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Conversation
Highlights

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Wes Winham Winler, CEO and Co-Founder of Woven, a developer hiring platform that has raised over $11 million. Woven aims to bridge the gap between talented developers and companies by reimagining the hiring process with a focus on real-world tasks and equitable evaluation.

  • Background and Motivation: Wes’s journey from Oklahoma to tech entrepreneurship was influenced by personal discoveries and professional experiences, leading to the founding of Woven.
  • The Woven Origin Story: The concept for Woven was born from Wes’s own challenges in hiring developers, prompting a shift towards practical evaluation of candidates through real-world tasks.
  • Focus on Candidate Experience: Woven differentiates itself by prioritizing the candidate’s experience in the hiring process, seeking to provide valuable feedback and avoid the stress commonly associated with technical interviews.
  • Expanding the Talent Pool: Wes identified that traditional hiring methods often overlook hidden gems — talented individuals who might not shine through on a resume but excel in practical assessments.
  • Growth and Traction: With millions in ARR and a broad customer base, Woven has proven its concept, though Wes candidly discusses the ongoing internal challenges of scaling and refining their product.
  • Psychology of Hiring: Wes explores the psychological barriers companies face in admitting mishiring issues and how Woven aims to change the narrative around technical hiring processes.

Actionable
Takeaways

Prioritize the User Experience, Even in B2B:

Focusing on the candidate experience in the hiring process has been key to Woven’s success. This principle can be applied across B2B solutions. Whether your users are candidates, employees, or other businesses, designing with empathy and user satisfaction at the forefront can differentiate your product in a crowded market.

Leverage Personal Development:

Wes's personal growth, particularly his understanding of his autism, played a significant role in shaping his entrepreneurial journey. For founders, acknowledging and leveraging personal strengths and weaknesses can inform more inclusive and effective team and product development strategies.

Measure What Matters:

Inspired by Wes’s appreciation for the book "How to Measure Anything," founders should strive to quantify aspects of their business that seem intangible. This approach can uncover valuable insights and guide more informed decision-making, especially in complex or uncertain situations.

Balance Optimism with Reality:

Wes highlighted the psychological challenges of being a founder, including managing one’s own expectations and mental health. For founders, maintaining optimism while confronting the realities of your business’s challenges is crucial. Adopting practices that support mental and emotional well-being can sustain long-term resilience and leadership effectiveness.

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