Punk Rock HR Podcast with Laurie Ruettimann

I’m pleased to announce that my guests today are Josh Schwede and Scott Fowle in this episode. They have started a company called SPOTLYFE, which is software that puts people first in organizations. It is a neat tool that gives workflow and rigor around what you need to accomplish during the workday and ensures that it aligns with your values while giving you a unique framework to communicate with your manager. 

I’m so excited to have these two HR technology veterans and friends on today’s show because today is Groundhog Day and the launch of SPOTLYFE. Scott and Josh have both been in the HR Tech industry for over two decades each. The launch of their software today reminded me of the movie “Groundhog Day.” These past few years have felt like they are blending in repeatedly, almost as if we are in a time loop like Bill Murray’s lead character. 

Josh and Scott found that this day intersects well with what they are trying to do with their company. Josh explains, “We all have our own Groundhog Day, whether it’s Feb. 2 or other days, right? Some days we have days where we’re like, ‘I don’t want to live that day ever again,’ and other days we have days where we’re like, ‘that day was amazing.” 

He continues, “How do I repeat that? On this big day, it’s our brand launch day for SPOTLYFE, on Groundhog Day. We just thought it was a pretty interesting tie-in to what we’re trying to do as a company.”

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Software for the Individual

Josh and Scott have worked as partners for different HR companies but have always wanted to work with each other. An opportunity arose in early 2021 for them to put their brains together, and they quickly realized that most software in the talent space is not built for individuals; instead, it’s made for companies and leaders

When employees use existing software, it doesn’t contain any context that relates to them. This discovery led to the conception of SPOTLYFE. Josh explains, “What if we could build some software that actually was built from day one for the individual versus the company.” Especially with all the things that people have gone through over the past two years, where people entered survival mode to figure out what matters to their overall wellness. 

Their goal was to get people, from managers to employees, to understand that there was more to a person than just work. “We’re just trying to help people understand that there are three lenses here, and how do we shine some lights on those different lenses and help the individual become a little bit more informative about themselves?” Josh says, “If they have trust with their manager, share that with them to ultimately drive performance for them at their company.”

How SPOTLYFE Helps Employees

Many of us are working from home now. The routine is similar: turning on your screen, looking at your projects and adding in your personal day-to-day tasks. It can be hard to feel like you can get it all done in the same day.

SPOTLYFE acts as an “assistive effort” to help individuals create a workflow that they can manage, Scott says. For him, the software is about bringing workflow to people who need “a start and a finish to a day.” 

SPOTLYFE can still be a huge help to people, Scott adds, even if it’s only “bringing that collective kind of view into an individual’s life and helping them decide what is important, what’s the focus, how did I do, how do I continue to create more successes or, if I was not successful for the day, how do I pivot and adjust?”


It’s interesting that today, Groundhog Day, is the launch of SPOTLYFE because the software disrupts that idea of doing the same thing repeatedly and being miserable. This is because Josh and Scott are thinking about the individuals and their success. 

Scott hopes that this software becomes a benefactor to managers and leaders, as well as individuals. “If this in any way could give a manager insight around how to have a much more fruitful conversation with individuals on their team and talk at a level that will start to evoke or develop some level of empathy or trust, I’m all for it.”

Since day one, Josh and Scott built the software for the individual, but companies can also benefit. Companies have employee value propositions on their career pages to attract talent and explain why they should work there. When they use SPOTLYFE, they can prove their employee value proposition to be true. 

The hope is that SPOTLYFE becomes intertwined with a company’s culture during the recruiting process to show that when a company says it cares, it means it. Josh hopes that people can incorporate SPOTLYFE into their daily life and create a more effortless flow. The software hopefully reduces stress and highlights “those moments that matter and not to miss out on those, because those are what’s going to fill your bucket, fill your energy and keep you going on a daily basis.”