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Joy, Inc – How We Built a Workplace People Love

Reading Time: 1 minute

Things can be better. Much better. He had to find a way. His search led him to books, authors and history, including recalling childhood visits to Greenfield Village every summer. The excitement of the Edison Menlo Park New Jersey Lab served as his siren call to create a workplace filled with camaraderie, human energy, creativity and productivity.

Ultimately, Rich and his co-founder James Goebel invented their own company in 2001 to “end human suffering in the world as it relate to technology” by returning joy to one of the most unique endeavors mankind has ever undertaken: the invention of software. Their unique approach to custom software creation is so interesting that almost 4,000 people a year travel from around the world just to see how they do it.

In 2013, Rich and his publisher Penguin Random House took a chance that a business book with the words joy and love on the cover might have impact. His best selling book, Joy, Inc. – How We Built a Workplace People Love now has Rich traveling the world speaking about joy, creativity, and human energy in the workplace.

Every year, thousands of visitors come from around the world to visit Menlo Innovations, a small software company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They make the trek not to learn about technology but to witness a radically different approach to company culture. CEO Rich Sheridan removed the fear and ambiguity that typically make a workplace miserable. With joy as the explicit goal, he and his team changed everything about how the company was run. The results blew away all expectations. Menlo has won numerous growth awards and was named an Inc. magazine “”””audacious small company””””.

Key Takeaways:

  • Business Value of Joy
  • The importance of a positive culture
  • Building a team of positive leaders
Editor's Image

Richard Sheridan

Rich knew at 13 years old what he was going to do the rest of his career when he typed a two-line program into a teletype and the computer returned, “HI RICH.” He was hooked. A year later, after having typed the entire Baseball Register into the computer, he won an international gaming contest for what would now be termed Fantasy Baseball. In 1973, Rich landed his first job as a programmer. He was stunned people would pay him to do something he loved to do as a hobby.

At the midpoint of his career rise, he wanted out. He was no longer experiencing the joy that had first drawn him to programming and this inspired him to pursue lasting change at his workplace. The experiments began.

On June 12, 2001 Menlo Innovations LLC was born.

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