December 17, 2020
The success of Workday, a cloud-based finance and HR platform that currently has a market capitalization of $55 billion, might be explained in several different ways. Perhaps it’s the value of two like-minded partners—born a generation apart, although coincidentally both hailing from the same New Jersey town—figuring out how best to deploy complementary skillsets.
Perhaps it’s the result of developing a keen appetite for tech and entrepreneurship early in one’s career. Or perhaps it’s the outcome of persuading one large user to become a client when mainstream Silicon Valley thinks you’re too small to ever become a competitor.
Although all of these factors have come into play for Pleasanton, CA-based Workday, first and foremost among the company’s core values is its employees, co-founder and co-CEO Aneel Bhusri said on this week’s Walker Webcast. Indeed, Walker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker observed that Bhusri is more apt to emphasize his team when discussing the company, rather than touting its products.
“A happy employee is just more productive than an unhappy employee,” Bhusri said on Wednesday’s webcast. He added that a company with “happy customers and unhappy employees” doesn’t really exist, and noted that more Silicon Valley companies have begun embracing the concept of being great places to work.
Bhusri and co-founder David Duffield—a tech-sector veteran who in 1987 launched PeopleSoft, later acquired by Oracle Systems in a hostile takeover—sketched out the framework for what would become Workday on a napkin at a Truckee, CA diner. “We had that same attitude that we wanted to change the world,” Bhusri said Wednesday. “It may sound corny, but if you don’t start a company with that attitude, then you probably shouldn’t do it.”
From its first major contract with what was then known as Flextronics, Workday is now run by about half the companies in the S&P 500, said Bhusri. It’s one of a number of tech startups that have gone on to become industry bywords in recent years.
“There’s $1 trillion of market cap that has been created, while the legacy companies have just stood still,” Bhusri said.
On-demand replays of the Dec. 16 Walker Webcast are available by clicking here and through Walker & Dunlop’s recently launched Driven by Insight podcast series. The webcasts will resume after the holidays, with Dr. Peter Linneman as the first guest of the new year.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Paul Bubny