We have been able to move insanely fast, in part because of our established and experienced leadership team. Sanjit Biswas (CEO) and John Bicket (CTO) co-founded Meraki, a wireless company later acquired by Cisco for $1.2 billion in 2012. With the knowledge acquired through growing this bootstrapped start-up from idea to acquisition, the leadership team was able to make the right choices early on in founding Samsara: get products into customer hands quickly and ask for feedback, actively listen to customers, and continue to hire insatiably curious, talented people. In just 3 years, we’ve scaled the business from a handful of sensor data points from a customer in South San Francisco to over 10 billion sensor data points per year from over 5,000 customers around the world. And, as our leaders are always building Samsara for the long term, we recently announced a Series D round (valuing the company at $1.4B) to continue to invest in developing innovative technology that our customers love. If you are interested in being a part of the magic, please apply directly on our careers page and mention that you heard about Samsara through Key Values.
17 Open Positions
In the past year, Flexport opened offices in Atlanta, Chicago and Hamburg. The volume we’re shipping has increased at such a pace that we purchased warehouses in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Shenzhen -- we even leased our own Boeing 747!
We achieved this growth with just 50 engineers, something we attribute to a carefully designed product cycle that syncs strategically with the business. To keep up with demand growth, engineers move fast.
When you join Flexport, you ship code on your first day. You build our product and design flexible, high-quality solutions. To help you understand the broad scope of our mission, you will participate in a week-long crash course on the fundamentals of global trade. Your onboarding class will be flying in from offices around the world, and will consist of people from operations, sales, marketing, product, design and more. This will be a great opportunity to tap into the cross-functional knowledge of your starting cohort!
23 Open Positions
We value pushing an MVP out to get customer feedback before committing to full feature development. We’ve deployed all of our current features as very rough MVP’s first and then built them out more thoroughly only if it looked like customers actually wanted to use that feature. All of our engineers including interns ship on day 1.
This is why we often create micro-teams of 2 or 3 people, who will work on a specific feature or task, and we regroup every 2 weeks to gather our thoughts, re-prioritise, and create new micro-team combinations to keep on experimenting and iterating. We monitor the impact of the videos we produce and combines that from the video creators to help define our product.
We also pride ourselves on the cutting-edge technology we have build, and that means we have to keep moving quickly, by pushing the state of the art in machine learning and speech processing, so we won’t be left behind by much bigger players.
The faster we go through these cycles, the faster we learn and improve. We learn much more by putting out something good in 2 weeks than something perfect in 6 weeks. We use data and our instincts to understand how new features are being used and then rapidly iterate on a new set of hypotheses. These short cycles are easier to execute and de-risk building the wrong thing.
We work in small, autonomous teams at Zeus so that decision-making and execution are fully unblocked. This means that things can go quickly from idea to release because you don't get stuck waiting for someone else. As the team has grown, we have had to balance adding process while maintaining speed. One example is whether or not PMs/designers need to give final approval before releasing something. For big projects/changes, it makes sense to get a review done. However, for most things, it's not needed. Some things may not be perfect, but that's a tradeoff we’re willing to make.
We work with a sense of urgency every day.
Zeus is accelerating in growth (we’re up 5x YoY) and we need better software tools to maintain our high standard of customer service as we scale. The operational challenge of managing hundreds (and one day, thousands) of homes across multiple cities is enormous and our speed often pushes us to the breaking point. Seeing your teammates struggle with the tool you built is a great motivator to make it better.
When you do release an improvement, our ops team is often overjoyed and you’ll receive virtual high-fives on Slack or even an IRL one at lunch. The immediate and real-world effects of your work are one of the most rewarding parts of working here. You can see how appreciative residents are when they are when they have a great experience. You spend half of your life at home so it has a huge effect on you everyday. We invite residents in for lunch to hear about their stay and it’s always a good reminder of the impact we’re making.
Intercom moves quickly, and engineering is at the heart of that fast tempo. We acknowledge in our cultural values that we need to temper this pace to ensure that we maintain the high bar of quality we desire and to avoid being frantic or rushed.
To do this we spend a lot of time getting to the essence of the value of whatever it is we’re working on, trying to cut the fat rather than cut the corner. We’ll aggressively scope features and always fight complexity. We look for simple, well-focused solutions that are free from the complexity that will slow us down over time.
