This is a fluid document stating what our values are at Nearside. We will talk about these values from time to time, and how our daily work ties into them. Do you think we should add another value? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
Economic progress for one group doesn't have to come at the expense of another. Wealth is created through the application of labor and capital to provide goods and services to their others. SMB owners are willing and able to provide sweat equity and hard work so that they can build a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities. Our job then is to help support these folks with financial and software tools to help them grow so that together we can build a better economy.
Example: Banks depend on add-on fees as a material part of their revenue ($34.3B in overdraft fees alone in 2017). For large regional banks, that can get as high as 40% of their total revenue. When 40% of adults in the US don't have cash on hand to cover a $400 emergency expense, traditional banking institutions are profiting at the cost of economic well-being (or in most cases, just existence) of the poorest in America. The promise of FinTech is that we can lever software and automation (through ML, or sometimes good ol' fashioned expert systems) to provide better, cheaper financial services to more people using less resources and pass the cost savings to our users.
Seek to understand before being understood. Arguments are polarizing and everyone brings something to the table. It is important to understand someone else’s views as much as it is important for them to understand yours. The important part of that sentence is *seek—*you have to actively try to understand the person you are working with across from you. If you assume good faith, then most disagreements and arguments are solved through discussion, compromise, empathy, and understanding. And assuming good faith is a safe bet given that everyone you work with here are good people. Remember, everyone brings something to the table and it is important to understand their views!
Data Science Example: I want to use library X for my ExtraTrees model—you want to use library Y because you want to use the traditional RandomForest model. I think I know for a fact that ExtraTrees is computationally faster and I've won this argument several times across previous jobs. I need to understand that:
Most of our customers are and will be small businesses at their most fragile state. Individuals might depend on us for their business' livelihood. Delivering financial services and honest credit to them is not dependent on how many hours we work, or how hard we try. It is dependent on whether we succeed at helping small business owners succeed. Effort alone is not enough—thoughtful planning, discussion, empathy, and execution are required to deliver a working product for our customers
Sales Example: I could put in 100-hour weeks blindly calling every seller on Yelp, but I would be more effective and work less time by thinking more: