The Founder of ClickUp on Bringing Positivity to Productivity Software
ClickUp Founder and CEO Zeb Evans spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about the company’s evolving hiring plans and the search for a new base in Dublin.
As the founder and CEO of a productivity software company, you’d be forgiven for expecting Zeb Evans to be one of life’s most successful stereotypes.
It turns out that Evans is very successful, but his story is quite unique. His interest in business and creativity began when he was just a toddler, he told SiliconRepublic.com.
“I’ve been an entrepreneur since I’ve been around for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was three or four, I’d been selling things and creating experiences for other kids.
After a few near-death experiences as a child, Evans spent long periods recovering in hospital. He turned to technology to entertain his inquisitive mind, launching his first website at the age of 10.
He was excited about the opportunities that technology and the internet could potentially provide. That was about 20 years ago, when “we didn’t have access to cell phones or the internet back then in the way we do today.”
Evans believes his early exposure to technology was a formative experience for him when it came to founding the productivity software company ClickUp.
He started the California-based company in 2017 with the goal of creating a one-stop productivity platform for enterprise teams.
Since then, ClickUp has expanded to the EMEA region and now counts companies such as Google, Airbnb and Nike among its users.
Late last year, the company announced that it the opening of its European headquarters at Dublin.
At the time of the announcement, ClickUp said it plans to create 200 new jobs in the Irish capital by 2025. It has started recruiting for a range of roles in sales, customer success, marketing, support, finance and human resources.
New employees can walk into corporate offices or work remotely or hybridly if they choose. Since the beginning of this year, ClickUp has been renting offices from We work in Dublin’s Docklands. He is in the process of opening a more permanent office elsewhere in the city.
Unlike many tech companies, ClickUp shows no signs of freezing its hiring plans so far. In fact, Evans said it could exceed current projections.
“We have around 120 employees in EMEA in total and around 75 in Ireland already,” he said. “We plan to hire another 100 EMEA team members by the end of 2025.”
The day Evans spoke to SiliconRepublic.com coincided with his first trip to Ireland to see how the team was doing.
He was also here to attend SaaStock 2022, a conference for SaaS founders held at the RDS in Dublin earlier this month.
He was able to spend a few days meeting his Dublin team and making new connections with other SaaS founders.
“It was great, we had a lot of fun.” The Irish team at ClickUp have created an escape room as a bonding experience.
Fun and positivity are important to Evans, and not just because they help productivity. He said working at ClickUp is as much about personal growth for each employee as it is about growing the business.
But, yes, a positive attitude also helps create and sell the “highly competitive” type of product that ClickUp offers. “There’s innovation going on all the time, so we have to stay vigilant,” as Evans said.
So what does Evans think of the Irish SaaS scene based on his SaaStock experience?
“There is already a good business base here; the two who started here as Intercom and obviously the founders of Stripe. But also many companies that have moved here – big and small – even the Apples and the Facebooks. It’s a great opportunity for us from a networking perspective, but also from a hiring perspective, which is being able to hire some really great people.
“I think Dublin is very, very supportive and very welcoming to start-ups and tech,” Evans said, adding that he can see why it has become “a massive hub, a gateway to the EMEA, so to speak, for tech companies.” .”
For ClickUp, its move to Dublin is definitely proving successful, although many businesses are struggling.
When the company’s new office opens here, Evans plans to structure it similarly to the flagship office in San Diego, where employees “come in at least two days a week.” Usually the days people come are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, although the office is open on other days for whiteboard sessions and in-person meetings.
Evans thinks it’s important to have the in-person (and fun) element in the company’s work culture. The highlight of his trip to Ireland was meeting the Dublin-based team for the first time.
“It’s one of those things where you kind of have a surface-level relationship or connection until you meet someone in person, and then you have this real relationship now.”
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