Jordi Adame and his Engineering team have significantly more time for heads-down work and spend less time scheduling and rescheduling their meetings, thanks to Clockwise.
Jordi Adame is Director Of Engineering at The RealReal, a luxury consignment e-commerce site. “You have some luxury items that you don't want to use anymore. You bring them to us. We'll sell them for you. You get your money, And everybody's happy.”
Jordi’s team handles getting the items coming in the door onto the website as quickly as possible, all while maintaining a high level of accuracy. They need to catch fake items, ideally early in the process. “We receive thousands of items every day and we have to authenticate and photograph them, price them, and put a description and title to them.” Every piece requires multiple photographs, description copy, and pricing. “We cannot re-utilize anything, since every item that we sell is unique. So that complicates things.”
The Engineering team’s biggest challenge is authentication. “We want to make sure that every item that we publish on our website is 100% real and authenticated. We put a lot of effort into that.”
While the team uses machine learning to help with authentication, ultimately a human has to make the final call. This is a huge challenge at the scale they’re working at. Up to thousands of items move through their process every day.
The other challenge is they’re moving into traditional retail, which has completely different SKU and sizing requirements.
This is challenging work that requires intense focus.
Jordi's other big struggle is scheduling and rescheduling his one-on-ones, standups, and retrospectives with the 30 or so Engineers and Managers under him, plus other stakeholders. Jordi is in San Francisco, while his team is spread across various time zones, including colleagues on the East Coast and in Uruguay.
Jordi learned about Clockwise through a colleague at his previous job. After Jordi tried Clockwise, “In two days the whole company was using it.” Jordi’s colleagues were immediately receptive. First his manager said, "Hey, this Autopilot thing, that's super nice." Two weeks later, the whole Engineering organization was using Clockwise. One Engineer told Jordi, "Hey, this Clockwise thing that you brought, it's amazing."
Today, Clockwise is part of the onboarding process for Engineers at The RealReal, and is among the tools TheRealReal recommends Engineers use to boost their productivity.
“Having interruptions during your Focus Time,” Jordi said, is “the hardest thing for Engineers. “As a Software Engineer, you want to have nice chunks of time, three or four hours. Clockwise actually is able to put all their meetings in the morning or in the afternoon, however you configure it.”
Jordi also appreciates that Clockwise opens up more time to do real work. “If I didn't have Clockwise, all my time would be broken up throughout the day. I wouldn't have time to focus.” Jordi credits Clockwise with all the Focus Time he has throughout the week.
“I can work from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM every day,” Jordi said. “At 4:00 PM, I close my computer and that's it. It's something that I couldn't do before because my calendar was a mess.” Without Clockwise “I would be in a mental institution by now.”
“Especially during COVID, you have back, to back, to back, to back meetings. You don't have any time to rest. It definitely has helped with the scheduling, especially when trying to schedule with somebody who has a lot of meetings. It would be really difficult to do it without Clockwise. With Clockwise you just schedule it, find a time, two weeks ahead and it'll find the time. It has been very helpful.”
“The thing that I like the most about Clockwise is that I don't have to think about it. It just does its job in the background.” Jordi likens Clockwise to a Software Engineer. When Jordi’s Engineers despair that no one recognizes their hard work, he tells them:
“Sadly, no one is ever going to tell you, ‘That was a great website that you built. It runs 99.9999% of the time. It's amazing.’”
It’s not until something breaks that people will notice.
“That's the life that we chose. It’s similar to Clockwise. It's just so amazing that people forget about it. But if we didn't have Clockwise, that would be another story. People don't realize how important it has become because it runs in the background and it does its job amazingly.”
Rather than worrying about conflicts, keeping track of time zones and working hours, and making sure the biweekly meeting with his direct reports happens, Jordi just puts his meetings on Autopilot. “Just let Clockwise do the work. I know it's going to happen. That is amazing. If five years ago someone told me that that is possible, I wouldn't believe it. But today I have become so used to it. Now it's part of my life and I just love it.”