The idea of a “creative” accountant has long been frowned upon, and for good reason. In fact, I remember one of my accounting professors telling this joke: “When asked the question ‘What is 1 + 1?’ the wrong accounting candidate would lean forward and say, with a conspiratorial smile, “What do you want it to be?’”
And yet, at Jive, an innovative mindset within the finance/accounting framework has been vital in bootstrapping our business to tens of millions in revenue, 30+ quarters of consecutive growth, and a 9-figure company valuation.
Take for example the experience with one of our first lenders. The company was featured in the Wall-Street Journal for its innovation and the loan was one of the first-ever revenue-based financing deals of its kind. Being software guys who were Cloud-based, we had few assets to offer as collateral to a lender. After hard work, a lot of rejection, and passing on term sheets with egregious interest rates, we finally found a group willing to work with us on a new lending model that fit our business.
Since that time, Jive has also negotiated innovative financing options, specialized loan products, call options, and other unique and creative instruments to leverage itself into deals that have garnered tens of millions. All of these decisions have contributed to our status as a major player in the industry and kept us in control of our own destiny.
Jive has had to be innovative and creative on the financing side of the business in order to finance growth while still retaining ownership and avoiding crushing debt.
Today, we pride ourselves on being able to do a lot with a little, especially compared to our heavily VC backed or public shareholder (and often short-term focused) competitors. We have the luxury of being a majority employee-owned business—a place where employees want to build the kind of innovative and hyper-growth business they could be a part of forever.