Our Work Culture and Values

If you like thinking big, having a meaningful impact, and making it easier for people to communicate with the ones they care about... Join us.

If you’re a software engineer, product designer, or product marketer who’s irrationally interested in Making Communication Better and wants to work with us, check out our current openings. Send us a few links (we don’t need/want anything else), and please let us know if you have any questions.


How we work


  • Everyone works from their own home or office, and we’re spread out all over the world;
  • We move extremely fast, and because of the geographic variance, we’re active pretty much 24/7;
  • Everyone cares about the work you produce, not just the hours you put in;
  • Everyone works on things they’re excited about;
  • Everyone leads parts of the product and company by turning vision into product, with no managers in their way;
  • Everyone gets to push the envelope of what is possible, from design to conception to customer care;
  • Everyone is committed to contributing in a high-impact and long-lasting team.

Who we hire


1. Entrepreneurs first

We don’t hire anyone who just wants to be an engineer. Or a designer. Or a product manager. We hire past and future entrepreneurs. We hire people who want to start their own company — at Handler and beyond.

Many of our team members have started their own company and failed — others have done quite well. We’re not a good place for someone who just wants to code. And we’re not a good place for people who want to be told what to do. If you sit and wait for instructions, you will fail. We also filter for people who are mission-oriented, care about users/people and want to learn more every day.

2. Hold high standards

We only hire insanely smart and capable entrepreneurs who aspire to do their best work every day, and let go of the ones who do not. We don’t cut corners. We are fast but make no tradeoff between quality, consistency, scale, and perfection. We want people to sweat the details because we care about the details.

3. Help others do their best work

We expect engineers to pull help from designers (and vice versa). We expect designers to push or force help on the engineers (and vice versa). We expect product managers to ask for help getting press. To get advice on how to sequence the launch. To ask for a better idea. To ask what’s the most important thing you could be working on right now. Pull help from whomever is best at X, but don’t let them be a bottleneck.

4. Maximize long-term value

We are building a product that we hope lasts forever. We want to be a strong and independent company. This long term focus (combined with immediate actions) guides all of the decisions we make.

5. Be real, direct and respectful

We expect and welcome constant feedback. We trust each other to be open and straightforward. As in, treat your team mates like real people. Just be real and do the right thing.

6. Do what you think is right (and be right)

We will give you the freedom to make decisions, and you will have the responsibility of being correct.

7. No politics. No BS. No A**hole

Never act to advance your own interests at the expense of the interests of the whole team and company. This is the one principle, outside of violations of law, for which violation will likely result in immediate termination.



How you’ll work


1. Make Weekly Measurable Progress

We believe that every person should make specific, visible individual contributions that moves the company and its mission forward every week. Projects are broken down into measurable weekly tasks and goals, and are reported to everyone.

2. Default to Openness

We’re strong believers in Open Source and we try to open source things when we can. The company was structured to align the economic incentives as such.

3. Be data-driven

For every feature we launch, we gather metrics about its usage, interaction, and growth in addition to listening to the masses of feedback we get. We have great ideas but make metrics-informed and user-driven decisions, and quickly drive them all the way to implementation.

4. Always be pushing code or pixels

We value experimentation and speed of iteration. We push to production, several times a day, with every commit so we launch as soon as work is done and learn as quickly as possible. This helps us make informed decisions about where things need to go. It’s not uncommon to launch a feature and then revise it several times over the next week.

5. S/he who builds, rules

We push the decisions down to the people doing the work. S/he who builds, rules. As in, when we disagree, the person doing the work makes the decision. That same person must own the result and is responsible for the metrics.

6. Ask forgiveness, not permission

We would rather have someone do something wrong than ask permission to do it. Or better, we would rather have someone do something right and not need permission to do it. This is the most common outcome.

We would rather have people ship to production whenever they want, than go through an internal review process. We can fix it on production. We prefer the user’s review process. And it isn’t too hard to reveal a new feature to a small portion of our users and iterate on it as we expand it to more users.

There are some sensitive parts of our product that are walled off from this “ask forgiveness” policy. There are some things we want reviewed by the people who “know better”. But it’s really rare.

7. You break it, you bought it

If you break something or your stuff is buggy, fix it. As in straight away mate. Sweat the details and corner cases… Fix the bugs no one else notices.



Meeting up


We get the whole company together once a year for several days to brainstorm the broad strategy for the company for the coming months, as well as to hang out and enjoy the company of the people we work with all day.

In addition to our all company meetup, teams get together for 5–7 days for bonding in local spots from Boulder to Buenos Aires, New York to Lisbon, and Amsterdam to Paris. If you join our merry band, expect to travel 2–4 weeks per year.



Benefits


  • Open vacation policy (no set number of days per year). We encourage our employees to take the time they need to take vacation, develop interests, and spend time with friends and family;
  • Health, dental, & vision insurance;
  • We cover all costs of company travel;
  • We happily provide or reimburse hardware and software you’ll need, as well as books or conferences that promote continued learning;
  • Home office setup stipend, and co-working office allowance.


All of these dictums are variations on freedom and responsibility.
We didn’t invent this stuff, we don’t claim to know what we’re doing, nor is this a perfectly accurate or complete model of how we operate.

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