• Umar Khan

    Hey Mr.Rand,

    Once again you provide a best piece. I agree with all your points here except the Recruitment point. I want to know one thing from you and I hope that you’ll tell me.

    What is the source of motivation that we see in MOZ employees? How do you make them motivated?

  • mattcoffy


  • Rand Fishkin

    I think motivation comes from a lot of places and it’s a complex and nuanced issue. Certainly there are Mozzers who are motivated by our mission and vision, by TAGFEE (our values), by their team members and the people around them, and by money or stock. And there are probably many more motivators, too.

  • Thos003

    Crazy experiment. You guys have some serious bravado. Well done. I hope that both organizations improve from this.

  • Jon Dunn

    Super useful advice the Rand, not just for Wil and the team but for anyone with a business- Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    Wil can we expect a similar “report” from you soon…?

    ps- loving the photo guys.. True Bromance?

  • Michael Caldwell

    Awesome write-up. He should put YOU on the board!

  • Dana Tan

    This was a really fun exchange. Great notes Rand! I am equally eager to read about Wil’s experience at Moz. If there was one person you could have stolen from Wil’s team (aside from Wil himself of course), who would it have been and why? Will, same question for you. Thanks guys for the “inside” look from an outside perspective. Love it!

  • Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg

    Can I get him to take over my company for a week some time? What an amazing/inspirational/strange-as-hell business experience! Thanks for sharing!

  • Samuel Hulick

    What did you mean when you said SEER felt fun like Moz did a couple years ago? Is Moz not fun anymore?

  • Joe Griffin

    Great feedback for you Mr. Reynolds. I’m sure you know about a lot of these suggestions. Many of these suggestions are the same types we need more work on. They are often the hardest to accomplish. Anyway, I know you guys are a great company, and it’s a thoughtful and transparent without pain digest by Rand. Congrats on the experience to you both.

  • Holly

    I agree with the comments about Wil’s personal brand. It’s nice to know I can pick up the phone and talk to Wil if I need to. He’s made it that way. I actually talk to the rock star…that’s pretty cool.

  • Umar Khan

    Hello Mr.Rand,

    I really appreciate and admire your efforts in managing your employees and I need to say that you are the real source of inspiration from them apart from the other factors that you highlighted. Mr.Cyrus, Dr.Pete, Roger, Keri all the others are doing a tremendous job.

    Coming to your points, yes you are right your mission and vision are bit indifferent from the other companies and it is more related to Enthusiasm, Self-analysis, Self-motivation and determination.

    I hope that all the Mozzers will always be motivated like they currently are not only in next 10 years but for the next 100 years.. :)


  • Patrick Coombe

    Spectacular post, totally agree about levering personal brand, especially someone like Wil as you pointed out is someone with an infectious personality that everyone loves listening to.

    There are some hard truths in here. Process is one of them and is particularly difficult to just pick up and start doing especially because most of those tasks are so mundane (like exit interviews, new client face sheets, project management tasks etc)

  • tony greene

    What an awesome thing to do. Spending time in someone else’s shoes to get outside your comfort zone. You guys took it to the extreme of including living environments. Will bookmark this and Wil’ s findings over at the MOZ.

  • Tracey Halvorsen

    Great article and wonderful insights!

    My question for you Rand, is that do you suggest Wil run through some of this work with his entire team involved, just directors / managers / or just top level folks? Seems like making some of these conversations “group based” would really help get the whole organization on board, and reveal any weak links / outliers.

    Also, did you rely on any outside guides / books / frameworks when you were going through these discoveries at Moz that you might recommend? I’m particularly interested in the Do This / Not That conversation.

    Thanks again for a great read, many of your suggestions for Wil and Seer resonated with me and applied to changes I’m seeking to make at my company.

  • Danny Howard

    Wow Rand thats was a great peace, some amazing insights into 2 successful businesses. Really great ideas that you guys did, and love what you both represent.

    May I ask does your team have a daily schedule or routine that helps be more productive or efficient with new learnings and in what they do to grow your companies even further?



  • Donna Duncan

    Thank you for an exciting experiment, a fun and educational week and a great post! Your (meaning both of you, Rand and Wil) insights and observations are insightful and helpful to many starting or growing their businesses. No doubt that was one of your objectives for sharing!