About the Small Improvements team
We build one product and we build it well. Our customers love us and recommend us to their peers. That’s how we grow. We’re by no means perfect. But we’re good at listening and improving, and our customer support team has you covered.
Product Marketing Manager
Charisse De Torres
Full Stack Developer
Director of Marketing
Full Stack Developer
Our other pillar is our Customer Facing Team. It’s organised into 3 subteams as well: Success, Sales & Support, and Marketing. But at a size of just 6 people, the department still feels like one single team.
All teams are hiring by the way — check out the careers page!
To enjoy work and get things done, you need to be able to focus. Unlike many startups we decided against an open space office. Open space looks cooler at first, and it certainly makes for hipper office shots, but the noise even at our initial studio just wore us down.
We want to encourage team communication that doesn’t disturb the next team, so we chose an office with many doors. It balances team rooms (for 3 to 5 people), meeting rooms, and shared space like a living room and two kitchens. Take a tour of the office here.
Activities and Details
We’re working hard at building the greatest feedback tool on the planet. And we’re standing on the shoulders of giants! Check out our tools page to learn more about our tech stack. Hint: React, Google Cloud, and more! Also, learn more about us on our tech blog!
Work Life Balance
We don’t do overtime. One day a week of home office is totally fine. The occasional remote work (say for a few weeks a year) can work really well. Everyone can take time off at short notice, and it’s clear that family is more important than work.
At the same time, we love our work, and we’re passionate about what we do. We hire people who share our love of creating value for our customer. We assign projects based on employee’s preferences, and balance the fun with the necessary tasks. Sometimes boring work can’t be avoided, but afterwards we’ll improve processes until boring work can be automated. Which in turn also helps with work-life balance.
What’s with the name?
True revolutions rarely go as planned. And when it comes to actual improvements, most work best when applied incrementally. Small improvements are an important cornerstone in lean manufacturing like for example Kaizen (Wikipedia).
The name was inspired by Per’s time at Atlassian. There were always tons of big projects and important mission critical features on the product roadmap, and there was little time for all the small things. Ultimately only the intern’s time could be spared, and to make it sound more glamorous, he was named the “Small Improvements Team (of one)”.
We have rarely gotten a better return on investment!
Beyond our long term goal of helping people get better by way of feedback, we believe that transparency is important. We share our financials, product decisions, and hiring plans internally all the time, and sometimes even externally. For instance check out our startup blog for financial insights about us.
A common sentence you’ll hear a lot inside SI is “be the change you seek,” which we gleaned from Atlassian’s values. Rather than complaining about things that suck, we expect everyone at SI to fix problems wherever they run into them. Build server is too slow? Improve the code, or buy a faster one. Website looks ugly? Find a designer who can help. Customers complain about bugs? Propose reshuffling the roadmap to address the bugs first!
We also avoid working with clients who have a bad reputation, or whose business causes more problems than it solves. For instance, we routinely reject companies with ties to gambling, porn or risky financial products (“loan sharks”), and we’re often double checking potential buyers if we believe they might have a bad track record regarding environmental issues, gender inequality, corruption, etc. We’re not pretending to save the planet single-handedly this way, but if everyone pulls their weight, all these small things do add up.