Hi friends!

I looked at which value tags on Key Values were most selected over the last 90 days and was surprised to see Cross-Department Collaboration ranked at #33! That's it?! Let me tell you why you should prioritize collaboration more:

🎨 Exposure. People switch careers all the time. In tech, it's common to transition between software engineering, data science, or product management. (Or design, or program management, or growth...) And how do you decide? Typically, you don't realize you want to make a career change until you work with someone whose job seems more interesting and better suited for you than yours does.

The best way to learn more about other career paths is by getting a glimpse of what these roles look like at your current company.

💡 Entrepreneurship. If you want to start a company someday, I highly recommend you prioritize cross-departmental collaboration in your next role. By working with different departments, you not only accrue a breadth of skills yourself, but you also network with people who have expertise in a domain or field you don't. They may someday be your future cofounder, first hire, or just help make intros for you. Regardless, you'll be better equipped to start a new project or business yourself.

I learned everything I needed to start Key Values by working closely with design, data, and marketing teams as a freelance web developer.

📈 It's good for business. Last, but certainly not least, teams perform better when they collaborate. Departments shouldn't be too siloed, especially at a small startup. If the potential upside of a startup factors into your decision on where to work, consider how well the different sides of the business are communicating and working together. In other words, you're making a bet when you join a company, so make it a good one.

Today, I'm highlighting some of the companies on Key Values who value Cross-Department Collaboration highly, because I sure as hell do! 🙌

Newfront (profile) 📍 San Francisco, CA
Provides relocation support. Does not sponsor work authorizations.
Newfront is building a modern platform to transact insurance. They're supercharging brokers with technology and specialize in helping high-growth startups with business insurance. Their team is incredibly collaborative and engineers work directly with insurance specialists (both brokers and account managers) in order to best understand the human needs behind their product and build the right solutions.

Their founders, Gordon and Spike, were not only in my YC batch, but also in my small group! They're incredibly bright and have grown Newfront from ~10 to ~140 employees in the last 18 months. 🤩 Let me know if you want an intro!

LaunchDarkly (profile) 📍 Oakland, CA or Dublin, Ireland
Does not provide relocation support. Does not sponsor work authorizations.
LaunchDarkly is a feature management platform serving 25+ billion feature flags each day. Collaboration is so important at LaunchDarkly that they rethink their entire seating plan whenever someone new starts. Everyone sits near the people they work with most, whether it be product, sales, customer service, or other engineers. Doing this also helps their engineers stay involved at all stages of the development cycle. 

PAX Labs (profile) 📍 San Francisco, CA or Toronto, ON
Provides relocation support and sponsors work authorizations on a case-by-case basis.
PAX designs and manufactures premium vaporizers for safe and responsible consumption of legal cannabis. Their software team is interconnected with every other team at PAX on some level and they rely on the expertise from their firmware, analytics, marketing, customer service, and partner operations teams. PAX is a physical product, so collaboration across their many departments is key. 🔑

Carbon Five (profile) 📍 San Francisco, New York City, or Los Angeles
Provides relocation support. Sponsors work authorizations.
Carbon Five is a digital product development consultancy that partners with organizations like Skype and National Geographic. They really push hard within Carbon Five, as well as with their clients, to have diversity across skills. To keep their team balanced, they also have this venn diagram of developers, designers, and product-focused leaders and make sure everyone is collaborating effectively.

Sticker Mule (profile) 📍 Remote (Global)
No relocation support or work authorizations needed –– they're remote!
Sticker Mule is a custom printing company that makes stickers, buttons, and more. As a globally distributed company, they juggle different timezones by relying heavily on written communication and having engineers collaborate with key people from other departments on a daily basis. They currently have 7 software engineering teams, each one supporting a designated business area of the company.

Alto (profile) 📍 San Francisco, CA
Provides relocation support. Does not sponsor work authorizations.
Alto is the modern pharmacy delivering prescriptions right to your doorstep. They're solving a complex problem that requires the skillsets of a very broad team. Engineers need to work with pharmacists, designers need to work with operations, and the people managing partnerships with physicians and insurance providers need to be on the same page, too. Everyone is always talking to each other.

Of course, every team and every person is different. We all care about different things, which change over the course of our careers and lives, and it's all about finding the people who care about the same things we do. (That's the whole point of Key Values!)

That said, I hope I've convinced at least some of you to rethink the importance of cross-functional collaboration. Maybe you'll even come to value it more during your next job search? 😉

Have a magnificent rest of your week and I will see you next Thursday!
Lynne (@lynnetye and @keyvaluesio)
Copyright © 2019 Key Values, All rights reserved.

If you want to get in touch with me:
👉 @lynnetye or @keyvaluesio

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