Homegrown Business: Greg Gunn is the CEO and founder of Commit

Greg Gunn is the CEO and founder of Commit, the professional network for Startup Engineers.

He leads the overall vision and mission for the company while inspiring the team to “Do what’s right for the Engineer.” He is passionate about creating access to opportunities through remote work and building an equitable work environment.

Commit

What is your business called, and what does it do?

Commit is the first professional network built by engineers, for engineers. The Commit platform reinvents how passionate startup engineers grow their craft and their careers. Since founding Commit in 2019, remote-first work has enabled us to hire top-tier talent across North America, allowing people to grow their careers without moving.

What made you want to do this work?

I am passionate about creating access to opportunities through remote work and building an equitable work environment for the engineer. Before Commit, I was an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) at Inovia Capital and was the first business executive at Hootsuite, where I launched Hootsuite Enterprise (currently $100m+ ARR) as well as a 70+ person full-stack incubator. I was also an early employee at Terapeak (acquired by eBay), launching their B2B data and software businesses. Through my business experience, I saw how often employees are limited to the geographical location for employment and wanted to make a change to lead a completely remote workforce.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

If you look at the stats of engineers graduating from university, two-thirds are leaving the country to pursue high-paying positions in Silicon Valley. The rest are working for US businesses in Canada. I wanted to find a solution so that these recent graduates still receive well-paying jobs at high-powered companies while living and paying taxes in Canada.

Distributed work is the future and should be what companies are looking to adapt their business models to. Employees should not be limited to where they live for hiring opportunities.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Experienced software engineers who have a passion for software and building valuable products, making an impact, and want to work in small teams. They are intermediate to principal level, full-stack, frontend, or backend software engineers based in North America who want to work at a remote-first startup. They are entrepreneurial self-starters and have a growth mindset.

They may have founded a company, have led projects previously, or have a history of side projects. They want to be engineer #1 – 100 at a tech startup. They don’t want to join a public company.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Commit matches the right engineering partners (EPs) with startup partners (SPs), sends their profiles to the startup partners for their review, and coordinates an online meeting with selected EPs to ensure there is initial mutual interest. The EPs will then start a three-month pilot with the startup partner to see if it’s a good fit for both the EP and SP. During this pilot, Commit will charge the SP a monthly fee. Upon a successful pilot, Commit will assist with the EP’s transition to permanent, long-term employment with the SP. At this point, the SP will be charged a placement fee.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are a completely remote company. However, most of our executive team is based in Vancouver. We offer completely remote positions regardless of where someone lives.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Is there a technical interview involved in the recruiting process? No, there’s no technical interview during any part of the Commit recruiting process. The potential engineering partner will be asked about previous projects they worked on and their experience.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is inviting engineers into our community. I still get to speak with every engineer, and nearly every conversation starts with “This sounds too good to be true!” I love that. It means that we have done a great job building a platform that really puts the engineer first.
The worst part… the lack of sleep. The problem we are tackling at Commit is so important to the team and myself that we are constantly obsessing over how we can eliminate the friction between exceptionally talented people and amazing world-changing opportunities.
This is what we signed up for, and I would have it no other way!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

The CEO of IKEA was just elected president in Sweden.
He should have his cabinet together by the end of the week.

Where can we follow you?

Commit Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

My wife is OBSESSED with Mumgry. As soon as we get the kids down for the night, she grabs one of the DOZENS of jars she purchased and snacks on it while I watch Squid Game (don’t ruin the ending!).