How We Do Things Around Here

A look inside our async and fully transparent culture

Jimmy Hugill, Co-founder, CFO & COO

Jimmy Hugill, Co-founder, CFO & COO

Deloitte defines workplace culture as "how we do things around here." It’s my favorite way of thinking about workplace culture because it speaks to not only what we believe as an organization, but how we translate those beliefs into the ways we operate the business.

Whether you’re thinking about applying for a job at Driver AI, or you’re curious about how we work, here are four things to know about us.

We’re Serious About Culture

Building a vibrant, healthy culture is not an HR box tick for us. Adam, Daniel, and I have all grown and sold several successful startups, and we’ve experienced firsthand the liftoff that happens when people believe in the work they’re doing, have autonomy, and deeply trust one another.

In addition to our personal experiences, there’s a mountain of research that supports the link between strong cultures and company performance. For example, a recent study published by Forbes found that organizations with strong cultures reported a 4x higher stock performance than competitors with weaker cultures. Gallup found that companies with highly engaged workforces are 23% more profitable and experienced a 40% higher customer loyalty rate than those with low engagement levels.

Jocelyn Goldfein of Zetta Venture Partners once wrote that culture ultimately comes down to the behaviors you reward and those you punish. We believe this to be true. When role models are consistent, everyone gets the message. But when behaviors don't match what’s being messaged, that's when culture goes wrong. As Jocelyn explains, "People stop taking values seriously when the public rewards and consequences don't match up."

We’re intentionally building the type of company we actually want to work for, that aligns our values with our actions, and that lays the foundation for the impact we’re here to make.

We’re Asynchronous

We are an asynchronous team, which means everyone gets their work done on their own schedule. We don’t require anyone to be online for set hours during the day, and we encourage team members to take care of themselves and their families as needed. For example, if your kid gets sick and you need to pick them up early, or you want to pop out for a walk and a brain break, we trust you to create a schedule that works for you.

We use Notion to write memos (more on that below), Slack to send messages throughout the day, and Loom to record regular updates of our progress as a way to keep us connected. And, of course, we have meetings when we need to. But we believe the best work gets done when people are encouraged to build and create rather than attend meetings discussing all that building and creating. We work hard to protect that time for everyone.

In addition to cutting down on meeting time and allowing for more life flexibility, we’ve found async working encourages autonomy and trust. Rather than creating a "too many cooks in the kitchen" environment, we let each person own both their schedule and area of expertise. We then encourage each person to bring in help as needed, which generates more productive collaboration. The feedback we’ve received from employees around this has been overwhelmingly positive.

We Are Memo-Driven

In addition to working in an async environment, we use memos as our primary form of communication and decision-making. Early on at Amazon, Bezos instituted a rule that every meeting begins with attendees silently reading a six-page, narratively-structured memo. We’ve found these memos help us work through our ideas, do necessary research, and arrive at our best thinking before we bring others in to collaborate.

We also make these memos available to everyone in the organization, so there’s full transparency across engineering, operations, sales, finance, marketing, and more. We find this helps keep everyone on the same page and, most importantly, fosters a culture of openness and transparency. If you have a question about the company’s compensation philosophy, quarterly revenue, or latest pricing update, you know where to find it.

We’re All Grown-Ups

Finally, we’ve all done this before. Both Adam and Daniel have been building companies and software at the intersection of signal processing and machine learning for over a decade. Adam was the co-founder of Aktive, an embedded machine learning development platform that he sold to Nike in 2019, and Rithmio, which he sold to Bosch Sensortec in 2017. Daniel was the co-founder and Head of Engineering at Infinity AI, and before that, helped run the boutique software engineering firm Edge Analytics. I’ve led high-growth startups and private equity-backed organizations across SaaS, e-commerce, and financial services.

We’re mature about what it takes to build a successful business. This is reflected in how we communicate, operate, and engage with customers and investors. Most importantly, we know how to stay grounded during the inevitable twists and turns, and how to keep having fun through it all.

If this sounds interesting to you, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our open roles here. If you don’t see anything that fits your area of expertise, still get in touch using the General application. We’re always on the lookout for exceptional talent.