Why FindTheBest.com Chose California
Sunny and pleasantly temperate, FindTheBest’s offices sit on a gorgeous bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, California. Employees mix long hours of coding with outdoor workouts and football games on the beach. Even if the work requires a computer screen, the geographic environment is indispensible to the company’s enthusiastic culture.
CEO Kevin O’Connor moved from New York to Santa Barbara in 2000, leaving behind his post as CEO of DoubleClick, a 2,500-person company. He wanted to spend a little more time in the family room and a little less in the boardroom. He soon fell in love with the weather and the waves. (To this day, he’ll run out of meetings five minutes early when he hears news of nearby surf.)
A serial entrepreneur who likes to build new things and solve tough problems, Kevin got the idea for FindTheBest a few years after his move, when trying to research ski resorts for family trips and colleges for his kids. The Internet had plenty of information, but it was all over the place, and many of the “Best of” sites he found were just big advertising schemes pretending to offer good advice, but secretly getting paid by marketers. Kevin found himself opening dozens of tabs, creating multiple spreadsheets, and writing pages of notes just to decide on a weeklong family vacation.
In 2009, he and Scott Leonard (CTO) began building a website to solve this problem. Hiring a small team, they started collecting the relevant data for important decisions—like costs and activities for private schools or features and system requirements for antivirus software—and built a platform to present the information all in one place. Over time, the website has grown and the features have multiplied: FindTheBest uses smart filters, simple visuals, and expert ratings to give consumers the information and tools to make great decisions, without two dozen windows and five pages of notes.
Today, the site has comparisons on over 500 products and services, from cars to business insurance to enterprise software and even dog breeds. Just two and half years after its launch in 2010, traffic has grown to over 20 million visits per month, already a quarter the size of Yelp. Even as the company has grown tremendously, they’ve stayed focused on providing simple comparisons that allow people to make confident, informed decisions. The company rigorously researches every comparison they build, and all the information comes from reliable sources, whether public government databases, official manufacturer websites, or expert consumer reviews.
FindTheBest has briefly considered additional offices in other states, but so far California has been impossible to beat. Young talent continues to graduate from the state’s many top-tier universities, most notably the UCs. Sharp, young professionals routinely join the team, inspired by the company’s lively culture and challenging projects. California is also a very tech-friendly state. Regardless of whether you live in the Bay Area, engineering talent and tech-oriented consumers are all around.
Most importantly, however, is California’s unparalleled quality of life. It’s easy to think of business and play separately, but in reality, the two are interlinked. FindTheBest employees love strolling on the beach for one-on-one meetings or taking calls while overlooking the ocean. Building a motivated team and a successful company requires happy people. Living in California makes people happy.
For more information, please visit: FindTheBest