My first interaction with People.ai was through a blog post on the a16z website; the headline triggered a gut reaction – “What a weird name”. Luckily, the title’s novelty worked. I opened the link, read on, a pattern emerged, and what had previously informed my career choices came into play again.
In short – data.
The long-version: People.ai’s unique, highly correlated dataset, oriented around outcomes. I just could not say “no” to the promise of correlating real-world customer interactions with their respective real-world outcome. Actions, reactions, at scale. That’s what drew me to People.ai.
Fast forward six months (of interviewing, joining, and being with the company for three months). A few lessons have emerged:
First, People.ai is every data-driven person’s paradise (so much so it’s one of our values). My team in particular works on building that connective tissue between real-world actions – or activities – and real-world outcomes (We call this “Matching”). Throughout the past three months, this place has truly proven to be one-of-a-kind in terms of data volume, data shapes, data challenges, and things to come (Hint: We’re hiring globally!).
Second, I’ve come to realize how important it is to find a place that truly lives by their values – and People.ai does. Having witnessed first-hand “taking care of our people” put me at ease prior to joining – after all, I am on a visa in this country as well. We also pride ourselves in a strong bias for shipping frequently and quickly. And yes, sometimes this means investing in repeatability and automation, as our team has done in the past three months.
Third, I’d not be truthful if I did not highlight that building a startup is hard work – in fact, the challenges were part of what attracted me to People.ai. For example, as we grow teams and scale the company, we are bound to iterate through the “form-storm-norm-perform” cycle many times over – which sometimes makes managing teams and working together hard. On the technical side, we are determined to solve some legitimately “hard stuff” – things that have never been done before and industry behemoths have struggled at (Going twice: We’re hiring!).
Make no mistake – joining a startup is not for everyone. But if it is for you, you will find the best team you could possibly dream of here at People.ai.
Yes, indeed, and at the risk of sounding cliche: The people of People.ai are what make this place so special. Since joining, I’ve been privileged to work alongside the brightest minds in our industry, solving some unique, genuinely hard challenges. But never once have I encountered even an inkling of “bad culture” – our strong no-jerk culture just works. Not just that, but the tremendous alignment around our common mission coupled with a “let’s do it” attitude just make this place magical.
Sound good to you? Well, three times is the charm, so again: We are hiring!
About the Author, Stefan Hermanek
Stefan Hermanek is a Product Manager at People.ai. Stefan is a talented product professional who focuses on Machine Learning technologies and has a Masters Degree in Information Systems Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Before joining People.ai, Stefan was a Product Manager at AppDynamics and interned at both BMW and Paypal. Stefan lives and works in San Francisco and he enjoys escaping the concrete jungle to travel the world to hike. Additionally, in his spare time, he prides himself in cooking up and enjoying fine foods.