’t, you can’t put the blinders on. You can test your assumptions.  If a consultant were to walk in and say, hey, don’t do this, do that.

Everything would be based on the faith people had or the trust in that consultant. With Crosschq this is really based on testing the assumptions with the data and saying, you thought this was really good. and what we’re seeing here is that maybe as a lens to look at your team, this isn’t working very well.


Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah. I think you’re, you’re right on. And that’s where having the scale that we’re developing, being able to benchmark against your peers.  It’s like, okay, what the heck does this look like for my neighbor? You know, Snowflake as a customer, another good. -huh. Dry Valley headquarters. One of the most valuable companies created in the last decade, right?

Yeah. But it’s also awesome. And so, you can benchmark yourself against your peers in the cloud SaaS business as a sector in healthcare and just understand, or in high volume.  It’s going to look different for a high-volume employer than it is for others, but at least I want to understand how these things are actually working.

So, uh, that’s a big, big piece, but I’ll give you one more that’s kind of a fun one. Uh, not fun actually. It’s horrifying. But we alsopublished some findings of looking at different pre-hire assessment tools. And so, you know, I don’t know if you’ve ever taken those in any of your hiring journeys.

I’m sure your audience has, and of the 10 that we assessed mapped to outcomes, we found three that not only were they not predictive, they were actually predicting poor outcomes. They were the exact opposite.  And these were people getting hired because they did well on these assessments that turned out to be the lowest performers in the.

And so, the other thing, these tests are horrible candidate experiences. They’re annoying, they take a long time. They’re, you know, there’s a lot of, and no one’s really been able to, from a, you know, from an unbiased top line perspective, assess them against outcomes and give the company back some insights into wow.

But it’s a pretty easy decision if you see that.

Yolanda Fintschenko: Why am I putting, why waste time?

Mike Fitzsimmons:  Exactly. Yeah. Why am I spending money on it? Why am I wasting my candidate’s time? And yeah. You know, let’s get rid of it. So, there’s some really fun stuff that we’re finding, and I think we’re, we’re, again, we’re, we’re proud of.

Kind of the ability to influence these companies and fix their [problems].

Yolanda Fintschenko: You reference a report? Is this a report that people can find on your website?

Mike Fitzsimmons: It is. I think you have to go through a gate now, but we could send you a link.

Yolanda Fintschenko:  We can include in the show notes.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah, that’d be fun. It’s cool. It’s a good read.

Yolanda Fintschenko: I think our audience would be pretty interested. I know I’m going to read it.

Lynn Naylor: I’d love to know more about the progress we’re making on DE&I. What do you see happening? There’s so much conversation, really. 

Mike Fitzsimmons: I appreciate the prompt ‘because that’s been the last two weeks.

I’ve had several discussions with DE&I leaders. At some pretty progressive companies and have had that sobering conversation. We’re rolling out, uh, a standalone outcome-based analytics tool for exactly   DE&I outcomes, because what we’re hearing is that we worked really hard to drive the top of the funnel.

We worked really hard to find diversity in our candidate pools. Some of our companies did a decent job of hiring diverse talent. We’ve done an absolutely terrible job of retaining that talent.   And actually, if you look from an outcome perspective, where we’re sitting right now versus where we were two years ago, you’re not going to find a lot of companies that have moved that needle in a meaningful fashion.

Right. Interesting. It’s really sad and, and even the things that I, even as we were increasing our investment broadly in DE&I. I still go back to brass tacks. We still have gender, massive gender challenges and leadership. I mean, like, there’s a, there’s so much work to do. So, this was never a two-year thing, you know, I think it never was going to be solved in two years.

This is going to take decades, right? To get right. But we’re, we’re so we’re not as excited about the progress that we would’ve liked to have been. We’re helping, I think, by providing companies with some real outcome-based analysis but it’s, I think collectively, still early innings.

 Yolanda Fintschenko: Right. Is the fact that you are data-based, you said you do have some instances where there’s not so much progress, but companies that were doing things right are still doing things right. From there, have you been able to extract any best practices?

Mike Fitzsimmons: Well, we brought up that anecdote of the referral network thing.  I just loved one of the most progressive customers, and I just learned so much from them, is this company called HubSpot, which is a SaaS company. They’re actually based out of Boston, so it’s not much for our conversation, but they’re a great example of that where they saw this with their internal referral network, so it wasn’t driving diversity. It was actually amplifying the lack of diversity.   And they plowed all those dollars into DE&I recruiting efforts. And it was like, boom, boom. We solved two problems, right? We increased the quality of our internal referrals and we’re able to deploy that investment into specific, you know, diversity recruiting efforts. So, I think that’s really cool stuff. And there’s pockets of that all over the place, but I thought that was good.

Yolanda Fintschenko: Yeah, that is a good one. And, as a HubSpot user, I will say it is a great company.

