Be First: Innovate and Win


Inside the TSheets Core Values

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“Be first: Innovate and win” is the shortest of the TSheets core values. But these five words manage to pack plenty of meaning.

“And you’re STILL telling me that your … uh … mascot is a PBR can?” you say.

Well, it’s not a mascot. Because … when you try to turn a beer can into a mascot, things get weird.

But we do have a soft spot for the PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon). In part because it helps us remember our core values. And in part because it’s a company as dedicated to winning as we are.


At the turn of the century in 1893, the Chicago World Fair was the scene of the biggest marketing reveal anyone had seen until that point. Big brands were showcased to the public for the first time–including an up-and-coming beer known as Pabst’s Best Select. The beer was no stranger to awards in the form of blue ribbons at fairs across the country–but this was Pabst’s big moment to shine.

Pabst succeeded in winning the top beer award at the world fair–and a crowning blue ribbon. The company began tying expensive blue silk ribbons around each bottle of beer they sold–which customers started asking for by name. Soon after the world fair, Pabst Best Select officially changed its name to Pabst Blue Ribbon.


The ribbon–and PBR itself–remain an icon of American brewing to this day. (You can read more about the history of Pabst Blue Ribbon here!) And the awards continue to roll in: Most recently, Pabst won the 2015 Brewer of the Year Award at the Great American Beer Festival.

But enough about beer. Here’s how we put this penultimate value into practice:

Being First

This one might seem like a no-brainer. Who doesn’t want to be first?

The answer is, well, a lot of people.

Being first involves risk. It involves coming up with an idea nobody has come up with yet. It involves taking the initiative to put that idea into action. And it involves guts and perseverance.

Before TSheets, mobile time tracking wasn’t a thing. And when Matt Rissell identified the need for it (at his own company, with his own employees), he had a choice: do some wishful thinking about how nice it would be to have a time and attendance system and continue to struggle with manual timekeeping processes. Or be the change he wanted to see in the business world.

He chose option 2–and thousands of customers across the globe are glad he did. But it wasn’t smooth sailing–not at first. And the truth is, most new things aren’t. There were questions to answer, a product to develop, and a market to corner. Being first isn’t for the faint of heart–but has it paid off? You bet.


As a company, we don’t just look for opportunities to do something nobody has ever done before–although we do that too. Often, we’re looking for opportunities to do something the right way first.  In other words, an opportunity to innovate. For example, there are other scheduling software platforms on the market. The concept itself isn’t necessarily revolutionary. But scheduling that integrates seamlessly with time tracking software? The market hadn’t seen that yet–until TSheets.

We saw business owners struggle trying to coordinate and manage two separate but crucial systems for their staff. And the idea to put a blue ribbon on scheduling was born: scheduling and time tracking that functioned as one system and added more benefits to a business owner’s life than either system by itself.

Sometimes being first is about getting there before anybody else. And sometimes, it’s about innovating to become the product that everyone wished existed all along.


At the end of the day, what we do at TSheets is about winning. In fact, it’s the whole point of being first, of innovating. But not just because it feels good–although it does! We want our customers to win too. To win more clients, win more business, win more productive hours back in the day. Because when we innovate and create something amazing, we all win.


The “why” behind someone’s drive to win will often tell you what you need to know about how they’ll get there–and their chances of success. And that’s where the rest of our core values come into play at TSheets. We want to be the best company, with the best product available not just because we have our sights set on an impressive goal. But because through winning we improve the lives of our customers, our friends, and our partners.


Core Value #4: Players


Core Value #3: Excellence


Core Value #2: Healthy



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