You read it right. We want to date, and find a match. For several months we’re in San Francisco, we tried all conventional methods of finding people that we can work together with, we hired, but couldn’t find our 5th member yet. Let me explain why we want to date, not hire…
Because first of all, Koding team, didn’t come together with hires. Sinan and I first made the first site back in 2009, it was our first attempt to make something totally on our own. Sinan and I, had no money and had no intentions of making money using this thing. We made it for ourselves and for everybody else who was suffering trying to learn stuff, getting lost configuring servers. We launched a version that would work for a few people. When we opened it however, we saw hundreds of people rushing in overnight..
So we realized, we needed help – serious help, much earlier than we thought. Our servers were burning, I literally sat down front of the servers and restarted apache nights in a row. That’s the only thing I could do, recompiling php and apache was something Linus could do, I couldn’t.
Users were coming in, we were so happy – and one day, someone created a Linux Group on Koding, and he sent me a message “do you need help?” I replied in a few seconds, otherwise servers would have crashed before I could hit send. I said “yes, but we’re also broke :(” he replied “who asked for money? :)”. That’s how we met our awesome sysadmin, Aleksey. His english wasn’t perfect, and he was also shy about it, so he never spoke on skype with us, for 2 years, we always chatted. When we got funded, he came to SF, we totally didn’t know how he sounded like. Then we met, I gave a big hug to him. His english was actually much better than he made us think, he just called git “jit” that was it :) He’s still with us, and comes to SF rides his bike. Now I can’t imagine Koding without him.
8 months earlier, when we finally decided to rewrite the whole stack with nodejs and coffeescript. I joined IRC channels, and was asking questions here and there. There I met Chris, his answers were quite awesome. I said to myself, how awesome it’d be if we worked together and I asked him if he could teach me Coffeescript for starters. When I asked about his hourly rate, it was an amount that I couldn’t afford at the time if I was to hire him fulltime. We worked half time for a month anyway, it was probably more than half of my salary, if paid in full. It was so much fun working with him. I went ahead, proposed half of his rate, and all the remainders paid upon funding, that was the best I could do. He generously agreed. I was so happy and grateful. Happy because he loved what we were doing, grateful because not a lot of people would sacrifice that much. I couldn’t be happier.
We worked 8 months with that, and he made Koding possible. Without him – we could never be here with this product. We saw each other in person for the first time after we got funding, he came to New York from Portland, crashed on the couch in our living room for a week, then stayed in Airbnb’s, leaving Milo, his dog, that he loves so much, with his sister. A month later we moved to San Francisco together, he went and picked up Milo and we picked our first office together. I still remember, when we met first time in New York, right after saying hi, I just continued from our last chat on skype and said “hey dude – you know I thought about that graph module, I think we should do … ” he said “wait, this is the first time we see each other :)” my immediate reaction was to correct him “No, don’t we know each other for years?” it took me a second to realize he was right. I said “That’s true”, still trying to comprehend the feeling, how close we got, working every day, doing so much together yet having never met in person.
Chris is definitely the best engineer I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with quite a few. Although Sinan and I co-founded and implemented Kodingen (first version of Koding), Chris now holds the title “Co-founder and Director of Engineering” of Koding. He deserves every letter in that title. He co-founded Koding with us, worked days and nights for Koding to be an amazing product that he’s proud of.
Great things in life happen when people come together for reasons other than money and securities. I know that for sure now. We all enjoy those, but great work is not a result of high paying job. It may be quite the opposite.
I know, there are great people who are out there, who we could make a great match. People that want to make a difference. People with great skills, maybe without a resume, maybe with an awesome resume; feeling conflicted doing what their heart desire vs the next opportunity they have at a big company, feeling conflicted, between pay and making a change, becoming someone vs becoming a cog in a machine.
You may be a great UI/UX guy, an amazing C/C++/Go/Nodejs/Ruby/Java engineer, awesome biz dev guy or a sysadmin. We decided that we won’t make job posts anymore. Because we want to date. We want to love your work, and we want you to love our work back. We want to respect you so much that we will never have to tell you anything about when you come to work, when you leave, what you’re working on. We want to respect you so much that you will know what to do next, and you will do it the best with needing no meetings nor managers, and you will tell others what needs to be done when you feel like it.
We are onto something big, and we are only 4, we all code.. We are very proud of what we built with a small team. We also are not in need of help, but we can use some serious help. Not a noob help, not good intended but no-skills help, serious professional help. Come be our 5th member, come help us, like you would help Nikola Tesla, like you would help Einstein if you met him, just like you would do anything if Steve Jobs wanted you to help him when he was building Apple.
Remember, if they ever needed your help with a blog post like this, at the time they needed your help, they would be just like us, nobody, yet. And you’d be just like yourself, nobody, yet. Faced with a very similar decision. If you postponed your decision, and decide not to help then, they would become who they are, whole world would be on their fingertips. You wouldn’t even hear if they ever needed anything anymore. And you, would have had a few more paychecks, still needing to pay the rent, still dreaming about the decision you always want to make, just a few years older this time.
Right. You couldn’t do it with them, come do it with us. Let’s try to carry their vision forward. Let’s give a 12 year old with a cheap laptop in a far away country a chance to learn programming, and become a developer that we need. Let’s make companies who spend weeks on-boarding their new hires, do that in minutes. Let’s let companies hire outside of their offices as conveniently. Let’s make cloud computing available for masses so 2 years later, you and I can build Siri or Google glass, writing code in the browser, executing it in 1000s of CPUs, with a few bucks we can spare.
We don’t want to impress with lame employee-entertainment. No, we don’t have a ping pong table and we are not ‘sooo much fun’ people. We do amazing work together, and we’re damn proud of it. Our biggest joy is when we release, we drink a few beers and celebrate while watching amazing response we get from our users. We love those moments… For other fun, we do whatever we want, whenever we want. We all know that our purpose is not having fun paintballing each other, our purpose is to build something that world will remember us by. That’s why we came together, that’s what makes us happy. Yet we go, do paintball – it’s fun :)
We know you exist, because our team is a manifestation of that. We know you’re out there, getting bored reading job descriptions, maybe thinking about what you can do on your own, then thinking about your family and your rent that doesn’t let you bet everything you have, and worse, you can’t afford to fail, which is a big part of this game.
Now you have a choice in the middle, a project that provides an environment to 60k developers, serving 40k sites already, 13k people waiting to receive their beta invites to their new site, when they send invites, they see more than 70% of people come and join. An amazing stat that only a few startups can see, and many dream of. Which means that they have proved it, and now with your help, they can go big! Or without your help. Either way. It’s totally up to you.
We brought Koding so far, and we’re continuing our dream happily and so successfully. And the best part, this time we’re not broke, we have plenty of money. It’s just that, we want to know when you ask this question to yourself “I can get a great job, but do i want money, or do i want to make a change?” that your answer is the latter. And if that’s the case, no matter where and who you are, let’s have a date.
Use the contact link to reach me, i’m on the other side of it.