Hiring is always exciting for a small startup like us, not only because of the potential for new colleagues and collaborators, but also because it offers an opportunity to think about the current company, and what kind of company you want to grow to be. The Latitude team recently met to discuss these questions, reflect on our growth so far, and plan for the next phase of our company’s development. After reflecting individually and as a group, we decided on four cultural pillars to outline our current values, each of which supports the others in outlining the kind of company we are. These four pillars are initiative, speed, exploration, and empathy.
The first pillar is initiative, which can be summarized as "Go do things." We value individuals who get to work without waiting to be told what to do. We also value ownership, which is why we give our employees all the systems access they need on day one, and encourage them to start making changes. We stress individual ownership of projects from beginning to end, which we sometimes call "no handoffs". Our no handoffs philosophy means that we believe it's more valuable to the project and for your own development if people can learn what they need to own their projects completely. Asking for help is encouraged, and helps you learn! By contrast, if you hand a project over to somebody else, you both lose time handing it over, they have less context, and you still don’t know how to solve the problem you were stuck on if it comes up again.
The second pillar is speed, summarized as "Do things quickly." We've worked hard to get our company ahead of the competition, and we don't intend to give others a chance to shorten our lead. If we're going to revolutionize an industry or two, we can't afford to prioritize exact-right decisions based on 100% of the possible information. Instead, we make the best decisions we can make quickly, and gather data on how they’re working out if we’re not sure. This allows us to keep delivering and working toward our vision, while making course corrections when necessary.
The third pillar is exploration, the idea that we should all regularly try new things. We encourage learning, exploration, and creativity in all aspects of work, as well as dedicating time within your work week to continue to grow. One way we encourage this is our monthly educational allowance, which you can use to learn about anything you’re interested in. So far, employees have used this for books, RPG manuals, video games they wanted to try new mechanics from, and online courses. We also encourage everybody to spend about 20% of their time on learning, trying projects they’re pretty sure won’t work out, or contributing to open source or similar communities outside the company. These and other policies like remote-first work, flexible hours, and unlimited PTO are intended to create a non-restrictive environment where you can maximize your potential.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, we come to empathy. This one doesn’t have a super-short summary, but our general shorthand is "People are not things; don't treat them as such." We’re very aware that this can be a problem in both the AI and video game industries our product intersects, and have proactively set policies to ensure that we uphold this value. When it comes to users, we explicitly value players over profits with generous refund and support policies. When it comes to employees, we value the diversity we have within our team and seek to expand it on the axes where we don’t yet have the breadth of life experiences to represent our whole player base.
Each of these values supports the others: we can give room to explore because we work quickly and take initiative. The ownership of our initiative value enables speed, and empathy gives us the support we need to take that ownership. With these values, we believe we can build a new kind of company.
If this sounds like the kind of company you see yourself thriving in, check out our open roles on latitude.io/careers or apply directly with the links below:
- Data Scientist / Data Engineer
- Designer / UI / Artist
- Full Stack Developer
- ML Engineer / GPT-3 Hacker
All of these roles are interdisciplinary, but we ask you to pick a specialty so we know where to focus during the hiring process. If more than one applies, pick whichever you’re most excited about.