The concept for Pulsify began when founder Bennett Fisher wanted to better understand how his growing organization at Retroficiency was doing, what was top of mind with his employees, and how he and his leadership team could help.
His team initially implemented some performance bolt-ons that their payroll and HRIS providers offered but soon realized that they were heavy, complex, and would add time to their process.
They then tried some new employee engagement and performance management platforms but they all lacked either the simplicity needed for sustained adoption or the intelligence to be actionable at the individual level.
Bennett decided to design a simple spreadsheet solution that enabled his managers to record how their direct reports were feeling each week and why. They used the aggregated data to track trends across the team and facilitate individual conversations.
In late 2015, Retroficiency was acquired by Ecova (now Engie Impact) and the team of 25 became a team of 50. 50 people grew to 100 and then 200. Bennett became inundated with spreadsheets from his managers and knew there had to be a better way.
Bennett approached his soon to be co-founders, Paul Gagne and Adam Kernander, about building some software to automate the process. Bennett, Paul, and Adam had all previously worked together at Retroficiency.
After rolling out the new software version to additional users, they soon realized that it wasn’t specifically the 1x1 tool that people loved - it was how refreshingly simple it was to deploy and use. And despite that, the analytics were still amazingly powerful!
The Pulsify team took that to heart and, at the urging of their customers, began building additional tools for managers - like real time feedback and goal setting and performance reviews and surveys - with that same simplicity in mind.
Today, we continue to look for new ways to align managers and employees across all their key touchpoints. And we will always keep simplicity, intelligence, and actionability top of mind as we do.
Bennett is the co-founder and CEO of Pulsify. He has always been fascinated by using minimal amounts of information, software, and data analytics to unearth and deliver actionable insights at scale. His prior venture-backed company, Retroficiency, did exactly this in the energy efficiency space by using easily accessible data from commercial buildings to provide behind the meter intelligence to utilities. Retroficiency was successfully acquired by ENGIE Impact in 2015. As the Chief Strategy Officer at ENGIE, Bennett once again saw an opportunity to provide more with less – this time by creating an entirely new experience in the employee engagement and performance management space with Pulsify. Bennett has a BA in Economics and Entrepreneurship from The Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Paul J. Gagné
Paul is the co-founder and CTO of Pulsify. He has held VP and CTO positions at several companies and has been a visionary and technical contributor behind several venture-backed startups. Recently, Paul has been VP of Software at Retroficiency which was successfully acquired by ENGIE Impact in 2015. At Retroficiency he met Bennett and was involved in growing the company as well as building its software products. The challenge of building a company while mining new ideas has always been a focus of Paul's interests during his career. Prior venture-backed startups include CTO of ThinkEngine Networks, acquired by Cognitronics, and CTO of Voicetek, acquired by Aspect Communications. Paul holds an MS from Boston University.
Adam is a co-founder and Lead Architect of Pulsify. With nearly two decades of development experience he has built and managed teams at several startups, most recently serving as a Software Architect at Retroficiency (Engie Impact after acquisition in 2015), where he met Bennett and Paul. Adam led Retroficiency’s user interface development and was a key contributor to product design and implementation.