About a year ago, I started designing for Stripe as a freelancer. As my experience with Stripe evolved, we talked about ways to work together and eventually decided that it made sense for Stripe to acquire Kickoff. Today, I'm thrilled to announce I'm joining them full-time. As a designer, Stripe felt kind of a scary place to work at -- after all, their product is basically an API -- but I quickly became fascinated about both the product and the company itself. Here's why.
I've always been freelancing. I've been working for a wide range of clients over the years and they were all very different. Stripe is no exception. However, I've never seen something that's even close to Stripe.
The first thing you notice when working for Stripe is the absence of managers. This is really weird at first sight, especially as a freelance where you expect at least "someone" to tell you what to do. No one is telling you what to do at Stripe. You just do. And people actually do a lot. Stripe ships like crazy. They have an extraordinary growth and customers are in love. As far as I can tell, everyone at Stripe deeply cares about the product. And you don't have to manage someone who's passionate.
Stripe's team is insanely good. People are very kind and the office just feels like a place where you want to spend time when your coworkers are around. And obviously, I should mention how everyone is amazingly talented. As a designer, it's bliss to feel the product is in great hands and that the user experience will be consistent all the way through.
How everything is so open is also something that fascinates me at Stripe. Everyone is on the same level, founders included. Nothing is secret and as a result, everyone stays deeply involved in the company, its progress and its culture. Having a wide understanding of a company looks essential to me as I personnally believe you can't contribute to a product in a great way without having a pretty clear idea of the big picture.
And then there's the product itself, obviously. The attention to detail in every single part of Stripe is insane. That doesn't mean everything is perfect everywhere, but you really feel they have the will to keep improving the stuff they release, iteration after iteration. I strongly believe in this refinement process, and this philosophy -- which seems to me deeply integrated in Stripe's culture -- is probably what I like the most about Stripe.