We’re solving a problem we’re intimately familiar with, giving our product and business a unique edge. Traditionally, when deploying applications in production, developers are forced to pick between two extremes: expensive yet simplistic platforms, or complicated, do-it-all-yourself services. Instead, Render takes care of all the laborious work upfront, minimizing the amount of thinking, reading, and clicking Render customers need to do. This makes it easy to get up and running quickly while simultaneously allowing applications to scale and increase in complexity over time, preventing a transition to DIY infrastructure. For example, during the height of the pandemic, many high-growth startups relied on Render to address rapidly changing business needs. And when Heroku ended its free tier, we made it easier than ever to migrate apps over to Render. We’re giving precious time back to our customers so they can focus on what really matters to their business. This clear product-market fit has enabled us to scale quickly – with over 10.5B requests served monthly and 1M+ services created, we’re not slowing down.
We rely heavily on customer feedback and treat Render customers the way we'd like to be treated. We read every tweet, respond to questions from our community, and keep track of what our users need to be successful on Render. Moreover, all our full-stack engineers participate in on-call and support engineering rotations. Customer service is core to UX and a big differentiator in a crowded market like ours.
A simple messaging workspace with tools for managers and staff on the go
San Francisco, CA or Remote
Imagine your favorite Italian restaurant. Their communication is scattered through group text message chains, emails, and other single utility apps, making it frustrating for their employees to contact people and find information when they need it. Similar to Slack, we’ve become the nervous system of each business, but with one main difference: we’re focused on the deskless workforce and SMB-centric tools through mobile. Using Coast, the employees at your favorite Italian restaurant can now easily share checklists, swap shifts, and run payroll, all in one place.
We know small businesses well; we spent years immersing ourselves in their work when building hyper-local networks for small businesses at our previous company, Townsquared. Essentially, we built Coast to serve members of the Townsquared community because we listened to what our customers were asking for.
Our users depend on us for their daily operations, so we always put their needs first. Customer feedback enters into our product roadmap in three main ways:
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As a young child, our CEO and co-founder, Jamie, experienced firsthand how important life insurance is when his father passed away unexpectedly. Thanks to his dad’s planning, his family was able to have financial stability during one of the hardest periods of their lives. At Ladder, we’re on a mission to make life insurance easy, accessible, and empowering with a digital solution. Given the importance of this real-world issue, it’s safe to say that our customers are at the heart of everything we do. In other words, we’re not building for building’s sake. Engineers are encouraged to ask questions, such as “what are we solving for and how does it impact users?” to understand what the higher level intent is behind every decision.
Our roadmap is directly informed by customer needs. For instance, we wanted to reward customers who have healthy lifestyles, and thus a lower mortality risk. This led us to create an iOS App where customers can sync their steps and get a discount for living an active lifestyle.
We also extensively use FullStory, a tool that provides videos of how our customers are interacting with our product. These are shared in our #fullstory Slack channel, where engineers can gain valuable insight into what’s working well, improve pain points, and catch bugs before they become bigger problems. In addition to assigning different engineers to various FullStory videos every day, we also do quarterly week-long on-call rotations so engineers are never far from our end users.
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Our guests are often the people ordering food for their entire family or folks who want to mix-and-match across a wide array of cuisines. Every decision we make starts with the guest experience in mind and we prioritize based on their needs. We hold true to this even at moments when it's uncomfortable for us personally or our operations. That might mean personally delivering an order to ensure it makes it on time, answering a support email at midnight, or staying open on Christmas Eve. We do this because we know that delivering a world-class, reliable, and convenient experience will distinguish us in the market.
We solicit feedback from every order and all engineers and co-founders read every single sentence of guest feedback. We respond to every Yelp review and reply to 90% of our support requests in <1 minute. Engineers interact with guests weekly via email or for user research in-store or over Zoom. Last but not least, once a month, everyone in the company signs up for a shift as a greeter in one of our locations and writes up their insights from the experience. It would be easier to sit at our desk and code. However, as we bring our technical backgrounds to the food industry, we must also prioritize the human experience. By keeping a tight feedback loop with our customers, we ensure that we’re building the best product that serves them.
Sales and marketing teams look to Qualified to modernize and optimize their approach to a process that is most critical to their companies’ success – generating new business. With our conversational marketing tool, companies can identify and instantly engage with valuable buyers directly on their site. Our customers place a great deal of trust in our product and we aim to be trusted partners to them, as invested in their success as they are.
We have a world-class customer success team that regularly connects with customers and provides a steady stream of high-fidelity feedback and insight. Engineers sync with them once a week to learn about what’s working and any customer pain points we can improve. Our on-call rotation also allows engineers to stay connected to our customers and live and breathe how the product operates. What’s more, we are the most passionate and committed users of our own technology – we use our platform to grow Qualified. Our engineering efforts are always closely tied to the value we’re creating for customers and are never done in a vacuum.
