Ownership is one of our company’s three core values, and we take that to an extreme.
Our culture is defined by ownership – every team member is given a great amount of trust and responsibility to tackle large, important objectives independently. Unlike at other companies, at Gordian there’s only one person at the steering wheel for each project. This allows us to spread out and accomplish as much as we can as a team, by working on many important projects at once.
This level of responsibility can be scary. In fact, one of our team members wrote a brilliant post about following his fear at Gordian. We have a supportive environment so that people can stretch themselves into owning larger and broader projects to drive the biggest impact for our business and our customers’ experience.
There are no limits to ownership at Gordian. This means that everything touching your project is yours to manage. From inception to attainment, and across the full functional spectrum, be it legal contracts, billing and payments, marketing or operations, we own our goals – with support from the rest of the team, of course. For instance, Jonathan, one of our software engineers, owned our launch with Hopper. He went above and beyond to ensure the design matched their style, especially when it came to helping end users book options for traveling with their infants (e.g., in lap or in a seat). This included using custom logos and animations, as well as adding new theming functionality specifically for Hopper. The launch was a huge success and we recently passed 2.5 million seats booked with Hopper.
Impact is our guiding star in our dynamic environment, which is why it’s one of our company’s core values.
In our fast-paced environment, it can be easy to get distracted. So, we center our efforts ruthlessly around opportunities for the largest impact. We define impact in specific measurable accomplishments that increase our probability of becoming a critical part of the travel data infrastructure so we can improve the traveling experience for everyone.
While most companies prioritize through two-week sprints, we find that cadence is too slow. We don’t have time for pretty presentations or lengthy planning sessions. Instead, we set our major goals every month, and adjust our milestones every three days (what we call our Plans), where we update everyone on our progress and pivots. This rhythm leaves us as much time as possible to speed through projects.
Ultimately, focusing on impact is how we build momentum. Every customer win unlocks multiple new opportunities to create more value. We are taking advantage of this effect and growing our business exponentially. We make the best use of scarce time and every moment seized or lost has substantial effect.
Our motivation to excel, combined with the compelling opportunities in front of us means we need great people to join the team.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Freedom is our third core value – and how we enable folks to reach their Maximum Sustained Impact.
People who thrive at Gordian are comfortable in rapidly changing environments and aren’t afraid to exercise autonomy. The key to our success and delivering the most value for our customers is inherently tied to freedom. Knowing when to push hard on deliverables, when to take time to recharge, and when to work on other priorities requires a great amount of wisdom and the right personal strategy. Maybe your flow state is early in the morning or maybe you’re a night owl. Need to take a mid-day break to run an errand? No problem. We empower everyone on the team to set their own schedule in a way that works best for them, while simultaneously reaching their Maximum Sustained Impact. By adhering to this strategy the results speak for themselves: We’ve grown 14X since pre-COVID while travel has yet to bounce back!
Our team spans North and South America and 85% of the time we work remotely. However, we take advantage of in-person time by gathering at our HQ in Bellevue, Washington for a week-long Meetup every two months. We call this 7 +1 and coordinate these in-person trips with the Long Plan (our monthly all-hands and goal setting meeting). We believe this hybrid work environment blends the best of both worlds.
Promotes from Within
We champion our own talent and develop our leaders.
Our ideal candidates are passionate about growth and never satisfied with the status quo – and neither are we when it comes to their career growth. There’s no shortage of exciting problems to work on and we give team members as much responsibility as they can take on. If you’re ready for a challenge, we will take all the speed limits off your growth. Gordian is a place where you decide how fast you want to grow your career.
We pride ourselves on promoting leaders from within, and all of our team leads were promoted internally. Daanish is a great example. “I started as an intern and was expected to take on every type of problem. When I came back full-time, the same was true and things only got faster. I built the initial version of our auto fulfillment service and scaled it to over a dozen airlines. I started our content team from scratch with the goal of creating a plug and play service that works with every travel API provider. It’s now one of the most critical parts of our business. I’ve moved on to lead another new effort, Sprout.”
