September 26, 2012 — There’s a new face on the Rocket Lawyer executive team; our new CFO, Paul Hollerbach. He comes to Rocket Lawyer with over 15 years of experience as a financial executive at Yahoo! Inc. and Current TV, LLC. I talked to Paul about his thoughts on joining the Rocket Lawyer team, including his insights about what it takes for a quickly growing company to successfully go from small to big. Read on to learn more.
Jenny: What excites you the most about Rocket Lawyer as a company?
Paul: There’s a massive amount of potential here at Rocket Lawyer. We’re playing in a huge market that really needs an innovator, and we can become an incredibly valuable and important company because people really need an affordable and easy way to get their legal work done. Not many companies have the opportunity to positively impact millions of people and change an industry – that is exciting!
Jenny: How do you think Rocket Lawyer is similar / different to the companies where you’ve worked previously?
Paul: The air of enthusiasm and optimism here is similar to the early days at Y! . Rocket Lawyer is about the same size as Y! was when I started there in 1997. Things were growing like crazy and there seemed like endless growth opportunities...so there are a lot of parallels to Rocket Lawyer. It feels great to be back in an environment with this kind of momentum and optimism.
Jenny: From your experience, what are the biggest challenges that companies face as they transition from small company to big company?
Paul: One of the biggest challenges is figuring out what to prioritize. It’s easy to lose focus as you grow when you have requests and pitches coming at you a mile a minute. A natural tendency is to try to do everything; we need stay focused on the the mission and long-term strategy and prioritize accordingly. Go long, because short-term focused decisions typically come back to haunt you. I’ve also seen companies that became too bureaucratic as they grew. It’s natural to want and need more process as you get bigger, but process should be designed and implemented in a way that enables employees to excel at their jobs, rather than get in the way. Process should serve employees, not the other way around.
Jenny: What are you looking forward to the most in your new position?
Paul: There are three things that stand out: First, I’m excited about getting to know the team, and working together on a common goal. Second, I’m looking forward to helping Rocket Lawyer business leaders to make more informed decisions, using finance, analytics and strategy. Helping Rocket Lawyer grow is a thrilling prospect. We have a wealth of growth opportunities ahead of us – I look forward to helping choose the paths that will make us a market leader and scale into a very large company.
Jenny: Do you have any tips for small business owners who are just starting out? For example, what’s the most important thing a small business owner can do to prepare for growth down the road?
Paul: It may not be original but the old saying still applies: you have to put your customers first. You need to solve a real problem for your customers, and really delight them. It’s also essential to protect everything you’ve worked hard to build. The Rocket Lawyer 7 Ways to Bulletproof your Business is a great place to start. Photo by: Jynki Amores
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.