When we started RunKeeper, we included a non-compete provision as a standard term in our employment agreement. It was not because we believed in the importance of non-compete provisions, it was simply a standard term at the time.
It never really sat well with me that we had this provision in there, and today, I am pleased to announce that we are taking it out. I sent an email to the RunKeeper team yesterday, informing them that effective immediately, we will no longer enforce the non-compete provision that was in the company’s standard employment agreement that each employee signed when they joined the company. Moving forward, we will take this provision out of the employment agreement altogether.
We are building a company that is committed to attracting and retaining great people as we grow. We intend to do so by working to solve important problems, surrounding ourselves with incredible people that share the same mission and core values, and fostering an environment where these people can thrive both personally and professionally over a long period of time. We do not intend to attract and retain great people through silly policies that restrict where they can and can’t work, if they choose to leave us.
Governor Patrick’s announcement this morning about the proposed legislation to ban non-competes would be a huge step in the right direction. We are hopeful that this legislation will go through, and whether it does or it doesn’t, we are committed to removing them because we believe it to be the right decision for innovation, for economic health, and for the best interests of each employee.
I am hopeful that other companies will follow suit and get rid of their non-compete provisions as well. It is an easy change, it is a powerful motivator to the team, and it is also just the right thing to do.