The most amazing reason to work at a startup is not the money that it makes or the product that it creates. Rather, it’s the environment that challenges a team and pushes us farther than what we would’ve accomplished individually.
I watched our team grow from two to nine people in twenty months. For many hires, this was their first “real job”, and for others, it was a time to try something new. We moved from a small cubicle which barely fit one person, to a shared workspace fitting six, to an office that spanned half a floor — all while remaining profitable without external funding. We moved between offices using a shopping cart. Every Thursday, we would grab sausages and grilled cheese sandwiches from the Ferry Building. Some Fridays, we’d get Happy Hour together. After gaining some weight, a few of us decided to gym together everyday, and we each lost an average of 15-20 lbs.
Our designers became experts on illustration, UI/UX, and web design. Our engineers built the first real-time multiplayer virtual worlds on iOS that worked over 3G and all our assets could be added, modified and delivered with a turn key approach. Our marketers could program PHP/Python, scale servers on ec2, and solve difficult math puzzles. Our HR/office admin did consumer research, conducted user interviews, and facilitated a fun team environment. The most valuable experience that I have gained was being able to see all of my team members grow individually. Every single person that we hired exceeded my expectations.
I am sorry that I can no longer stay and it is very hard for me to say goodbye to something I helped create, but I hope that we can work together again someday. I plan to take some time off to reflect, figure out what’s next, and volunteer. I want to stay true to my passions and follow my dreams.