Our structure results from our values of Freedom, Impact, and Ownership.
Because we give every team member complete ownership over their projects, we don’t need rungs on the proverbial ladder. We create highly cross-functional teams (sales, marketing, engineering, etc.) with one accountable leader and let them combine forces to win. These teams’ structures change frequently so we can respond to the highest business priorities (and maximize impact). And, our flat company keeps everyone close to customers. We’ve found having a flat org is one important way of living our core values of ownership, impact, and freedom.
We are direct.
We make each other better by being honest, transparent, and speaking up. The best ideas can come from anywhere and we’re not afraid to learn from our mistakes or change our minds. In order to iterate quickly, we have direct conversations to get to the point and make timely decisions.
In our day-to-day, everyone has access to all of the information they need to make informed decisions. Slack channels, Notion, and Google Docs are open and we do our best to keep meetings light. In general, meeting culture is based around our plan meetings, with anything else being ad hoc or specific to an outcome that needs to be achieved.
Customer Comes First
We prioritize everything we do according to customer impact.
We’re laser-focused on bringing as much value to our customers as possible. If it serves the customer, we do it. If not, we don’t. We subject every project and piece of work to this scrutiny. Even internal operational decisions must show that they are adding value to the customer (either in the short- or long-term) in order for us to prioritize and work on them. We keep our feedback loops with our customers tight and regularly interact with them via Slack, weekly calls, and in-person meetings. By working in three-day plans, we’re able to avoid drift between our priorities and our customers’ priorities.
While we primarily serve online travel companies like Priceline, Hopper, and Travix, it is with a focus on the ultimate customer: the traveler. Our co-founders, Stephen and Joe, met at Skyscanner and saw many opportunities to make travel websites more customer centric, and founded Gordian to address these opportunities.
Impressive Team Members
Every team member is a superstar.
One of the best things about working at Gordian is the people (you can meet the team here). Our colleagues bring out the best in us every day and we’re always learning from each other. We don’t care about pedigrees or certain credentials on your resume and instead seek out people who are highly motivated, have terrific problem-solving aptitude, and are great communicators. Here are just a few of our incredible team members and why they decided to join the team:
- Kevin (Software Engineer). “I joined Gordian because I was excited about the team approach to planning (I very much aligned with the Two Weeks Two Slow blog post), the focus on numbers and growth, and the proven ability of the team to achieve impressive success. From the get-go, I was given large projects to plan and execute on. I'm currently building out an entirely new ancillary product with a handful of team members across engineering, integration, and sales. The ability to spin up an entirely new line of revenue in weeks, and with a small part of the team, highlights how fast we move and execute. Since we have so many things going on, it can often feel like I'm sprinting from place to place, making sure I'm working on the highest priority item. But from my experience, it's usually a good sign for a startup when you're resource-constrained!” Fun fact: Kevin is an avid reader and shares his book notes here.
- Edith (Integration Operations Lead). “I joined Gordian because I was so excited by the energy, drive, and mission of the team. One project I've loved – that encompasses the spirit of ownership – is working with an engineer on our team to build and launch an automatic check-in product for one of our partners. This included creating a proposal for the product, determining a commercial model, understanding our partner's requirements, and working with a designer on mockups.” Fun fact: Edith loves to cook and is always exploring new recipes.
- Eduardo (Software Engineer). “At Gordian, I get to work with some of the smartest people I’ve known to solve fun and complex problems. I’m currently focused on Sprout, Gordian’s start-up within the start-up. I’ve had the chance to wear many hats and work on software, sales, operations, and marketing. I knew I wanted to join a fast-growing, results-oriented, and flexible company and I remember thinking in my interview with [co-founders] Stephen and Joe, ‘This is it! This is the place!’ I wasn’t wrong.” Fun fact: Eduardo previously founded Poster House, a wall art e-commerce website that is on track to do $1M in revenue this year.
If you’re excited about joining a fast-moving team that places a high premium on ownership, freedom, and impact – we want to hear from you!