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Are You Crayon Material? Is Crayon You Material? (We’re Hiring)

Posted by John Osborne on March 10, 2015.

Jonah and I are building the early team at Crayon. We’re looking for a few engineers to join us in building something big.

This post gives some background on what we’re looking for and what it’s like to work with us.

A Bit of Background

Crayon is the largest marketing design search engine on the web. It’s the new way for marketers to get great ideas. You can read more about what we’re up to in our earlier blog post.

We put Crayon out there as an experiment in November 2014, and since then we’ve acquired tens of thousands of users, gotten great feedback, and raised an angel round (details not announced yet, but some info here & here).

The engineering challenges at Crayon are fascinating. If you’ve used the product, you know that we’re crawling and programmatically capturing millions of marketing designs across time. This requires us to write highly scalable, fault-tolerant code and to design interesting algorithms. There are a lot of fascinating scale and machine learning challenges inherent in what we’re doing.

What We’re Looking For

You’re looking for more than a job. Your work at Crayon should be a primary outlet for your creativity. You should find yourself thinking about possible solutions while driving, exercising, waiting in line, or doing whatever it is you do outside of “work.” Thinking about engineering problems outside of work shouldn’t feel burdensome. It should feel natural.

You’re better than us. Right now, Crayon is “just us two founders.” We want each new Crayon hire to increase our company average. That means on at least some dimensions, you should be smarter, faster, and better than Jonah and me. We want you to challenge and push us. We want you to identify possibilities and solutions that eluded us. Stated simply: you need to be really, really good.

You’re entrepreneurial. You shred. You get ‘er done. Not knowing how to do something shouldn’t get in the way of doing it; it should be an opportunity to learn something new. We’re a small team and you should only join if you can really and truly get stuff done. (Every startup says this… we actually mean it.)

You’re a good person, and you expect your colleagues to be good people. You’re respectful to other folks regardless of their position. You are competitive, but not arrogant. You give directions to tourists when asked. You’re nice to animals. You care about our users. You’re empathetic. You do the right thing even when no one is looking.

You want to be part of a product-driven company. We are, first and foremost, building a great product. We’re building something, not selling something. There are great sales-driven companies in the world… but Crayon isn’t one of them. Creativity and product innovation come before salesmanship.

You want to be part of something big. Crayon has the potential to serve millions of users. This is our Everest. If you join Crayon, you need to have the confidence and determination to build something big.

You’re not in it for the fruit rollups. Lots of startups offer chefs to cook you handcrafted fruit rollups at your desk. We don’t do that. Crayon people buy their fruit rollups at the store ☺. If you’re in it for the perks, Crayon isn’t for you. If you join Crayon, it’s because you want to be part of building a product loved by millions. You want to be part of creating a great company. You want to solve hard engineering problems. You want to win. If it’s free Pilates in the office that you’re after, we can’t help you. (Nothing against Pilates, it’s just not what we’re about.)

Open Roles

We’re looking for a versatile, full-stack developer—an engineer who can image and deploy machines, comfortably make use of AWS cloud services, write scalable, fault-tolerant code, create REST APIs, and write basic UI.

We’re looking for a front-end coder who can also design world-class user experiences.

Crayon is built with MySQL, DynamoDB, a bunch of the Amazon web services, Python, Django, JQuery, React, and Bootstrap. We aren’t super concerned that you have direct experience with all of these technologies. It’s more important to us that you have the underlying skills to become quickly proficient.

If all this resonates with you, shoot me a message at john [at] crayon.co.