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When SurveyMonkey wanted to hire someone experienced in product engineering, they had their sights set on Selena Tobaccowala. She founded eVite when she was still in college and went on to work for Ticketmaster. Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, managed to win over Tobaccowala simply by offering an environment that included normal office hours.

“I was able to get her because she was four months pregnant,” he said. Tobaccowala had no desire to work for a startup that had employees working through the night. She needed something to fit in with her grown-up lifestyle. “We’ve been able to hire people that like that startup feel and environment, but also like the stability of a successful, profitable company,” Goldberg added.

One of the many ways Goldberg encourages employees to have a life outside of the office is by making sure everyone goes home on time. As the CEO of the company, even he makes it home on time to have dinner with his family. Then he will put in a couple more hours of work later in the evening.

“The business was really successful with 12 people, so with 200 people, people shouldn’t be killing themselves,” Goldberg said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

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Of course, when he first started his business in 1994, Goldberg recalls working 14-hour days to get the company off the ground. A bit of success and some growing up helped him find a sense of balance.

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(Photo credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr)

Marissa Brassfield
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