We have one manager, the owner of mindmatters, but he does not interfere with engineering decisions. He simply sets the expectations and goals for engineering teams and handles the client contract. These are agile contracts, not fixed-price contracts, so he never sets expectation the team cannot fulfill. The team is then fully responsible for building out the project and working with the customer(s) on a daily basis. Customers are integrated into the development process, so engineers can focus on delivering their customers the highest value product.
There is no “ladder climbing” at mindmatters. As one software developer on our team (Milena) describes it, “Everyone contributes to both their team’s success as well as the overall success of the company. We don’t view ourselves as being above or below our teammates, or needing to climb any ladder because we’re already allowed to participate in every aspect of our company. I personally find having so much respect and trust to be rewarding in itself.”
1 Open Positions
We believe everyone should have access to all team members, including our CEO. In fact, we expect our new hires to reach out to our CEO (and anyone else) to ask whatever questions they have. We pride ourselves on being open and friendly, and given how distributed we are, this openness is baked into how we work.
Our meetings are always open and no topics are off limits. We encourage all opinions, concerns, and ideas to be shared – from our most recent hires to our more tenured employees. We don’t view our leads and points of contact among offices as managers, but rather facilitators of open communication.
We plan to stay flat for as long as it works for our company. We’re currently 30 employees in total, with 18 being software engineers (7 of whom are based in Barcelona).
As a small team, we don’t have a need for managers. That said, some of us do own particular functions: Gabriel owns all social media and marketing, we have one designer who owns all of GoodNotes’ designs, and each engineer owns one component of our product (i.e. import/export or tools).
We adopted Basecamp’s structure and work in 6-week cycles which are comprised of three 2-week sprints. Anyone on the team, regardless of role or tenure, can lead an initiative.
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