The Entrepreneur Who Is Helping Companies Ban Email And Track Employees' Coffee Habits

Making culture top priority, learning employees' habits down to the coffee cup, pairing instincts with analytics—Leerom Segal's business practices are crazy enough to work.

Leerom Segal takes the meaning of a "young entrepreneur" to a new level. When he was just 12 years old, he started his first company—The Byte Doctors. With his childhood friend, Aaron Goldstein, Segal created this business to earn cash assembling computers for family members and friends.

Four years later, he was the chief technology officer of a publicly traded company called Motion Works Group. In 1997, when he was just 18, Segal co-founded Klick Health, a digital marketing agency that now has more than 300 employees. While this entrepreneurial journey is impressive, based on our interview, it's also far from over.

Today, Segal is keen to share his company's untraditional management practices with the world. His new book, The Decoded Company, focuses on the importance of knowing your talent better than you know your customers. Along with three co-authors, Segal breaks down these three core ideas: Technology Can Be a Coach, Data Can Be a Sixth Sense, and Ecosystems Will Prevail Over Hierarchies.

With plenty of examples of decoded companies, such as UPS and their "no left turns" policy to help the organization to deliver sustainability, Segal shares how we can all use data to make better business decisions.

During our chat in Klick's arcade-themed cafe, he dives excitedly into the stats behind the kitchen's coffee machine, explaining that he knows exactly how many thousands of cups employees drink each year. He also talks about why the company moved far away from email, replacing it with more collaborative tools.

While it's obvious that Segal loves numbers, he's also a people person. More specifically, he's determined to help other managers empower the individuals who work for them—which he says is doable, if these managers are willing to decode along the way.

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8 Comments

  • Yes, because tracking your employee's coffee consumption is the recipe for success

    What a joke POS this is, this book is nothing more than a poorly done meta-analysis of what other tech companies have done and trying to rub some of that shine on his own company Klick.

    The big brother shit is creepy, not enlightening. NO employee likes the situation they are in, it's like living in a police state where people have to run down to Timmies to discuss anything work related in case someone from HR overhears and rats you out.

    And the fact it took 4 "authors" to churn out 300 pages of crap about their own company speaks volumes about the quality of this.

    I don't expect this comment to last as Amber has been deleting anything not-positive about this book.

  • Konstantin Boukharov

    Wonderful company to work for in terms of people and overall culture. Definitely one of the best corporate experiences I've ever had.

    The data driven approach minimizes bureaucracy and maximizes profitability on a per project basis in the eyes of executives, but there is very little to no incentive for production level employees to innovate or become more efficient at their jobs.

    For example, a specialist at a Mercedes dealership gets paid a standard rate for every job he completes based on how long that job is supposed to take, regardless if he spends more or less time than he's supposed to. There's an incentive to finding a way to complete an 8 hour job in less time. Dealership improves efficiency and the mechanic makes more money.

    Klick Health just tracks your productivity in billable hours based on 8hr/day benchmark, period. Took 10 hours to do an 8 hour job? Good, your work ethic is 125%. Did that same job in 4 hours and had nothing else to bill? Bad, your productivity is 50%.