To be a Cozyan

We’ve all rented a place at some point in our lives. Renting can be an overly-complicated process that usually involves handing over sensitive personal information to strangers, wrangling money from roommates, and remembering to mail a check every month. It’s not easy for landlords either. Finding responsible renters, tracking and depositing rent every month, and communicating with tenants can be a huge burden — especially for small landlords who may have other day jobs.

The rental industry is ripe for change, and Cozy is working hard to make it better. Over the past four years, we’ve helped renters apply to places and pay rent more easily and securely. And we’ve helped landlords run their businesses more efficiently, for free!

Reinventing an industry hasn’t been easy. To build a great product, you first have to build a great team. Ours is made up of designers, engineers, support and growth specialists, and many other specialized people. While we all have different job titles and backgrounds, we share some common traits that have kept us working well together for so long.

Here are some of the qualities that make a great Cozy employee:

Empathy: Everything we do is rooted our customer’s best interest, and every single employee has a stake in making the customer’s experience better, from designing interactions with the least amount of steps, and writing clear and friendly copy, to making things load quickly. We’re all able to view our individual work in the larger context of our customer’s experience.

Curiosity: People who are curious go above and beyond what they’re asked to do, simply because they can’t help it. We value curiosity because it uncovers problems, creates opportunities, and ultimately shapes answers. When you trust a curious person and give them extraordinary responsibility, it almost always leads to something good.

Collaboration: A person can do a lot on their own, but we do our best work together. We encourage collaboration within teams and across disciplines, because we believe every single employee has a distinct and valuable viewpoint. This attitude ensures we get a diversity of opinions, a necessity for making a great company and product.

Courage: We value people who have opinions and can clearly and confidently express them. We value people who seek challenges to their beliefs to make their understanding stronger. Most importantly, we value people who have the courage to admit when they’re wrong.

Diligence: We launch MVPs, but we don’t cut corners. There’s a difference. We do the hard work to make the product better.

Humility: This last one is a biggie. We have a strong distaste for people with inflated egos. Work hard, be nice, and don’t step on the toes of people you work with. We’re all on the same team, working toward the same goal. We collectively lift each other up and learn from our mistakes.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about some of our qualities that make Cozy a great company. We are:

Democratic: Every employee has a voice at Cozy, and we encourage people to be vocal. We are the sum of our parts. We understand that a team with a unified purpose and values performs well.

Transparent: We’re honest with our customers and with our employees. Things aren’t always perfect, but we believe that being open and truthful is the best way to gain people’s respect and trust.

Trusting: We give our employees a lot of responsibility, and we trust them to do something with it. It’s not uncommon for new Cozyans to feel completely out of water when they first start. Forging your own path can feel terrifying and exciting, but it almost always leads to growth.

Diverse: We actively recruit people who can add diversity to our team. Diversity can manifest in many ways, from ethnicity, gender, and sexuality to cultural backgrounds and skill-sets. A diverse team better represents our customer base, and gives us broader perspective as a company.

How we work

We’re agile, but not rigidly so.

We have small, multi-disciplinary teams with leaders that rotate, depending on the work. We have stand-ups and retrospectives, and keep our work in progress to a minimum. We handle our work in bite-sized chunks, ship minimum viable products, and refine them after we’ve learned their weaknesses. It’s fast, sometimes loose, and always exciting.

We have just enough structure.

We have a process, but we’re not afraid to stray from it when we needed. For now, we’re small enough that we can experiment with new methods and refine them as we go. Minimal structure can be terrifying to some people, but it means we all have a creative stake in how Cozy gets built, which keeps work from getting stagnant.

We’re always evolving.

We’re continuously getting better, both as a company and as a product. We have a clear vision and roadmap, but we also listen closely to the needs of our customers and of our employees, and use that feedback to evolve in a way that makes sense.

Other stuff you should know

We’re a startup, but a humble one.

We don’t have personal chefs, ping pong tables, or offices filled with Herman Miller furniture. We do have some pretty great perks, but in general, we prefer to use our money on hiring quality talent and paying them what they’re worth, coupled with a generous amount of equity in the company we’re all building.

We’re in Portland, Oregon.

Cozy was founded in the Bay Area over four years ago, but we’re a Portland company now. There’s a reason our CEO moved the company here shortly after it was founded. Portland is a vibrant, supportive place, swimming with talent and can-do spirit. Quality of life is valued here, and the people are … well, nice.

If you share our values, love the idea of what we’re building, and have some skills or experience that you think would benefit us, we’d love to meet you. We just might have a standing desk with your name on it. (We’ll supply a chair, too.) View our current openings.


Written by Dave Handlong, Cozy’s Design Director. Originally published at cozy.co.