Adrien Amsellem
Jan 22, 2016 · 2 min read

// The 5 hour trip

I’ve been meaning to share my Improbable experience for a while now. It’s been a crazy ride since diverging from a comfortable career path into the crazy world of a tech start up…

Upon arrival in North London for my interview, I was told to wait for Ed (the company driver), who appeared in a people carrier which had a sliding door in a disparate tone of (pale) red. He broke the ice by taking pictures with his brand new Samsung smartwatch, without looking at the road for minutes at a time — a (very odd) terrifying start which led to a momentous experience.

My meeting was mainly with Herman and Pete whose plan for world domination was delivered with such conviction that it became infectious and unassailable. We were intermittently interrupted by other founders who all emphasised the importance of hiring the best engineers worldwide. It’s worth mentioning that this all took place in a bedroom with a hidden bathroom, whiteboards from wall to wall and a random floor mattress. Was I really going to give up the safety of a lucrative environment to commute two hours a day and work in a stranger’s house I had only just met?

Besides the fact that I felt like I was in a movie we’ve all seen, the conversations quickly turned into them handing me an employment contract and a challenge I just couldn’t refuse. Mostly because in all my experiences of working with startups, I’d never been so question-less in such a short amount of time. It certainly wasn’t the £30 MDF desks that convinced me (not that I had a desk until I was 7 months in)!

The old talent corner

Truth is, I was warned that the journey wouldn’t be easy but it never put me off. If anything, I hoped that this was the challenge that I was subconsciously looking for. At the beginning of last year we raised $20m from a16z and have reached over 85 employees to date. There is a cautious optimism about what lies ahead, making sure we stay humble and only look to ourselves to execute a journey many told us would be impossible to even embark on. Despite some nervy moments it’s fair to say that given the chance, I would make the same decision again.