I would love to tell you that we had a grand scheme to build a distributed team back in 2009 before remote work was trendy.
The truth is that, at Tortuga, working remotely was an accident.
My co-founder, Jeremy, and I were living in separate cities and were tied to our lives there. I was working for Google in San Francisco and Jeremy was in film school at USC.
We started working on Tortuga remotely out of necessity. With just the two of us, it never felt like a decision. Remote was a necessity.
When we started to hire teammates in 2014, we already had 5 years of remote work experience under our belts. We weren't moving or turning back. We had to make it work.
When the time came to grow, we looked for the right teammates regardless of their location. I'm still the only Tortuga employee in the Bay Area. To make remote work a rule, we defined one of our core values as "Working on Our Terms," i.e. remotely.
Years later, we've built our company and its systems around working from anywhere. In the links below, I share more about our story and how we make remote work... work.
Why We Work Remotely: How Tortuga became a remote company and why working remotely went from a coincidence to a core value.
For Remote Workers
Want to get hired at a remote company? Here's how to get hired and how to prepare yourself for success as a remote employee.
How to Get an Interview: Written after I read 778 resumes in a month. Stand out or don't bother applying.
Remote Companies Hire for Impact, Not for Potential: I hope that this will change in the future, but, for now, you should be prepared to impact your remote company on Day 1. Don't wait around for any training.
5 Habits to Break Before Working Remotely: Remote work doesn't just require developing new habits. You'll have to break some old (bad) habits.
The Remote Work Buyer's Guide: All the gear you need to set up a productive home office.
For Remote Teams
Two Heuristics for Determining if Your Remote Culture Will Succeed or Fail: If your team isn't "default remote," expect to fail.
Busyness as a Proxy for Productivity and Output Over Hours: Doing something doens't mean that you've accomplished anything. On a remote team, you can only measure success by your results, not by how much time you spent at your desk.
The Importance of Trust in Remote Teams: Without trust, your team will implode. This is true of any team but even more consequential in remote companies.
The Remote Work Tech Stack: The software that we use to keep our remote team working well together.
Read more about remote work.
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