How One Startup Went from Being Banned by Regulators to Being Open for Business

 

When (now) two-year-old startup Zenefits was banned in Utah because it offered its HR management software for free, CEO and co-founder Parker Conrad felt upset, anxious, and scared. Especially because it was a B2B company with a much smaller supporter base: “If you’re Uber or Lyft, then you have this built-in constituency using the service and millions of people to complain and go to the mat for you… But man, we make HR software. That’s totally unsexy. No one’s even going to pay attention to this,” he says.

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, Conrad shares how Zenefits went from being banned in Utah to the state reversing the ban. As the state governor later stated, “Utah is open for business… There are always going to be innovators and disruptors as technology accelerates business growth and we believe government needs to be able to work with these innovators to ensure strong and efficient economic policies and an open marketplace.” Of course, this is just the beginning…