Technology ‘I have a lot of kids and it’s a busy house. There’s no way I could actually work inside the house.’
YouNeedABudget (or YNAB, as it’s known) started as a spreadsheet built by a college student who was looking to cover his rent.
A decade and a half later, it has grown into a full-fledged budgeting tool with apps across a number of platforms, a deeply devoted user base and hundreds of employees — all operating 100% remotely.
I spoke to YNAB co-founder Jesse Mecham about how it all works; why they’re remote, how they bring everyone together (both virtually and in the real world) and the pros and cons of being spread across the globe.
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Here’s the transcript of our chat, lightly edited for brevity and clarity.
TechCrunch: Let’s set the scene a little bit. It’s 2004, you’re starting what would eventually become YNAB. Why?
Jesse Mecham: I needed to make rent. That’s the honest truth.
We were going to have a baby, and my wife was going to stop working so she could do the mom thing full-time. I was trying to figure out how I could not borrow money and not stop going to school, and I figured I could sell this little spreadsheet I had built. That was back before, you know, phone apps and all that — so I just got started on that, selling a little spreadsheet to make some side money to get us through school without having to borrow any.
When it was time to grow, what made you hire remote?
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