About Us

Dave Will

Co-Founder & CEO

Cameron Aubuchon

Co-Founder & CTO

The PropFuel Story

I was an eager MBA student wrapping up my summer internship at SAP, a multi-billion dollar software company. My supervisor, Mark, walked me to the door at the end of the day with his arm around my shoulder and offered his advice on how to make it in Corporate America. He said,

“Dave, when you walk down the halls, I encourage you to walk faster and smile less, because  {dramatic pause}  perception is reality.”

Now I don’t know if it was the dramatic pause or the core of the advice, but I thought this was awesome feedback. It was the missing link to my future success.

I built a business on the antithesis of this advice a few years later.

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Unless you begin your career as an entrepreneur, you’re in a tough spot. It’s likely you accepted a job working for “the man” and you’re making money. Maybe you have a few luxuries, like a house and a car. If you’re ever going to make the leap to starting a business, generally speaking you need a trigger. Something needs to happen that pushes you off the ledge… something that pushes you to the point of taking that leap of faith to the unknown, risky, and wonderful land of entrepreneurship.

Imagine you’re 30 years old… a solid job working for a tech consulting firm. A beautiful wife and your first baby in her arms at home in the house, which was a stretch financially. You get to work on a sunny Spring morning, only to notice the air is still and the office is quiet. People are staring into their screens nervously. I was called into HR and passed someone on their way out of HR. There was no eye contact.

Guess what. I got a raise! Nope… I was fired.

I packed up my things and was escorted to the door while people still stared nervously into their computer screens. I walked to the pier where I waited for the 10:30 AM ferry to take me home. (Working in Boston, I took the Ferry in from the South Shore.) I called my wife and when I heard her voice, I couldn’t say a thing. You know that lump that forms in your throat when you're struck with emotion? It struck me like a ton of bricks, the responsibility I had, when I heard my son coo in the background. I broke into tears.

I made it home to my compassionate wife and soon began my job search. But it was a dark time. Nothing gave me this feeling of content or excitement. It was all more of what I had been doing. And it wasn’t for me.

A friend came to me with an idea. It wasn’t much, but we talked. And talked again a few days later. And again… and before long I couldn’t stop thinking and talking with him. With my wife’s encouragement and our parents help putting food on the table, my friend and I started a business. This business evolved over the next 14 years, as did the ownership, to the point where we had 40 employees and a customer base of 200 enterprise clients.

The company was Peach New Media and I sold the business to Private Equity Firm, AKKR, in 2015.

Along the way, I met Cam, who joined our Executive Team at Peach. He’s a world class developer and had a completely different perspective of the world than me. A big element of our success was in the company culture we had created. We built the culture around purpose and vision. People knew why we were doing what we were doing and why it was important. They were given the autonomy and trust to master their craft. We offer great perks and created a comfortable and stimulating work environment. Our attrition was staggeringly low through the hi’s and low’s and the Peaches were passionate about their jobs.

A big part of understanding what our people needed was listening to them. We created a tool centered around an employee recognition program called “Peach of the Week”. Part of this process included a weekly survey asking our employees how they were feeling about their job this week, what they wanted to make their jobs better, and who they wanted to nominate for Peach of the Week.

The combination of recognition and feedback was invaluable to us as a company.

Not everyone participated and that’s ok. I was able to use the data to address issues before they became problems and it gave people a chance to speak and be heard.

Given the value of this program in our company, Cam and I decided to automate the process and make it scalable for the market to embrace. The outcome was PropFuel.

We believe that happy people make everything better. We believe that work should not be a dark dungeon where you go to make the donuts. We believe your team should come to work on the balls of their feet climbing the stairs two at a time. (Yvon Chouinard – Patagonia – “Let My People Go Surfing”)

We believe work is part of a beautiful, meaningful and fulfilling life… so walk slow, smile more… even at work.