12 Open Positions
We try to push the boundaries of what customers expect a background check to be while remaining compliant and accurate. For example, we offer a white label applicant portal, allow other products to use our API via OAuth, and are using machine learning to predict how long a background check will take. We work closely with customers and applicants to identify real problems they face in their workflows, opportunities to increase their data quality, and ways to help them stay compliant. By taking smart risks, we are leveraging technology in ways that the industry has never seen before.
17 Open Positions
The urgency is palpable at Coinbase. We deploy code hundreds of times per week and spin up new business units when we think there’s an opportunity for us to push the crypto industry forward. In 2017, Coinbase had only two businesses: Coinbase Consumer and GDAX. Today, we have nine business units, which shows you the big bets we are taking in the overall blockchain ecosystem.
To support the different tech stacks and engineering needs of nine business units, we have multiple service engineering teams. The Payments team helps our products and apps talk to the blockchain, the Identity team ensures our customers are who they say they are, and the Security team keeps Coinbase as the most trusted brand in crypto. Sharing these expert services across our business units allows product engineers to move faster and share knowledge across teams
One of our core values is Efficient Execution, which helps us focus on getting 80% of the value for 20% of the cost. We’re building the future and it’s coming fast.
9 Open Positions
Dev.xyz provides development support to all the businesses within the XYZ family. The needs of the various businesses we service change regularly so our team is able to react quickly to new situations. Every month is different, and each business gets busy around different times of the year.
There are two areas of business that we focus on. The first is our top level domain operation: we operate the domain extensions .xyz, .college, .rent, .theatre, and several others. The second is a large online marketing operation. We manage 100+ websites around the internet and we have built several robust reporting tools to support the large amount of data coming in through those sites. Most of the maintenance is compliance related (this is ongoing).
1 Open Positions
On the engineering side, we get weekly requests from clients which need to be addressed quickly, with thoughtful strategy and implementation. We use Trello extensively and go out of our way to get the engineers’ feedback before starting a project. It doesn't feel frantic but busy with a sense of urgency. We get feature requests and bug fixes. Mostly feature requests. We usually say yes to feature requests with an estimated timeline. The big differentiator with our company is that we are users of our own product on the agency side, so we build ahead of clients. Almost 95% of the feature requests coming in are projects already in progress as we have internally asked for them, so we speak with credibility and sound cadence.
We prefer to ship MVPs and collect data, rather than have endless debates. We practice continuous deployment, and prefer lots of rapid, small releases. This allows us to instantly see feedback from users and how metrics are affected, which lead to a shorter feedback loop. It’s a lot easier to debug integration errors, and modular development is encouraged.
During Y Combinator we set weekly stretch goals, and we continue this practice today with every team setting their own stretch goals on a Monday and us celebrating (or commiserating) outcomes in our weekly all-hands each Friday. This doesn’t mean working more hours or typing faster. It means critically thinking through the issues to find the uncomfortably fast way of getting the core things achieved.
Building the future of mobile app discovery with deep links
Redwood City, CA; Seattle, WA; and Bangalore
The reason we have been so successful in taking over the deep linking industry is our ability to ship quickly and beat our competitors to market. We eliminate bureaucracy and empower our engineers to make impactful decisions and make mistakes along the way. Everyone who joins is shocked by how quickly we launch products and how quickly we move. We have launched four enterprise quality products within the last year and a half. We don’t always nail it the first time though, we’ve also built other products that didn’t quite work out - we learned something and moved on.
9 Open Positions
We’re a small, agile team moving very quickly. We collectively decide what to build, and once we’ve decided what to build, there isn’t a lot of red tape or obstacles. We believe in our mission: to defeat mass surveillance and protect our users’ privacy. We’re motivated to fulfill the promise of our project and deliver for our users.
We've recently shipped:
Our underlying mission is to identify what has the highest ROI and push it forward. We constantly experiment to uncover what the most impactful strategies are, which means we must also be flexible and agile. As an example, we had a roadmap for one of our sub teams and someone on that team suddenly shared an idea for a new feature that everyone felt really excited about. Quickly looking at the metrics and seeing the potential impact, we felt that we should make scrap the roadmap and focus on pursuing this idea instead. Things change quickly, which keeps things very exciting. We wouldn’t encourage someone who prefers project lengths spanning several months to join us.
We test things with our users (teachers and students) and we would always prefer pushing something in half the time over perfection since we know that most things we decide to build will be wrong. We can change strategy when needed, and there are no barriers to good ideas and confident ambitions.
