Lawrence Bruhmuller
3 min readMay 21, 2021

Compensation Finally Broke In 2020. And, Why I Am Joining Pave

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic caused record numbers of employees to suddenly have to work remotely … at least those of us that were lucky enough to have these types of jobs. Many people chose to relocate, either temporarily or permanently, either opportunistically or out of necessity. Companies everywhere have struggled with how to manage the compensation of their talented employees as they have suddenly changed locations. Even today, large “exemplar” companies are taking different approaches to this challenge. Moreover, no one really knows how the market dynamics will settle out in the next 12 months.

Balancing compensation geographically is just one example of a major, unsolved problem that Pave will address, and why I am thrilled to join the company as CTO to build a world-class team and product to solve this problem.

Let me back up a little bit. I’ve spent the last 10 years or so leading engineering teams, mostly focused on SaaS products, and helping them scale into the next phase of a company’s growth. I’ve been at earlier stages (Vontu, ClearSlide) and later stages (WeWork, Optimizely), but ultimately, I have the startup bug and have the most fun at a fast-paced environment where I can leverage what I’ve learned in my career to fuel a new company’s success.

When I first started talking to Matt, founder and CEO of Pave, I was immediately drawn to his clear vision around compensation and my own visceral first hand experience with these challenges. 1) Properly communicating the value of a total compensation package, especially equity, is always challenging. 2) Once you have a team at a certain size, running a compensation adjustment cycle becomes a painful, error-prone exercise in splitting, copying and merging spreadsheets. And 3) I’ve learned the hard way that the compensation benchmark data available from Radford and Option Impact is … not good, and that the best data, at least for my own use, came from a) VCs b) crowdsourcing and c) my own personal network.

Pave is solving these problems with a unified solution that combines easy to use SaaS applications with a data platform that integrates with 1000s of companies across all of their key compensation systems. This network of real time benchmarking data yields better insights, providing more value to companies looking to be more equitable and transparent, whether across geography, gender and racial classes, or just ensuring they are being as competitive for talent as they think they are. Employees and candidates get a better experience that clearly articulates their compensation, instilling confidence and building trust.

We have a small, but rapidly growing, team of talented, committed engineers and will continue to bring in the best and brightest full stack, back end and data engineers as we scale up. There is a lot of foundation yet to be laid and we are going to do it right. At the same time, we are very product minded, and being truly agile is critical to our success. Let me know if you are interested in learning more, and, either way, stay tuned! Pave is coming to a company near you and I know it will make a powerful impact on everyone who works there.