As we put together the submission, we had to stop and consider what was truly unique about the team and our culture. Every tech company believes they’re changing a fundamental piece of the development stack. Every company “works hard and plays hard” to the point where it’s almost comical. We considered a few things and had a hard choice but it boiled down to one principle:
We take our work seriously but not ourselves.
It would be easy to be arrogant about how we’re the most popular, the most loved, our sheer scale, or how many customers are doing amazing things with ngrok but we can’t let that go to our heads. We spend every day working with and talking with users, customers, prospects, former colleagues, friends, and the like to clarify ideas, (in)validate hypotheses, and learn what’s top of mind, how they look at the world, and how they consider ngrok.
On the less serious front, our dad jokes are top notch and got a major mention in the profile. They range from:
“I don’t know why the birds at the park keep trying to eat my pure bread dog. Any tips?”
To the same person sharing she bought both a chicken and an egg online and now she’s waiting. Yes, we regularly get into deep philosophical questions.
I know. It hurts.
what makes ngrok special
Which brings me to the most unique thing about ngrok: Introspection Hour.
When I’ve advised startups, I tell every single one to stop and celebrate your wins because they can come few and far between and those moments will sustain you through the hard times. In our Introspection Hour, we do exactly that. The company gathers on a video call - well, now two due to our size - and we go around the call spending a minute sharing what we’re excited or anxious about in work and/or our personal lives.
At first glance, it seems odd but as a remote-first company in a world that’s been Zoom-centric for well over two years, that human connection is what we’ve lost. As an industry, we talk with our colleagues more but share less. We understand our jobs but not the people doing them. Introspection Hour is a great chance to surface stresses before they become problems, celebrate each others’ wins, share an encouraging word, and learn about the people on the other side of the screen.
If you’re looking to join a great company working on a great product at massive scale with thoughtful people, check out the ngrok Careers page. We're hiring on every team for a variety of roles and need people who can write the playbook, not just follow one.
Keith Casey serves on the Product/GTM Team at ngrok helping teams launch their systems faster and easier than ever before. Previously, he served on the Product Team at Okta working on Identity and Authentication APIs, as an early Developer Evangelist at Twilio, and worked to answer the Ultimate Geek Question at the Library of Congress. His underlying goal is to get good technology into the hands of good people to do great things. In his spare time, he writes at CaseySoftware.com and lives in the woods. He is also a co-author of A Practical Approach to API Design.