1 Open Positions
As an early stage startup, we need to be able to adapt and switch courses quickly. Our philosophy is best described by this Eisenhower quote: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” We value the process of planning, but don’t consider any of our plans to be carved in stone. We don't want chaos and disorder, but we also don't want to be rigid and inflexible. Striking this balance is something we actively and consciously work towards every day.
One of the biggest frustrations people have about working at early stage startups is how often things change. People need consistency and certainty, and change creates anxiety and fear, which, in turn, are shown to decrease productivity and creativity. So how do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory facts?
The answer is that not all change is created equal. It’d be crazy if you needed four levels of approval to change what snacks you have in your office kitchen. Conversely, it’s going to be really jarring if you are suddenly told to drop all your work because a product line has been axed, without any explanation or foreshadowing.
The trick, is to allow for some types of changes to be fast and fluid, while requiring others to be slower and more deliberate. Some changes should require nothing more than a quick chat, while others need a stakeholder meeting, and others need an all-hands company meeting. At Range, we make sure team members are informed and involved in decision making, which means we can tune plans dynamically and quickly without people feeling like they are being jerked back and forth. Dan, our CEO, goes into detail about how we approach change at Range in his post, Shades of Change.
Before building anything, we figure out—as a team—if it’s the highest priority work we can do. If it is, we come up with the “minimum remarkable product,” a concentrated, testable version of the idea that can be built in a week. Unlike most other iOS companies, we ship a major new app version every week. (In fact we shipped 39 big releases in 2018). If we what we’ve built works, we iterate on it. Each MRP is a building block towards the next evolution of our product.
Our grid interface is a good example of this. When we first launched, sites didn’t scroll. They were fixed 3x5 grids with text, photos, and links. Now you can make a site with as many pages as you’d like, 13 different blocks, and infinite grid sizes.
We have a really big vision: to democratize the web. While it’s important to keep that in mind, we know that the only way to get there is day by day, week by week. We don’t have 6 month roadmaps. Instead, we learn quickly and use that knowledge to figure out the best way to accomplish our goals.
This kind of work environment isn’t for everyone, but for people who want to move fast, learn quickly, and increment towards perfection, it’s addictive.
Our team members have had previous experiences working at or founding startups, so we’re well aware that “fast-paced environment” has become a euphemism for “it’s crazy." Yes, the excitement and energy that make startup culture so special is certainly alive and well at Alto, but what we really mean by fast-paced is that you will be expected to contribute a lot and very quickly. We’ve built different products in a very short time with very few people, and we’re constantly pushing to ship new things. Alto thinks on the order of weeks, not months. As we grow our team, we’re looking for people who are energized by a sense of scrappiness and urgency.
At a fraction of the size of some of our competitors, we have been able to build more products and more quickly push new features. Despite our size, we have already started to outpace our sole designer. Being well-rounded engineers using agile processes, we’ve truly created tremendous momentum. Our next hires will see entire projects through from ideation to execution, and experience the satisfaction of delivering a product used by many. Whether you’re a new CS grad or have a decade of experience, there’s a place for you here. Tweet, email, or drop by our office.
We strive to be adaptable. We adjust quickly to new problems and make changes to the roadmap when we find projects that we think will have a big impact in meeting our goals. We’ve also switched to a continuous deployment workflow which enables us to push code every day. One thing’s for sure: we’re focused on removing barriers and inefficiencies to increase everyone’s velocity and productivity. The competitive spirit is alive and well at SportsRecruits.
We couldn’t have grown this quickly without having been fast-paced. We’re in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Albuquerque and are continuing to scale. It’s an interesting environment though because this isn’t your typical tech company. We’re a services company and our customers who are people who need a lot of help; they’re usually in a highly emotional state, they’re panicked, they’re frustrated, and they need a lot of reassurance. That puts a really high quality bar on the services and product we deliver. The more we scale, the more careful we have to be, but we constantly fight to keep the same software development tenets that we started with: iterative, fast-paced, and data-driven.
The way we operate is scrappy. High-quality code is important because as a burgeoning startup, we don’t get everything perfect the first time. We won’t always get all of the pieces of the puzzle. At a bigger company, you might have to wait until you have finalized designs or consensus from the team. Instead at Aero, you decide what you can do with the time you have to move the company forward.
Move north, if you’re supposed to go northeast, you can course direct. Some people have a lot of trouble doing this because they want to be assigned a ticket before executing. We want people who feel comfortable doing work and experimenting. If you have downtime, think of something cool you can do and build it. We’ll test it and see how it’s received. Don’t stop and wait for permission or for someone to define something for you.
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