We want the people at Replit to really love working here (we do!).
To help you make an informed decision about whether that would be the case for you, we challenged ourselves to come up with a list of reasons someone wouldn’t want to join our team.
We hope it’ll help you learn more about the way we work together and whether that’s the way you’d be excited to work, too.
1. You don’t think the internet should be an open platform
Replit’s mission is to bring the next billion software creators online. To realize that mission, we need to be a place where all kinds of people, with all kinds of backgrounds, experiences, ideologies, and values are warmly welcomed.
Replit will always be a place where anyone who wants to build something on the internet can. This doesn’t mean that we won’t contemplate the impact of our work, and our user’s work, on society, but it does mean that we don’t expect to agree with the values or objectives of every customer or colleague. We won’t make alignment with our beliefs a requirement to use our product (so long as they are operating within the laws of their jurisdiction and acting as productive members of our community)
We see our work at Replit as paving a path to individual economic access, empowerment, and satisfaction. As a result, we will always make choices for our company that move us in the direction of decentralizing technological power and distributing wealth more evenly.
- Are you optimistic about the benefits of technology and capitalism on society?
- Does open-sourcing something make you nervous?
- Do you expect your company to take social or political stances that don’t directly relate to the mission?
- Do you think that the internet needs a gatekeeper?
2. You want to work at an ideologically homogeneous company
Millions of people today use Replit to explore their own curiosities, realize their own goals, make things that matter, and have fun. If we’re going to bring those same benefits to a billion more people, a wildly talented, relentlessly dedicated team is just the start. We’ll also need to be open-minded and ideologically diverse so that we remain committed (by default) to ushering in new ideas, new perspectives, and new ways of working that help us advance our mission.
We are a diverse team and community, and that's because we focus on talent, hard work, and creativity. We recruit the best to our team and get people from all over the world with all kinds of interests using our product. It’s particularly exciting for us when we can find someone who hasn’t had equal access to opportunities, but is kicking butt anyway.
There is no door to Replit that isn’t the front door. No one gets special access or rules or treatment on the basis of anything other than their contributions to the community, company, and mission. If they took a winding path to do that, that’s more than okay with us! We’re not singularly impressed by fancy college degrees or padded resumes. If someone is a Replit team member, it's because we're excited about them, their work, and their proven contributions to the ecosystem and everyone knows it. No one ever has to guess whether there are any other motivations or special criteria at play.
We’ve found this way of working is better for everyone involved, because it helps us start all of our work together with a default foundation of trust and confidence in each other. We want to work with people who are enthusiastic about that approach, too.
- If you learned that one of your colleagues had different political leanings, would you still be as enthusiastic about working together?
- Do you shut down or get heated when faced with a difference of opinion? What about when you really, really disagree with that opinion?
- Are you willing to turn over some rocks in some uncharted place to find great new team members?
3. You find weird things cringey
It wouldn’t take much time on our website, or blog, or Twitter to notice that we’re an odd bunch. We like it that way! We like memes, zany colors, and making people laugh. When we make decisions, we often choose the weird or wacky thing. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but ours are overflowing with it.
- When something suggests something absolutely bonkers to you, do you get more excited or more nervous?
- If you see a freak flag at half mast, would you help hoist it up where it can really fly?
- Does this video that ends in a burp sound offend you? (because, gulp, we do have one of those…)
- Do you gravitate towards things that others might describe as “a little quirky”?
4. You prefer predictability at work
It’s still very early days for Replit. We don’t know exactly what we’ll build over the next year, five years, or ten years. (Or if we’ll have the privilege of building for that long!) While we have impressive growth so far, we haven’t yet cracked our business model. We’re facing some very thorny challenges and overcoming (and maybe even sidestepping) will require that we think and do things in new ways.
Our path to success won’t be linear and working at Replit isn’t a 9-5 kind of gig. But we don’t really measure our work in hours, anyway. We measure it in how much great stuff we can get in front of our users to help them make things on the internet. This doesn’t mean we hold All Hands at midnight or skip meals with loved ones, but it does mean that we all have the space and flexibility to work according to the twinkle in the eye and fire in the belly you get when you’re passionate about your work. We don’t fetishize hustle or celebrate late nights for the sake of it but we do take pride in working really hard to make something really great.
The only reason we’ve been able to achieve so much with so little is everyone at Replit takes ownership over their work. While we don’t consider collaboration a burden, we do think people can move fastest when they are able to make decisions and drive work forward independently. Our most effective team members enjoy the process of figuring out what the questions worth asking are as much as they love answering them. This is a lot of responsibility and requires a lot of intrinsic motivation, but we find it infinitely more satisfying to work this way. We also believe this is the kind of organization the best people want to work in.
