Launch: My First 30 Days at Carta
I joined Carta in February, and it’s been a whirlwind! But my experience with Carta began even before my first day on the job.
While waiting for my first day, I was pleasantly surprised by the new hire welcome package that was shipped to my home. After opening the package, I knew my decision to join Carta was the right one. I was already familiar with the included reading material:
- Radical Candor by Kim Scott
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
I already have these books in my library, but I still appreciated receiving them. This reading selection provides some insight to the values of the company.
I’m based in San Francisco, but my first two days with the company started in our Salt Lake City office. I was part of a new tradition at Carta: all new hires now congregate in Salt Lake City for employee Launch. Our on-boarding process evolved from the Carta 101 class that our CEO taught when the company was much smaller. At the end of Launch, my new hire cohort put our values into action: helping a local nonprofit through volunteering.
Within my first week, I experienced two other Carta traditions:
- a weekly Show and Tell meeting for cross-department announcements
- a monthly Company Day update from our CEO and time for employees in each office to bond with one another.
We keep a regular cadence for these rituals to foster communication and connectedness across the team. My first week in the San Francisco office ended with a Company Day walk to nearby South Park, where I got to know some of my new colleagues.
I also coordinated with my counterpart (VP of Product) to work one day from our other SF Bay Area office. Our Palo Alto location has allowed us to attract talent from other Silicon Valley tech companies. In fact, Carta started not too far away from our Palo Alto office — which appears in the opening scene of the Culture at Carta video.
I’ve already experienced my first offsite with the R&D Leadership team. We’re a newly formed team, including recent additions like myself. The offsite was an opportunity for us to review progress from the prior quarter, to propose goals for next quarter, and to discuss what we do well (and, not so well). I was the scribe for the all-day offsite and captured our wide-ranging discussion. I published 27 pages of conversation notes, which we shared with the broader team in the spirit of transparency.
I also spent one week working from our NYC office. As a FinTech company, it’s fitting for us to have a corporate presence in Manhattan. While the West Coast is traditionally strong in technology, the East Coast is the undisputed center-of-gravity for finance. Carta has hired key talent from financial companies in both New York and New Jersey. We’ve outgrown our SoHo location and are already looking for a larger NYC space.
Carta is growing fast across all of our locations. We’ve run out of space in San Francisco, and will soon be moving to a larger SF office. We’re growing so fast that we Launch a group of new employees every two weeks. Our most recent new hire cohort had a record 23 new employees!
I’ve been incredibly impressed by the candor and transparency of our leadership team, which was apparent at our most recent Company Day. Our CEO acknowledged the challenge of maintaining our culture as we scale. When asked to summarize our company culture in one sentence, his response was this:
We are Helpful, Transparent, and Fair. —Henry Ward, CEO
If Carta sounds like the kind of company you’d like to join, check out our job postings. Maybe you can be part of an upcoming Launch and help us continue to scale.