When we were raising our seed round, we had lengthy discussions with advisors and investors about building our company. We spent a tremendous amount of time discussing what type of company structure we would have. The key here is to be intentional.
We decided we would be an onsite-first (default in-person) company with two different hubs that communicate similarly to remote-only companies between each city.
The two hubs are:
That means if you are applying for a role in NYC, or Hamburg, Germany, the role is default in-person, onsite, at our beautiful offices in Manhattan by Madison Square Park and the Hamburg city center.
Hybrid Across Hubs
At this stage, doola is not a remote company. We are a hybrid company. We call this hybrid (or maybe hub and spoke is more apt) because outside of our two in-person hubs, we do have key and critical team members distributed around the world.
At this moment, the only roles we are hiring for outside of our NYC and Hamburg hubs are roles where we need to meet our customers where they are. Our customers are located globally, in every timezone, so we have to be there.
The specific roles which fall into this bucket are
Now, we absolutely understand that there are certain circumstances where one might need to work remotely, and we have remote flexibility!
Healthcare-related emergency or situation (individual health is of the utmost importance 💪)
Family-related emergency, situation, or gathering (family is family ❤)
For other travel-related situations, one-off scenarios (because life and unexpected things happen 😄), periods around holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or trips/vacations, we follow steps we've set up internally to discuss with your manager / HQ lead.
I'll share a few more concrete examples where doola team members have worked remotely (these are all real examples!)
You have a doctor's appointment midday and you'd have to commute back and forth to make it so you work from home that day.
You're going to your college friend's destination wedding in Mexico, and it made way more sense to fly Thursday evening vs. Friday during the day so you can work remotely on Friday and get there well rested.
At the end of the day, we share our work style candidly and upfront with any candidate we speak with because we believe the best long-term relationships happen from candid communication and aligned expectations from the get-go. We know this means we might not be able to work with everyone globally depending on the role, but we also know that it allows us to be hyper-focused and work with people who are 100% aligned with doola's structure, its mission, and what we can achieve together!
We are committing to this structure until we reach the next stage of our company (Series A+, 1M ARR, etc.) to maximize the chances of finding product-market-fit by maximizing in-person collaboration, bonding, serendipity, and idea generation. We believe in-office work will help our team get tighter together and be more engaged throughout the day. Lunch/kitchen/coffee machine/table tennis conversations will give us the right amount of serendipity to help us build a great, solid culture during our seed stage and our hunt for product-market fit.
The other major factor here as to why we are default in-person is given our size and stage. Every single person who joins doola is either the first or one of the first people in their respective roles. This means whether you like it or not (we hope you like it, this is what excites the type of people who seek to work at a startup!), you are a leader and critical to building the culture and foundation upon which this company will be built upon. The speed at which we iterate, the level of collaboration needed, and the presence we need to establish as an early-stage company are all maximized when we are in person.
One important critical to note: this does not mean that we don't believe in remote work, or to put it differently, we do not believe that "work = seeing someone sitting in a chair next to you." If that was the case, we're cooked as our team is worldwide! But for the hires we are making in our NYC + Hamburg hubs, it is critical for us to be intentional at this stage, and being together to build from the ground up maximizes the chances of building something gargantuan together. Oh, and this goes without saying but is worth stressing: it's extremely fun to be with a group of dedicated, smart people committed to a cause, working in one place.
The energy is palpable in the air 💥.
The atmosphere is electric.
It is absolutely energizing to come in every day, surrounded by smart and driven people, and as a startup, go head-to-head against much larger competitors. For any startup, it starts as a David vs. Goliath type battle, and the billion $ question is: can the startup reach scale before the incumbent reaches innovation? We believe the chances of this are maximized given the structure we have built.
To get a glimpse of what the office is like, check out these two TikToks we made.
Lastly, if you have any clarifying questions or comments about the above, do not hesitate to ask during the interview process!