AngelList Venture exists to fuel more innovation in the world. We’re doing so by disrupting the venture capital industry and opening up a previously inaccessible asset class to a significantly wider set of people. In 2019, we spun out AngelList Venture into a separate company from AngelList to work on this problem and have since massively scaled up our core investing platform and launched several new products. These products include a new way for VCs to raise money, a new way for startups to provide liquidity for employees, and a new way for investors to have a diversified portfolio of high-quality deals and funds.
Focusing on our customers’ needs has helped us launch and scale quickly. We’re privileged to have a network of former founders and investors who are always sharing feedback and ideating with our team. We host UXR sessions (that engineers are welcome and encouraged to attend!) multiple times a week, where we solicit product feedback and listen to suggestions for improvement.
2 Open Positions
Take control of your medical records
San Francisco, Cebu City (Philippines), or Remote (US/Canada)
We are here to improve everyone's health by unlocking the power of good medical data. An individual patient who has access to their personal medical data can receive better and higher quality care. We go one step further: PicnicHealth gives patients the opportunity to contribute to the leading research on their specific disease area. We’ve established over a dozen partnerships with life sciences companies (including 7 of the top 10 biopharma in the US) to advance science and develop breakthroughs in treatments. When we give voice to our collective medical journey, by making our records available together, we accelerate research and access to treatments for all.
With full consent from our users (we are always transparent and protect our patients’ privacy), we de-identify and share medical record data that is valuable to commercial and non-commercial research. For example, we partnered with Genentech to create FlywheelMS, a research study that aims to get a clearer picture of how and why multiple sclerosis (MS) impacts different people in different ways. Users sign up with PicnicHealth (we waive the fee for 5 years) and consent to sharing their anonymous data. Putting all of this information together for a diverse group of MS patients will allow researchers to see patterns that no one doctor can see on their own.
We are obsessed with building a solution that patients actually find useful (check out our demo!) – and doing it in a way that puts patients at the center. Since we are all patients ourselves, we make sure we are building a product that we trust with our own medical records. We believe that leading with our patient-centered values of transparency, data privacy, and full patient control will deepen the trust that patients have in PicnicHealth.
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Digital therapeutics for common mental health conditions
San Francisco, London, or Remote (Global)
First and foremost, we use safe and tested techniques to make digital therapeutics to help millions of end users improve their mental health. However, we serve multiple partners. Our customers are large employers who offer our programs as mental health benefits. We also work with research partners, who come to us for rich and robust data. Lastly, our own colleagues come to us for creative and empowering tools. We have a duty to deliver our best work with lightning focus on what matters, situational awareness, and an unwavering empathy for all.
Each one of the millions we bring back to good mental health are guided down a path we create, a path that is often challenging. Sometimes it needs to get worse before it gets better. It is our job to protect our users along the way. We’re not just writing software, we’re creating digital therapeutics that have tremendous real-world impact.
We often save companies $30,000 and 20-40 hours of time per leave. Our customers range in size (we currently work with companies such as Headspace, CircleCI, Figma, ClassPass, PopSugar, Webflow, and Pilot). We have a stellar End-user Net Promoter Score of 76 and 99% customer retention. 🙌
We’ve also been able to grow the business largely via word of mouth, which underscores the loyalty of our customers. Almost everyone has personally struggled with paid leave paperwork, or has had a friend or family member who has. Whether it’s paid family or medical leave, the process is torturous for both the individual and their employer. We set up an hour-long call with every new customer who signs with us in order to understand their current leave policies and process. We work to make sure their policies are inclusive and clear, and help them make changes if necessary. After the call, our customers have all of the tools they need to begin using the Sparrow dashboard right away.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, there was an uptick in both medical leaves and mental health leaves. Our customers looked to us to provide guidance during this time, and we’re proud to have been able to step up. We created a webinar to support our customers navigate these difficult times and helped many more people take necessary leave to take care of themselves. Ultimately, our customers (and really, their employees) are our first priority and we work hard every day to support them.
3 Open Positions
Collaborative mapping platform for transportation planning
San Francisco, New York City, or Remote (US)
We believe strongly in the power of local governments to build livable cities, and are privileged to partner with planners around the world to achieve their safety, equity, and accessibility goals. Some of our customers include the Chicago Department of Transportation, Transport for London, and Ireland’s National Transit Authority – just to name a few – and it’s important that we’re empathetic in our approach to solving their pain points.
