WebLinc's expensive, but worth it meeting

WebLinc, the e-commerce software design company with its offices above the National Mechanics bar on North Third Street is growing so fast that co-founder Darren Hill is worried about keeping the company's funky, relaxed culture intact.

The company has doubled in size in the last few years and now employs 82, with plans to hire more, I learned when I interviewed Hill for a story on the company in Monday's Inquirer. It was a follow-up to my Sunday story on the tech corridor along Third Street. 

Here's one company tradition that Hill absolutely plans to maintain. Every Friday at 4 p.m. there's a company meeting. People update each other on their projects and whatever sales initiatives are happening are discussed. But the pressure is on for new employees. Each employee must give a 15-20 minute presentation about himself. "It's become a little bit of a fun process," he said.

"We give them some pointers -- make it light, make fun of yourself," he said.

Hill said the tradition is particularly important as the staff has grown. Most of the early employees were friends with Hill and his brother, co-founder Jason Hill. "We all liked the same music," Darren Hill said. Now they've gone beyond hiring friends, and even friends of friends, although there is a recruiting bonus in place for employees who bring in good talent.

The Friday meeting "is pretty expensive," Hill said, putting the price at $14,000 when all the billable hours are factored in. "But our corporate culture is worth $14,000 a week.