Inside Even

What we value — Part 1

The Voyager 1 space probe shot a photo of earth from a distance of about 3.7 billion miles.
earth from voyager

People who think for themselves

When facing a tough decision, we naturally seek advice from others. Asking other people what we should do externalizes our agency, which makes us feel less responsible for making bad decisions. This is great for our egos. But what does it do to our ability to make good decisions?

Making good decisions is largely about having as much correct information as possible at the time of a decision. With the exception of highly-trained, highly-focused experts like doctors, it is rare that a third party will have more correct information about your decision than you. Instead of seeking advice, we believe you should seek information that might broaden your understanding of the problem you face, so you can improve your likelihood of making a good decision.

This is why we’ve built our company around giving Eveners as much information, autonomy, and responsibility as possible. We believe this leads to better decisions, better products, and happier people. We don’t tell people what to do. Instead, we look for people who can think critically about any topic, who can ask good questions to reveal critical information, and who are willing to make hard choices — even if those choices defy previously or commonly held beliefs.

So if you think for yourself, you might be a good fit.

People who move mountains

Building a company is hard. So hard, in fact, that investors and entrepreneurs spend tons of time, brainpower, and Medium posts trying to figure out a formula for success.

A study of over 300 wildly successful startups revealed 300 entirely different paths to victory. It turns out every company is different — there is no one-size-fits-all formula. But in asking the founders of those 300 companies “What was the most important thing that led to your success?,” nearly all of them said the exact same thing: “We never quit.”

Building Even, we are constantly doing things that no one has any idea how to do. We are building things everyone else says can’t be built. We frequently meet reasonable people who tell us to give up, for our own sake.

But that just comes with the territory. So if you wake up every morning ready to move mountains, you might be a good fit.

People who are candid

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for success. Every startup is different, because you are most likely solving problems no one else has solved before. Since we’re doing new things all the time, it is imperative that we learn quickly.

Sometimes, learning really hurts. No one likes making mistakes. No one likes being wrong. No one likes being corrected. But once we realize that everyone goes through these moments of pain and embarrassment, suddenly they become a lot less painful, and a heck of a lot more useful.

These moments are how we learn and grow, so we encourage Eveners to be candid with one another. We’re all smart, highly functioning, supportive adults. When we think someone’s making a mistake, we tell them. Not nine months later in an annual review. Immediately.

We’re candid not because we relish the opportunity to correct others. Being candid is usually very hard, for everyone involved. We do it because we’re all in this together, and the faster we know we’re doing something wrong, the faster we can learn how to do it right.

So if you’re willing to be constructively candid to help others learn, you might be a good fit.

People who remember the pale blue dot

We’re working to build a financial institution that can help millions of people achieve upward mobility, better opportunities, and happier lives. But even if we’re successful beyond our wildest dreams, it’s quite likely no one will remember us in a hundred years.

And so, while we take our work seriously, we try not to take ourselves seriously. We value silliness. We value being yourself. Hell, we’re all just a bunch of apes running around on a pale blue dot spinning aimlessly in the enormous, cold expanse that is our universe. So you might as well let your true colors fly and make life fun.

And it turns out that when you don’t take yourself too seriously, you’re more easily able to divorce your ego from your intellect, and be laser focused on finding the correct answer — not the answer that would make you right.

If you can remember that we’re just apes on a pale blue dot, you might be a good fit.