Working at Knightscope;Posted by Stacy Stephens
We care passionately about our work – to make the United States of America the safest country in the world. To do that takes extreme mental fortitude and stamina. We believe that the best places to work provide their people with life satisfaction as opposed to job satisfaction alone. And that starts with having a healthy culture. We are far from perfect, but we strive for excellence every day.
Each person who joins our team spends time with one or both Knightscope founders during the onboarding process for a first-hand account of the corporate culture and how to best position oneself to identify the area of work that provides them with the greatest potential for fulfillment, career advancement and growth – to help them identify their “calling.” One of the points we make up front is that we don’t hire employees; we invite teammates with tremendous value to join the Knightscope mission. Everyone brings their own UNIQUE set of experiences and expertise that will positively impact the Company’s long-term goals, and we want them to know up front that they are becoming a part of something bigger than each of us.
We are developing breakthrough technologies which require the best and brightest thinkers, builders and doers who are passionate about making a meaningful and positive difference in their communities. We want teammates that can handle the ups and downs of startups – hard work, long hours and dedication to do whatever it takes to accomplish our goals. We may need air and water to survive, but that isn’t our purpose. Our purpose is to help people live better, safer lives.
Statistically speaking, over 95% of startups fail and according to some sources 80% never make it past the 3rd anniversary. Working at a startup is not for everyone – much less the faint hearted. The good news is that we’ve continued to pour a steady stream of new technologies out of Silicon Valley for over 8 years now and still have at least 3 decades worth of work ahead for us for all we want to accomplish!
In order to achieve that, our team is encouraged to think and act like owners. Allowing them to control aspects of their work, we learned, is the key to accomplishing this. Those who have a certain degree of latitude to rearrange, modify, and improve their assignments feel possession over them, and once this happens, their mindsets begin to change. Instead of focusing on what cannot be done, they become preoccupied with what can. As a result, they are more easily able to grow, innovate, and push Knightscope forward.
Boredom is never an issue either. At a startup, you never have enough time, people, or resources needed. Everyone must be able to wear multiple hats and be willing to proactively cover or help a teammate from time to time – no matter when you are asked (or not). Most folks have a job title and likely 3 to 7 other jobs they are doing on the side, which makes for an exciting workday and a broader learning experience.
But things will go wrong. An upset client is made more upset because a shipment is delayed, and parts don’t arrive on time. A human error occurs. A bug is identified in the system, and no one can resolve it for weeks, months or sometimes over a year. We may have to start over with an all-new approach. Maybe a supplier changes something and decides to not tell anyone. We sign too many new client contracts at one time and stress the system, or clients have to cancel a contract at precisely the wrong time. We may lose good people, or we determine we were not a good fit for others.
The beautiful thing is, however, that if you weather the storm, occasionally everything goes right! It all clicks. You realize how much you have learned in so little time; how you have grown and were able to rise to the occasion. And now you are ready for more and more responsibility. Not only is the Company growing but so are you!
Working at a startup can be extremely rewarding, as in our case we are shipping new software every two weeks and new hardware every few months – and your actions will have a direct impact on the business. Some people thrive on that reality, and some are horrified by that level of responsibility, can’t handle the pressure and crumble.
We have a keen interest in people with strong backgrounds in the areas of robotics, autonomous technology, sensors, electric vehicles as well as sales gurus, operational experts and just plain honest working folks that don’t wear capes but are heroes, nonetheless. We are technologists, disruptors, car guys, designers, engineers, veterans, entrepreneurs, supporters of #WomenInTechnology, dreamers, geeks and patriots.
If you have grit, passion, and the stamina to flourish in an incredibly diverse start-up environment, please apply at www.knightscope.com/careers and let’s see if you got what it takes! Let’s go!