In pre-pandemic times, we encouraged team members to go on customer visits and see how transportation agencies operate behind the scenes. It was a great way to learn about our customers’ issues firsthand, and we look forward to doing so again when it’s safe to travel. By soliciting feedback from a variety of different stakeholders, we’re able to come up with innovative solutions that multiple customers can benefit from. For example, we heard and saw from our customers that information regarding their system ridership was often complex, raw, and challenging to quickly gain insights from. By partnering with several customers of various sizes, we were able to iterate upon a solution that was flexible to work with and display a variety of ridership data.
It’s fair to say our roadmap is largely driven by our customers’ needs. For instance, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized our roadmap needed to pivot given the challenges our customers were facing with reduced ridership and service levels. Closely listening to our customers and being responsive to their immediate needs allowed us to come up with creative solutions to solve problems such as transporting essential personnel around cities when service was limited. At the end of the day, it’s important to us to always put our customers first since solving the concrete issues they face ultimately helps the city and the broader community.
3 Open Positions
Connecting fintechs with banks to build great financial products
San Francisco, CA or Remote (US)
Our APIs allow companies to connect to banks. We consider both sides of the connection to be our customers, and it is our job to make sure both sides are happy.
At both banks and companies, we interact with a wide range of people, including CEOs, executives, project managers, engineers, and administrative staff. Each and every one is not only vital to our success, but also greatly impacted by what we’re implementing. If we don’t empathize with all of these people, and win them over as supporters and even promoters, we can’t succeed.
Putting customers first is foundational to how we operate:
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We will always prioritize features that individual developers will love over what large enterprises request, even if it leads to less revenue. We are so developer-focused that one might describe it as an obsession! At the end of the day, whether someone is building for a side project or as a part of a team at a 1,000-person company, the day-to-day problems are the same: devs want to be able to put secrets in and get secrets out, and have it be simple and enjoyable to use.
There are several ways we solicit feedback from our customers and triage it into our roadmap, including an intercom chat, a public community forum, and shared Slack channels. We also have a company-wide product ideation meeting, where anyone on the team can voice ideas they have and thoughts about what we should prioritize for each quarter.
An example of this is when we prioritized building out custom environments ahead of a long roadmap of enterprise features. We heard time and time again that developers wanted to be able to create custom environments outside of the standard “development”, “staging”, and “production” environments, such as CI/CD or QA. We knew how much flexibility it would bring our users so we built it! We strive to always put developers first!
Payment operations software for money movement
San Francisco, New York City, or Remote (US)
As such, we go above and beyond to help our customers architect their banking backends and support their payment flows. The majority of our referrals currently come from the banks themselves. A client will go to them and say something like, “I need to send 100,000 payments per month, and I can’t do that through your dashboard.” Thus, the more banks we support, the more companies we can support too, so there’s a market pull from both sides. Additionally, within each bank there are different capabilities we’re working to support, which include everything from ACH to For Benefit Of accounts.
Software for Americans with limited income to improve their financial health
Brooklyn, NY or Remote (US)
We stay empathetically connected with our users through our proactive feedback loop, which helps us prioritize effectively.
There are several ways we incorporate our users’ voices into the products we build. Engineers work closely with our customer support team to address issues promptly through our weekly on-call rotation. Our design team regularly chats with users to listen to their perspectives and current needs. Anyone on the team can also join these calls to learn more about our customers’ product joys and pain points.
We use observability tools such as Datadog to keep track of important metrics and proactively solve issues before they become bigger problems. In addition, we survey households every month to understand how external factors like a changing economy, public health, and policy interventions impact families. You can check out our publicly shared research here!
We also aren’t afraid to pivot when issues arise. For example, at one point, users were reporting that their balances weren’t displaying accurately within the app. A member of our engineering team discovered an issue with scraping the data from state governments due to their lagging in updating it properly. The engineering team worked hand-in-hand with our public policy team to firefight and resolve the situation as quickly as possible. We understand the impact our product has on families’ day-to-day lives and always step up as active participants in the product.
Online learning platform for course-specific study resources
Redwood City, Vancouver, Toronto, or Remote (w/in a 50-mile radius)
We envision a world where every student graduates confident and prepared. Our mission is to be the go-to learning destination for every course. One of our values is to be “customer focused”; focus on the user, and all else will follow. We believe it wholeheartedly and carry it throughout user research, design, product development, and engineering, as well as cross-functional collaborations. We prioritize our customers and solve their greatest study needs with an exceptional experience.
