If there’s one thing startup founders know well it’s that you have to be creative and really hustle if you’re going to make it. With more and more companies entering the arena every day and the fact that the big tech companies basically own everything, succeeding in a startup is impossible if you’re not willing to do some pretty outrageous stuff.
One startup that has clearly demonstrated their willingness to think outside the box is Bigcommerce. After raising 40 million round last year, the ecommerce company recently opened an office in San Francisco. In order to meet an impressive goal of hiring 40 engineers in 60 days, Bigcommerce decided that the usual online job boards just wouldn’t do.
But where can one find a large number of extremely talented engineers in San Francisco?
While that question obviously has multiple answers (or maybe just one: everywhere), Bigcommerce picked one spot where they could guarantee they’d find the type of folks they’re looking for: the lines of people waiting at the tech bus stops.
For those of you unfamiliar with what’s going on in San Francisco right now, the tech buses are private transportation for people who work for the big tech companies (read: Google, Apple, Facebook, etc.) that shuttle folks from SF down to the “campuses” in Silicon Valley. Often viewed as a visual representation of the rising rents and gentrification of San Francisco, the tech buses are targeted more and more frequently with demonstrations and even violence.
They’re also full of some of the best talent in the startup world…
Something that Bigcommerce clearly knew. But these guys are already (very well) employed, so what is a smaller company to do?
Bribe them with egg sandwiches, of course.
Bigcommerce started a campaign they’re calling #poached that includes approaching people waiting in line for the buses and offering them poached egg sandwiches, along with a cub of artisanal coffee with a label reading “#poached” and “#BCinSF.com.”
While these guys probably don’t need the free food and coffee, considering the fact that the tech giants offer their employees food in-office, Bigcommerce’s scrappy move is clearly getting the attention they hoped for – traffic is up 54% on their career site and they’ve seen a 150% increase in applications, according to Mashable.
The results have been so good, in fact, that Bigcommerce has added another campaign, dubbed #parched, which is an in-office happy hour for anyone interested in potentially joining their team.
They’ve also added free iPads for friend referrals but, honestly, I think the egg is still my favorite.
Bigcommerce has already seen some major success and the fact that their San Francisco is one of three (the other two being in Australia and Texas) speaks to the fact that they’re onto something. Poaching workers with poached eggs is funny, memorable, and exactly the kind of hustle necessary if you’re going to push ahead of the crowd in this crazy startup game.