We’re intimately aware that every new employee can and will meaningfully inflect the course of our company. We’re looking for people that will do a great job, their way.
- Do you do your best work on well-scoped problems?
- Do you build best by committee?
- Do you prefer to paint by numbers?
- Do you want to work at a company that’s a “sure bet”?
- Do you prefer your projects and job descriptions are tightly-scoped?
5. You want your next job to be an obvious resume boost
It’s possible that working at a startup like Replit will be the best career decision you ever made (we hope it is!) but there’s a lot of work to do if that’s going to be true. We find that riding the startup roller coaster gets a whole lot easier if we just focus on our mission and trust the rest will come.
Our company has been receiving more attention for our mission lately, but we’ve been humming this tune for a long time. Replit started as a side project. Y Combinator turned us down three times. We tried to find a “Real CEO” but no one cared as much as we did. We were reluctant to build a company around it, but we knew that would be the only way to get the work done.
Even though we have many of the trappings of a Real Company, we do everything we can to embrace the spirit of a bunch of people working together to make something great that matters. We’re way more focused on the stuff we’re building than how our job titles look on LinkedIn. And while we don’t have a well-defined corporate ladder to climb, we do support and celebrate each other in shipping things we’re wildly proud of and have users that say we’ve changed their lives.
If you want to lead a huge team, it’s going to be a while until we have one. If you want a sure bet, you probably want to look elsewhere. Our most satisfied team members feel the company’s success is their success. They put the needs of the organization and the community before their own… even when it’s not that fun or glamorous… even when their boss isn’t watching. We’ve got all eyes on our mission.
- Would you be willing to do something that wasn’t your job that contributed to the mission?
- If the company were to fail, and your equity went to zero, but your work directly resulted in millions of new coders, would you wish you never joined the company?
- Do you always want the byline on the blog post?
- Would you be excited about charting your own career path?
- Does changing hats annoy you?
- Is maintenance unsexy?
- Would it annoy you to learn someone used your product “the wrong way”?
6. The smartest people you know are the cynics
Many brilliant people see flaws in everything and love to point them out–it can be a great way to show how smart and discerning you are. But, those people haven’t historically been very successful at Replit. While we don’t shy away from flaws (see: seeking pain), we do like to engage them with warmth, kindness, openness and a bias towards making things better.
We are a lean team with an ambitious mission–there will always be an infinite number of things to fix, tweak, or take another crack at. Our most productive and satisfied team members see that as an opportunity, not a thorn. They’ll often jump in and improve something without even pointing out what’s broken–and they’ll do it without complaining or being asked to.
We’re all on the same team, and we like people who act like it every step of the way. When something seems off, we point our attention at it, not our fingers. When we disagree, we get inquisitive, not defensive. We trust each other to make good decisions. No one at Replit gets any points for showing how many ways something wouldn’t work. We prefer focusing on the ways it could.
Building is always harder than criticizing what others have built. We are builders. We know that things won't be perfect on the first try, but we won't stop trying until they are.
- Is debate on your list of favorite sports?
- Is your idea usually the best one?
- Do you like poking holes more than you like filling them?
7. Seeking pain sounds awful
At Replit, we’ve had a lot of success from running towards the tough stuff and sticking with it even when things are challenging. When we first put coding in the browser, people said it was stupid, and that nobody wanted what we are building. When we first gave away cloud computing for free, they said we’ll go broke, and that there is no way we can secure it. When we said we wanted to blur the distinction between learning and building, no one wanted to fund us, they said it’s two different things.
But we kept going anyway. Fast. Now, we bake it into everything we do. And we keep finding that going where others are scared to go is our competitive advantage. We move fast and learn things. It doesn't mean we’re masochists. It just means we’re okay with skinned knees. We’d prefer failure to mediocrity any day. We’ve looked at the playbooks and studied the conventional wisdom–we think they offer an easy path forward, but that they often lead to suboptimal results. So, we look for the better way, even if it’s the harder way. We’d prefer shipping and learning to sitting around hypothesizing about what perfection looks like every time.
We’re happy to take sharp turns when it’s the right thing to do, even if it’s really uncomfortable getting around the corner. We’re willing to obsess and ruminate and polish to a painstaking extent.
Of all of Replit’s operating principles, “seek pain” is probably the one you’d hear the most if you joined our team. We expect anyone who joins our team to embrace that same spirit wholeheartedly.
- Are you willing to kill your darlings?
- Do you prefer to play it safe?
- When someone challenges an idea (with warmth), does it shut you down or light you up?
- Do you go looking for tough feedback?
- Do you take “no” personally?
- If a disgruntled user asked if we could get on the phone, would I rather someone else take the call?
Have you read to this point and can't find a reason to not work with our team? Excellent! Apply today!