In this Idea Series post, I'm excited to write about an idea that's been on my mind lately: building a business around a "Central Record". I think this is a useful yet contrarian (still) way to think about starting a big company today.
First, a definition: a Central Record can be defined as the foundational data structure or entity around which a business or system organizes its processes, products, and services.
Take Rippling, for example. They’ve built a large business almost exclusively around one Central Record - the employee record.
Need to run payroll? Run it for your employees. Performance reviews? For your employees. Recruiting? For future employees. Benefits? For your employees. You get the idea.
I’ve chosen Rippling intentionally, as Rippling’s founder & CEO Parker Conrad is a proponent of what he calls the Compound Startup. A Compound Startup is one that “that builds multiple products in parallel that are deeply integrated and seamlessly interoperable with one another”.
What is missing from this definition but is clear when observing these companies is that they are composed of multiple well-integrated and seamlessly interoperable products built on top of a Central Record.