Connecting talented developers to amazing remote roles.
Role: Founder, CEO
What drew you to this particular problem that Arc is solving?
Arc actually grew out of our platform Codementor, which helps learners get mentorship and advice from expert developers through short videos. We’ve grown it to become the world’s largest platform with live instruction for developers.
About two years into Codementor, users and site visitors began to say, “Hey, you have all these great developers scattered around the world! Could we hire them, either full-time or as contractors?” Initially, we were hesitant — we saw ourselves as purely educational — but eventually, we decided to integrate a talent marketplace within the platform. So, in 2019, we launched Arc to connect our experts and members with longer-term job opportunities.
New software and tools have drastically improved remote work for employers and employees alike, both before COVID and especially recently. And, at Arc, our core belief is that remote work enables amazing talent to find amazing roles. To complete the cycle and support remote work across the board, we aspire to become the world’s largest remote jobs site while also making remote work a mainstream career option.
What has been the most significant hurdle you've faced so far?
As I mentioned before, we started the Arc brand in 2019, still before “coronavirus” became a word we’ve all unfortunately grown accustomed to. In those more innocent days, there was a common misconception that working remotely was only synonymous with being a digital nomad or a freelancer. The concept of remote work is far greater than this, and it has been a significant issue within our industry for some time. Indeed, we believe in the potential for remote work to be a viable long-term career path, rather than a short-term option.
Skip ahead a year later, and, because of COVID, people all over the world in almost every industry had to quickly come to terms with working remotely out of pure necessity. And, while it has been devastating, without a doubt, it brought with it a silver lining – remote work has become much more mainstream.
We believe that remote work can be a legitimate career option for many people, opening the doors to better opportunities for everyone more equally. At Arc, we’re on a mission to remove the friction and hurdles to working remotely, for companies and developers alike.
What’s the best piece of user feedback you’ve gotten so far?
I think it was hearing a developer from Brazil share with us that signing up for Arc was “the best career move” he’s made so far. He’s worked locally in Brazil, but Arc allowed him to tap into global opportunities; he then landed a remote role at a US-based company. Above all else, we’re a mission driven company; we’re here to help people find great jobs they enjoy. So that was the best piece of feedback we could’ve received, as it reminded us why we wake up each morning and do what we do.
Is there a specific source of inspiration that keeps you pushing through tougher moments?
It may sound cheesy, but I focus on legacy — specifically, the legacy I’ll leave behind for my 5-year-old daughter, Mumu. There are tons of founders out there wanting to make billions of dollars and, sure, money is definitely nice, but I don’t see the point without impact. I want Mumu to grow up understanding the value of hard work, commitment, and creativity, while also granting her a lifestyle with the freedom and opportunity to become a success in her own right.
What has been your biggest misstep and what did you learn from that moment?
We aren’t an early stage startup anymore. As the CEO, I’ve had to evolve away from the individual contributor mindset — taking on whatever needed to be done myself — and, instead, learn to delegate well. I know this is ultimately better for our team and company.
The CEO can be the bottleneck of a startup’s growth — you have to evolve as your company does.
What was YC like?
I mean, it was an amazing experience for me. What really struck me was the power of the YC community – it’s a network you have for life. I’m a living testament that its effect lasts far beyond the duration of the program.
You have access to this network of founders who can give you tips on how to recruit, how to build a sales team, best practices on running a remote company, and far more. As Arc grows, I’ve also been able to give back and offer what I’ve learned to newer founders now facing similar challenges I’ve just overcome.
What’s a song or album that’s gotten you through 2020?
While it may sound a bit too calm or tame for a modern startup founder, Spotify’s Calming Classical playlist definitely helped me get through 2020! I listen to it all the time, and the soothing tracks inspire me to be more creative while also reducing any stress and tension I might be feeling.
Favorite emoji or gif?
When I’m wearing my CEO hat, the rocket (🚀), the celebration emoji (🎉), or the flexed arm (💪) — these are all positive and motivate us to keep up the good work. But otherwise, the laughing-crying emoji (😂) is my go-to symbol, as I enjoy keeping work with the team light and fun.