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

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.