Mike Fitzsimmons:   It is. I mean, they’re, they’re one that’s had this thing right from the beginning.

Yeah. You know, they, we’ve a, we’ve hired a number of people out of HubSpot, actually. And it’s been very impressive. They’ve been great culture ads for us, for our company.

Lynn Naylor: So how big is the company now? Tell us where you are and what’s next for you.

Mike Fitzsimmons: So, we’re about 80 employees.  We are, what’s next?

I don’t know. You know, we have about 400 plus customers. I think that one of the key things that’s been exciting for us is we started with as. You know, it’s funny, we think about the Tri Valley, I think about all of this as kind of like Silicon Valley broadly in my head, right? But as many Tri-Valley companies, I should say.

Right, you know, we started with a go-to-market of funding a lot of local high growth tech companies. Because that’s what was in our backyard. You know, I think even companies that I have in as customers that are in the Tri-Valley, I, we’ve got to have 20 plus. So that was actually part of the go to market that was helpful. You could get those deals done quickly. You had relationships, you could network into those opportunities. And that, that’s how you start these things. And so that as a percentage of our total customers has been pretty, pretty significant. I think 40 plus percent of our customers are in that kind of high growth tech set.

 But what’s next for us to answer the question is really pushing up-market. So, you know, those are relatively small companies in the grand scheme of things. And so, we’ve got to get into the enterprise and into these larger organizations and we’re starting to do that. So, at the end of last year, we signed our largest customer in terms of the size of the company with Deloitte, who has 400,000 plus employees, which is just a really cool thing and a good signal. Now you’re in the Fortune 500. You know you’re legitimately into the kind of Fortune 500, and even Fortune 100 was some of these opps, and that’s where we’ve got to go, we also, uh, signed a large deal with a company called WPP, which is the largest advertising holding company in the world, 150,000 employees and those kinds of things. So, I think that’s, for us, it’s, it’s really moving up market. It’s really getting these solutions adopted by the enterprise and that’s where partners, and I’ll go back to it, I mean, Workday is a local partner. It’s pretty amazing. Right, right. And then we talk about our headquarters in downtown Danville, but. I don’t know, nine minutes away is the WorkdayExactly. Exactly. And guess who’s across the street is SAP. Right.  Right. And guess who’s next door is Snowflake. Right.

Lynn Naylor: Global leaders.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Right. I could just put those three in a blender.

And they’re all meaningful parts of our ecosystem. Exactly. You know, and so, uh, but that’s what’s going to help us get there is partners like Workday and, and those sorts of relationships.

Yolanda Fintschenko: Yeah. That’s amazing. And that’ll, it’s, it’s interesting too because when you hit those Fortune 500 companies who have, who are hiring globally, then you are really also being able to have a huge impact.


Mike Fitzsimmons: Yeah. It is, it, it’s funny, we think about, you know, separating the, the, the connectivity between the geography of where the company is headquartered versus the ability. expand and service the world. Right?  And you think about how, I don’t know, maybe, maybe overwhelming that concept of a little company that was started in downtown Danville is now, you know, serving global.

Right. You know, the Deloitte deal that I mentioned earlier, the first group within Deloitte that’s deploying us is their Singapore operation. You know, we’ve now localized all of our servers for GDPR and for other reasons and whatnot in, uh, Europe. Yes. And we have a ton of customers that we’re rolling out the solutions in those markets. And it just, I think it just speaks to where the world is now and how, you know, we can, man, we can build global companies from

Yolanda Fintschenko: your backyard.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Exactly. That’s a pretty amazing thing.

Yolanda Fintschenko: Yeah. So, you mentioned building a global company from a little town. Why did you choose it?  You’ve, you’ve had seven startups.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Well, between my co-founder and I, we’ve had seven. I’ve had three. He’s had four.

Yolanda Fintschenko: Okay. So, between the two of you, you have seven.  How did you decide to locate here?

Mike Fitzsimmons: You know, I didn’t really have to overthink it. To be honest, it wasn’t, I mean, there might have been a moment when we were saying, hey, I should put the office in San Francisco or, because I live in the East Bay or here. And it was a pretty obvious call.  So, it’s, it’s almost one of those I’d respond to less, like, why did we start it here? And more of why we have kept it and grown it here, you know what I mean? Okay. Because the starting thing, if anybody started a company, you don’t, you don’t know if you’re making it till tomorrow.

Right. So, you’re not overwhelmingly concerned where you’re, you know, yeah. Where you’re starting. But once we raised our first meaningful round of financing and we’re starting to build the team and starting to evaluate those kinds of things, access to talent, right? Uh, the things that attracted me, To, uh, the area.

That’s one that I absolutely assessed in a meaningful way. The talent. Yeah. And this was pre-Covid, right? Before Covid. So, it wasn’t like we were expecting remote to be, you know, everything to be powerful and powerful, right? Yeah. So, we had to be thoughtful about it and, and believe it or not, in the cloud, in the cloud SaaS kind of space.

