Announcing Himalayas

Himalayas is our love letter to remote work.

COVID-19 has caused a permanent shift towards remote work. Twitter and Square have said that staff can work remotely permanently. Shopify is closing its offices until 2021 “And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over”. Brian Armstrong wrote that Coinbase will be embracing a remote-first culture. And Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook will “aggressively open up remote hiring” and expects half of his employees to be remote by 2030.

Even prior to COVID, we saw Stripe announce its fifth engineering hub would be remote in 2019. Their reason?

Our users are everywhere. We have to be, too.

Our remotes keep us close to our customers, which is key to building great products. They are deeply embedded in the rhythms of their cities. They see how people purchase food differently in bodegas, konbini, and darshinis. They know why it is important to engineer robustness in the face of slow, unreliable internet connections. They have worked in and run businesses that don’t have access to global payments infrastructure.

Stripe reflected on the success of their remote engineering hub one year in:

Over the last year, we’ve tripled the number of permanently remote engineers, up to 22% of our engineering population. We also hired more remote employees across all other teams, and tripled the number of remote Stripes across the company…One of our goals in establishing the remote hub was to connect more closely with our customers. A year ago, when an overwhelming majority of our engineering staff was located in two cities, it was more difficult to support a global user population with products that felt locally native in supporting commerce.

And it wouldn’t be right to write about remote work without acknowledging companies like Automattic and Basecamp that have been remote for over well over a decade. Hell, Basecamp even wrote the book about remote work!

We think Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, put it best in a recent interview with Ben Thompson of Stratechery when he said:

I honestly think we’ll look back 20 or 30 years from now at how offices currently work for knowledge workers just as we look at using leeches to cure sickness. It’s so bizarre when you think of the autonomy you removed from people being in the office. Your things are better when you work from home. The temperature, the music, the seat, your desk, your control over the environment, going to the bathroom, exercising, eating, all of these things, you have so much more control over that we just take for granted. Tech and traditional offices remove so much agency from people. You know they say it about democracy — once you have a taste of freedom, it’s hard to return to your previous state, I think that’s going to happen for remote work, and COVID-19 has pushed remote work forward maybe by five or 10 years than it would have occurred otherwise.

To which Ben responded “I agree with that. There’s going to be a sort of step change where something that would have taken a long time to happen is now going to happen much more quickly”. 

While we don’t have any conclusive data to prove this point, Web Smith, the founder of 2PM, highlights that we’ve seen 10 years of progress happen in 8 weeks in eCommerce.

We believe the same is true for remote work.

Today’s companies are global from day one, customers are spread across the globe, so why aren’t employees? As Stripe said, “We feel closer to customers because we literally are”.

This is why we decided to start Himalayas. We want to re-envision a new, more enjoyable standard for hiring for and finding remote jobs.

We couldn’t find a remote job board we loved, so we’re building one.

Here’s how we’re going to go about it:

  1. Deliver a great UX, focused on speed and efficiency: The average job board looks like it hasn’t been updated in a decade. Our goal is to make the experience frictionless, simple, and fast.

  2. Connect to companies, not recruiters: Speak directly to founders and hiring managers. No third party recruiters allowed.

  3. Building for the long-term: We want Himalayas to be measured in decades, not days. We’re focused on serving two populations: job seekers and hirers. That’s it.

This is just the beginning, in fact, we’re still building. We know this will be a long journey and we’re excited to share what we learn along the way.

If you’re interested in joining early and influencing the direction of Himalayas, sign up here and follow us on Twitter.

– Himalayas founders: Jack, Jordan, Abi