For instance, on certain projects, our User Experience Researchers (UXRs) talk to dozens of students about their life goals and pain points, and observe their daily and weekly coursework routines. Combined with the knowledge from learning experts and other online studying tools, we get a good understanding of what students desire and how Course Hero can close any gaps. The UXRs also conduct a comprehensive survey, polling both our active student users and the general student population. With the help of a sophisticated and thorough cluster analysis, we were able to identify several basic student study needs and look at how they change over the course of a semester. In the next steps, everyone in the company must work together to come up with ideas, design, build, and test new product solutions. All of our new product solutions are tested over and over again with real, active, and potential users to make sure that the features are useful, easy to use, and help our current and future users do well.
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By implementing and managing the operation of key infrastructure security controls, we’re able to save engineers valuable time. Since we’re developers building a product for developers, we’re in a unique position to help solve customer pain points. Our goal is to make their lives easier, and one way we do that is by leading with design. This means we hold every feature accountable to the day-to-day experience of the person whose life that feature is intended to improve.
Since our customers are our North Star, it’s no surprise that we regularly interact with them and use their feedback to help us build the best product possible. For example, there are over 20 Slack channels that we share with customers. Not only will engineers drop in to answer customer questions directly (sometimes fixing bugs in real time for customers), but you’ll also see lots of activity every time we roll out a new feature. Even when we have to push back on a certain request, we’re always willing to hop on a call with customers to explain our reasoning.
We set an equally high bar for maintainability, evolvability, and performance.
Below is a view of Aptible.
Thousands of clients, from tech unicorns to construction companies, depend on Newfront to run their businesses.
The product team at Newfront works directly with brokers and account managers to build the operating system for the brokerage, whether prospecting for clients, onboarding them to Newfront, or servicing their accounts. We also have an entire team dedicated just to broker happiness, and that team aggregates broker feedback and collaborates with engineering to drive product direction.
We feel lucky to sit in the same room as our end users solving real customer problems in a live operational environment. If you ship something in the morning, you might walk down the hall and see someone using your software later that afternoon (or discussing it in a beta channel on Slack).
As part of that, we inherently need to build around the realities of where the U.S. government’s infrastructure is taking GPS, for example. That means we’re putting things in our product to account for some of the software that major defense contractors delivered decades ago. In other words, we sometimes choose technologies that are harder to work with, and wouldn’t be our first choice, because it’s what our customer requires. While this means that sometimes we don’t get to build exactly how we’d like to, working with the government allows us quick access to real world satellites and antennas that don’t exist in the commercial sector. Sphinx engineers get to see the real world impact of their work quickly.
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From day one, we’ve provided our product free to truckers. They lock in a fuel price in the app and we guarantee it for 24 hours, even if the price at the pump increases. Many truckers tell us this transparency around our discount pricing makes the difference between their businesses succeeding and failing. Mudflap is now a core part of truckers’ livelihoods, and we take that responsibility seriously. We often find the affinity truckers have for our product is emotional because it’s essential to their business.
Similarly, we’ve helped smaller fuel stations boost their visibility to attract more customers and increase their fuel sales. Previously, these truck stops would have to wait and hope that drivers would stop by on their own. With our app, drivers see these stops when they’re miles away. There are zero upfront costs or setup fees, no IT or POS Integration is required, and fuel stations can still set their own prices. We make money by charging low transaction fees, but in turn, these stations see a 40% average increase in driver traffic and increase the number of gallons sold in the first month by over 45K.
We maintain close relationships with customers on both sides of the marketplace by constantly monitoring and acting on their feedback and providing excellent customer service. The customer support team has not been offline since our company started in January 2020, as we know it’s critical to support our customers when they need us. Engineers are also heavily involved with our exclusive network of thousands of fuel stops. They often work directly with clients, from cashiers to the corporate office, to create a seamless user experience. At the end of the day, we’re building a long-term business to benefit all of our partners – truckers, fuel stops, investors, and employees alike.
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Operating system for building and growing communities
San Francisco, Paris, or Remote (US/Europe)
Simply put, there’s no way to work at Orbit without directly interfacing with our customers. We rely on our customers to tell us how they’re using Orbit in their daily lives. This direct feedback allows us to make the small incremental changes our customers’ need, as well as hone in on greater step-changes and our company roadmap.
We have open lines of communication with our customers, whether it’s a regular weekly call or via our Discord Server – we are constantly seeking ways to engage with our customers and advocates. We are always looking for ways to bring forward the voices of our fellow Community Managers and Developer Advocates. We want to drive mutual dialogue on how to use Orbit to successfully grow one’s business, drive deeper understanding of our community and how we can continue to make progress.
At times, it feels like customers are our co-workers. That’s why it’s so important that anyone thinking about joining the Orbit team feels excited about interfacing with customers regularly and aligning on what they need to be successful. This enables us to grow strategically and continue to build tight-knit communities. We have established product-market fit and have awesome early customers like Apollo, CircleCI, Typeform, Kubernetes, Gatsby, Datastax, and many more.
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