This is unbelievable. It’s like, really? Oh my. It’s crazy. And it’s, it’s some of those companies we’ve just been talking about that are actually headquartered out here. Right, right, right. Yeah. And you know, so I was able to attract local talent early. I didn’t even have to think about it. And I haven’t looked back.

Right. We’ve never looked back. I mean, our office was completely full yesterday. It was awesome. Right. That’s great. And so, of people coming from, you know, folks that live in the city and folks that live in Redwood City and folks that live wherever and they’re just, you know, it’s an, and it’s an unbelievably pleasant place to come and do work. Right. And that’s the other fun thing is, you know, we’re literally, if you know Danville, we’re right downtown and, and that’s such a charming location. It’s so charming and we’ve got a great space. It’s incredibly productive. It’s just a good, healthy, fun space to be. You got your Starbucks 50 feet away; you got your restaurants and bars 60 feet away and like Yeah.

You know, I used to laugh cuz I would talk about the building that we’re in. There was a masseuse, there was work, and a personal trainer. There was, you know, every mental health professional you could imagine, right? There’s an ice cream store down in the bottom front. I’m like, this is like Google’s campus basically. Right? You know, like I’m not sure what service we don’t have.

Yolanda Fintschenko: And you have the Iron Horse Trail, right? Like across the street.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Trail there? Yeah. If you really want to go toe to toe, I think we got you. Got you beat.

Lynn Naylor: That’s fantastic.

Yolanda Fintschenko: I’ll, I’ll, I will now think of Danville a little bit differently. the comparison to the Google campus.


Lynn Naylor: Thank you.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Yolanda. We don’t have the Crosschq bikes. I think I should put a; I think a set up by that back front.


Yolanda Fintschenko: We can connect you.

Lynn Naylor: We can connect you to the exact right person. We met her. You met her – Janelle Wang.

Yolanda Fintschenko: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve got something for you. Cool.

So. Before we close out one of, one of the key reasons we love talking to our local founders is to inspire and encourage other local founders. And  based on your collective experience between you and your co-founder and, and what you’ve experienced most recently with Crosschq, what if, what would you say to, to either existing,  entrepreneurs in the Tri-Valley who are maybe, maybe need a little encouragement right now, or someone who thinks they have a great idea and they’re, they’re thinking about, you know, taking the plunge and starting their own company.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Well, I think you got to, you know, it’s interesting to connect, to connect that question with the geography is hard for me because I don’t connect them at all. That’s just not my instinct as an entrepreneur.

Lynn Naylor: I love that. I love that.

Mike Fitzsimmons: Just go do it. It’s important. Yeah. Yeah. Just go do it in the world. The walls are down, man. Like, yeah, they’re down. It’s true. They are, you know, like investors. I, our investors, we have some of the best investors of the world in our company.

These guys are going to every inch of the earth to find great entrepreneurs, you know? Right. Like the presumption. And there, this was the way, I agree with this, 10 years ago that yeah, they’d back you, you could be somewhere in the middle of Ohio, right. And you had to go to Silicon Valley to raise your money and build your company, and it’s just, it’s just not true.

Right. You know, it’s just not true.  I haven’t had an in-person board meeting. All of my investors are, you know, in Silicon Valley, they’re on Sand Hill Road. I haven’t been in their offices in two and a half years. Period. Right. You know? Yeah. And I, I don’t think they have either. Right, you know.

Yeah. So, I think when you’re, if you’re, if you’re in it and you’re an entrepreneur, you have a great idea and you can go.  I, I don’t, the, the, the geography isn’t, to me connected as a reason to not go and pursue your dream and, and take a shot, you know? That’s great. You can get there. So, I think that, as I said before, I think the talent pool is phenomenal.

I think the access to capital is as good as it is anywhere else in the world, you know? And then we got that right? Yeah.

Lynn Naylor: So that great quality of life ties to your life, but the work is global everywhere and the walls are down.

Yolanda Fintschenko: I love that. And the walls are down. Yeah. That’s such a great, great, great, great thing to keep in mind.

Absolutely. The walls are down. COVID had a lot of impacts, most of which seem negative, but I think that the walls are down. It is something that it’s staying power sounds like a little bit of. Hallelujah. . . All right. Well thank you so much, Mike for being on the pod and looking forward to seeing. Hey, some Crosschq bikes in Danville, seeing, seeing what your company does next, as, uh, as you take that, uh, success with Deloitte and, and go global.

Mike Fitzsimmons:

Well, thank you and thank you for all that you guys do. I know it’s, uh, it’s needed, and it probably doesn’t get celebrated as much as it should. So, we appreciate you and we need you as much as, as much as, uh, the rest. So, thank you.

Lynn Naylor: Thank you for the inspiration. Really wonderful to spend some time with you today.