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What it’s like to work at Clockwise: Mission, people, product

Cathy Reisenwitz

by Cathy Reisenwitz on June 18, 2020

Over the past 12 years I’ve written for non-profits, for-profits, startups, and mega-corporations across a variety of industries and geographies from the deep South to my current home in San Francisco. Second to the year I got to write and edit op-eds for a living, Clockwise is the best job I’ve ever had.

According to researchers, workers are happiest and most productive at companies where workers and leaders:

  • Prioritize the mission
  • Reward performance over politics
  • Trust each other
  • Encourage innovation
  • Meet failure with curiosity instead of blame

That describes Clockwise to a “T.” One year after Clockwise launched, and on the occasion of our Series B and Clockwise for Teams launch, I thought I’d ask my colleagues what makes working at Clockwise special for them. What I heard was that we care deeply about our mission, genuinely love our colleagues, and love the product. Here’s what we mean.

Our mission is more than website copy

Clockwise’s mission is to “Help the world make time for what matters.” It’s a good turn-of-phrase. But at Clockwise it’s also much more than a slogan. Every Monday morning Matt chooses someone to read our Mission and Values. More importantly, they come up in our decision-making meetings.

“I'm naturally drawn to mission-driven companies,” Tatiana Armstrong, Head of Customer Success, said. “At Clockwise those priorities remain front-and-center.”

When I first started at Clockwise every time I would bring up ideas for new features our Head of Operations Alex or Matt would guide the conversation away from pure productivity and towards making our work lives better. Our mission at Clockwise isn’t to squeeze more work out of each worker. It’s to help each worker squeeze more value out of each moment, wasting less time so we can live more fully.

“Knowledge workers are more overworked and distracted than ever, and it’s really motivating to work alongside teammates who care deeply about the problem and are passionate about helping our customers make time for what's important to them,” said Charles Martucci, Head of Design.

Designer Raph D’amico recently joined Clockwise. “Now more than ever we need systems to equitably uphold work-life balance, give us all more time to think, and use our time for the things that matter,” Raph said of his decision to go with Clockwise. “I got into UX design because I wanted to learn how to use behavioral science to help people build better versions of their lives. Tech isn’t a panacea—it’s a tool. Tech must be applied in a focused and ethical way, always putting people first. A job hunt during COVID was a heck of a time to be asking myself these questions, but I’m glad I found Clockwise.”

Our people care about each other, and the world

The quality of your relationships is the biggest determining factor of your health and happiness. Research shows healthy relationships with our coworkers increases our well-being and efficiency. Since most people spend the majority of our waking hours with our colleagues, it's essential we choose to work with people we like and who share our values.

The last weekend of May, feeling heartbroken and impotent, my friend suggested I write something about Black Lives Matter for Clockwise. “They’ll never publish that,” I laughed ruefully. And then I remembered who I work with. Monday morning Matt opened up the meeting with a full minute of silence for George Floyd and an announcement that we’d be matching donations up to $1,000 per employee to police reform, civil rights, and anti-racist causes. The next day we published 3 ways tech workers can support police reform.

“I joined Clockwise because from our very first conversation I saw a group of smart, deeply considerate people,” Raph said.

At Clockwise doing good isn’t about talking the talk. Our Head of Talent, Michael Lipschutz, volunteers with Defy Ventures and invited me to one of their events, which gave me the idea to write Why felons make the best engineers.

“When I first met the team, I had no doubt that these were incredibly smart people who were excited about what they were doing,” Back End Engineer Chuma Kabaghe said. “What struck me though was how authentic and grounded they all were, which made me want to work with them even more.”

Front End Developer Danyaal Rangwala met Clockwise CEO and Co-Founder Matt Martin and Head of Engineering Gary Lerhaupt as he was entering the workforce. “Matt was my mentor while I interned at RelateIQ and I worked closely with both of them after I joined RelateIQ full-time,” Danyaal said. “After they left to start Clockwise, I was convinced by just the team alone because of how curious, driven and empathetic they were.”

When I asked Matt what he hoped to leave as his lasting legacy for a PR interview, his answer struck me. “What I want, really, is for people to be part of a mission that they believe in, and be able to build something with them,” Matt said. “My hope is that everyone who’s part of our journey at Clockwise looks back at this time as really personally rewarding, enjoyable, and valuable. It’s not easy. Every single day isn’t always fun. But for people to look back and say Matt cared about the people, the mission, and the company. That’s all I can really ask for.”

The product genuinely helps people

When I realized what Clockwise did, I remember thinking “What a great idea!” Every day, entrepreneurs launch new products that are vitamins, not painkillers. But at Clockwise we’re building something that truly solves a tremendously valuable problem: How to spend your time as carefully and efficiently as you spend your money.

“I first used Clockwise right after it launched last summer and loved it,” Chuma said. “Clockwise was solving a real problem that I had experienced and it was solving it well. During my job search, I was focusing on three things: 1) Would I be challenged 2) Would I be surrounded by people I can learn from 3) Is the company solving a real problem and building a solution I believe in? Clockwise checked all three boxes. I love that working at Clockwise I don't have to perform mental gymnastics to figure out how my work is relevant and if it's having a positive impact on real people.”

Tatiana appreciates Clockwise’s “exceptional focus on the end user.” She loves how much user feedback actually drives the end product and showing users how powerful Clockwise can be when leveraged well. “These a-ha moments are the whole reason I got into Customer Success in the first place,” Tatiana said. “At Clockwise, the potential energy of what we can still do always outweighs the kinetic energy of what we've already done. That sense of boundless opportunity is why I love working here so much - but honestly, it's also one of the more frustrating parts of the job cause I wish we could fast-forward already! I have to regularly take a step back, roll up my sleeves and realize how excited I am to be here this early to enjoy the ride.”

While Danyaal was sold on the people, “It wasn't until Gary gave me a demo of what they had built that I truly saw how much potential there was,” Danyaal said. “It sounds cliche because it is repeated so often, but time is our most precious resource. We sadly live in a world where people are at the mercy of their calendars and Clockwise has the opportunity and ability to help protect and create time for things they care about the most.”

For Charles, his first conversation with our founders made it “clear to me that Clockwise was going to be something special.”

Going forward

“The last three years that I've spent with Clockwise has been so dense with great experiences and fond memories, but also flown by so fast that - until now - I haven't had the time to really retrospect on how incredible of a journey it has been and how it's also still just beginning!” Danyaal said.

With a solid mission, an amazing team, an incredible product, and a new round of funding under our belts there’s only one thing that could make Clockwise better: You!

We are hiring! If our mission, product, and team appeals to you, check out our open positions!

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is Head of Content at Clockwise where she oversees the Clockwise Blog and The Minutes Newsletter. She has covered business software for six years and has been published in Newsweek, Forbes, the Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications.

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