The $1 billion company that prefers 40 year old coders who only work 45 hours a week (Now that's a unicorn)
Here's one thing you don't hear everyday in the Valley: "We probably have more engineers over 40 than any other company, and of all the $1 billion companies, I suspect we probably work the fewest hours in a week. The office is pretty empty by 6:30."
That's right, at last week's PandoMonthly Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield not only talked about his "arbitrary as fuck" $1 billion valuation just a year after product launch, but he bragged that the company has gotten there by following none of the normal Valley rules of staffing only balls-to-the-wall, 22-year-old kids who work 24/7, crushing code and Red Bull all night long.
It's a surprising and welcome declaration, particularly for those of us who aren't 22-years-old and simply can't work 24 hours a day. It's particularly welcome for working moms and dads, who I'd imagine will flood Slack with resumes after hearing this news. Also this: "There are no brogrammers... and we have maternity and paternity leaves that recognize the reality of being a parent."
Slack may have sprinted into the Unicorn club, but Butterfield is sending every signal that he wants to build a company that's sustainable for the long term. More of this please.
We'll post the full Butterfield interview in another week. Check back! It's worth watching in its entirety.
[photo by Geoffrey Ellis]