An Open Letter to Future Team Members

Justin YoshimuraDear Future Members of the 500friends Team,

First and foremost, I recognize that despite record-high unemployment rates–still 10.2% in CA, where 500friends is HQ’ed–start-ups and established corporations alike are at “war” for talent, especially in engineering, but also in design, sales, marketing, business development, account management, strategy, etc. Not to mention, the competition for this limited talent pool is further exacerbated by the fact that you “A players/badasses” have a plethora of options, ranging from the Googles of the world to joining another VC funded start-up to founding a gamified social local mobile iPhone app on their own (hopefully not the latter).

So, why should you join our team, since everyone has cool offices, pays well, offers stock options, and catered lunches?

Solve real-world problems. We help retailers identify, acquire, and retain their high value customers. In other words, we’re building tech to help everyone else compete with Amazon and Walmart. Yes, we love Amazon and Walmart, but would be deeply saddened if they put everyone else out of business.

A high bar. We’re obsessed with hiring only the best of the best; you won’t ever have to deal with incompetent people. (Though we occasionally make hiring mistakes, they are “rectified” very quickly). We certainly value experience, but only after their intelligence and desire to succeed and learn. As Steve Jobs once said, “A players like to work with A players.”

A culture of trust and appreciation. Our core hiring philosphy is centered around trust. If you join our team, that means that everyone who interviewed you trusts you to do your job. This doesn’t mean that you’re not encouraged to make mistakes (because everyone does), but that we trust you to seek help when needed, and to succeed in your responsibilities. When you succeed, you will be recognized and rewarded.

Growth.  Not only will you have a broad set of responsibilities, but we encourage team members to learn new things. Team members are encouraged to participate in our management meetings, and collaborate “cross department” to make things better.

Funding (engineers): Upon two years of employment at 500friends, we will provide $25k-$50k seed capital based on standard performance evaluations. In addition to the funding, we will help with various other aspects that starting a startup entails: brainstorming, crafting first decks, securing investor introductions, etc.

I certainly have many responsibilities as the founder/CEO of 500friends, but I view talent acquisition and retention to be one of my top priorities. If you join us in our mission, here is my word that you will be my priority.

Best Regards,

Justin Yoshimura

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