Customer Spotlight

How the CEO of Mapistry finds focus while her company and to-do list grow

Customer since 2021
Headquartered in Berkeley, CA
20+ employees
Software
allie-janoch

“Today, I have a board meeting, and last week, I met with customers for product feedback over lunch several times. What I love about being CEO is the variety of responsibilities I take on and the fact that my priorities change on a monthly basis.”

Allie Janoch is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mapistry, a company that helps manufacturing and industrial companies manage environmental regulations by giving them visibility, tools, and guidance as they navigate regulatory requirements. She began her career as a software engineer, and after the startup she was working for was acquired, she decided to start something of her own.

When Mapistry was founded, Allie was excited about the technical problems they were solving. Over time, she shifted her focus to the business and overall operations at the company—now, she oversees much of the business strategy, fundraising, and ‘white space’ that exists. She’s had to become an expert in areas like Marketing and HR in order to grow the company and scale communications so that everyone knows what’s going on across the organization.

With a growing team of 20, Allie regularly meets with leaders and individual contributors alike to ensure everybody is on the same page. “I consider that I’m doing my best work when it’s empowering Mapistry’s leaders to be successful and I’m hitting my own OKRs around fundraising, emerging opportunities, and product roadmap,” she says.

But ask any startup founder and they’re bound to tell you that overseeing a growing team and business isn’t always a breeze—the same rings true for Allie. Her biggest challenges as CEO include figuring out how to allocate resources—balancing between maximizing growth and maximizing run rate—and dealing with all the ups and downs of a startup and staying optimistic for the team—balancing transparency with support and security. To do that, she moves constantly between a birds-eye view of the company and being on the ground level.

At the end of the day, when Allie meets with customers and sees how they’re using Mapistry or gets together with the team which hasn’t happened in a while, it’s all worth it.

Sweating the small stuff

“As the founder of a small company, there’s a ton of small stuff that needs to get done that doesn’t fit squarely into peoples’ job descriptions, so I tend to take those things on,” explains Allie. At times, she’d ask for volunteers to help with such work, but there was a limit to how comfortable she felt doing so. “There’s simply a lot of overhead with just getting someone to help—providing context, instructions, and training—that takes time and energy,” she says.

For years, Allie and her co-founder (who’s also her husband) talked about getting an assistant, but they’d always agreed that they couldn’t afford it. They had several preconceived notions about an assistant that stopped them from bringing one on: They thought that they had to hire a full-time EA, that they’d never find a good part-time assistant, and that they didn’t have enough work to justify it.

Several times, they wrote down all the things they’d hand off to an assistant (like booking travel, data cleanup, onboarding, scheduling, and small projects) but it never added up to a full-time job, so they’d put it off.

Delegating tasks in order to achieve focus

Allie wanted to aim for quick wins with her Double, Jessica, so she started by handing off smaller, daily tasks, like triaging email and scheduling. Then she delegated more involved tasks, like onboarding new hires. Now, her Double helps with one-off things, like organizing a leadership offsite, and ongoing processes, like handling receipts and expenses for the company. She’s also taken on more manual work, like mailing paperwork or swag—something Allie didn’t expect to hand off to her.

Allie has noticed several improvements since bringing on her Double—just by handing off all of the small things she used to take care of as company ‘white space.’

Consistency and reliability for repeated processes: Onboarding and offboarding involve a long list of tasks that have to get done, like managing SaaS subscriptions and adding or removing someone from the website and wiki. At Mapistry, that work doesn’t fall squarely into anyone’s job description, but it still takes several hours to do—and Allie usually took it on. “We needed it to be someone consistent—who has access to the systems and knows the process—my Double is that person and she saves me hours every week by handling onboarding and offboarding,” Allie says.

Time savings where she didn’t expect it: Allie’s Double triages and responds to emails, as well as organizes her inbox. As a result, Allie knows what’s the most important work to get to when she dives into her email.

Focusing on the work that matters: When Allie is stressed, she has a tendency of doing small tasks that should be handed off: ”I like to feel like I’m making progress,” she says. “By forcing myself to hand them off to Jessica—not having those things on my list—it’s easier for me to step back and think strategically about bigger issues.”

Being a better leader: Allie is more present in meetings and with her team because there aren’t so many things vying for her attention. She’s able to support her company better by focusing her strengths where she can drive the most impact.

Things don’t fall through the cracks: Using the Double app to communicate with her Double, Allie can be sure that work won’t fall through the cracks, even if she goes on holiday. “My Double always follows up because we track our work in the app, which gives me peace of mind knowing no task will be forgotten,” she says.

Creating connective tissue at Mapistry with a Double

Though she had some preconceived notions about hiring an assistant, Allie says she instantly saw benefits from her Double.

What’s more, her co-founder and husband has also started using her Double (and soon her VP of Product will, too!). “Double disproved my assumption that bringing someone on involved a ton of overhead,” says Allie. "It has streamlined my workflow, and has made me a better leader for Mapistry."

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