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28 Comments

No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees.

  1. 13

    Really interesting read.

    It still blows my mind that 99% of office roles are still 5 days / week, Monday to Friday - why is there basically no variation on this model? I'd be more than happy to work a job for 80% salary for 4 days per week...

    1. 3

      In the Netherlands, working fewer days for a % decrease in salary is extremely common, many people work 4 days/week for 80% of salary. As so many people do this, there is no real stigma with it.

      My wife joined a startup of 10 people where no one works more than 4 days/week.

      As I understand, this is unique to this country, though.

      1. 2

        Ye I've been hearing that the working conditions in the Netherlands are amazing

        I heard there is even a law which says a company must accept an employee's request to work part time if they have been there for 1+ years.

        1. 1

          It's also not unusual in Switzerland.
          I'm doing this as well.

  2. 11

    Thanks for sharing! Happy to answer any questions people have.

    1. 2

      Great concept and makes me think about the 'precepts' I want to create for my own company. I'm wondering though - how did you get the confidence to hire people remotely and part-time on just a 24-hour response schedule? Speaking from my own experience, even 'just' a remote-first company is hard enough to handle. How do you make sure each of your employees or contractors is making enough of a contribution that warrants the money you spend on him?

    2. 1

      Thanks so much for the details on gumroad. It's really inspiring and I added it to the list of inspirations for my project's values, because I also plan for nobody to work full time. Society can't change if workers don't have time for self improvement and civic engagement.

      I have so many questions! I appreciate any insight you can offer.

      1. You mentioned you don't offer health care which seems alright if you just pay people cash for it. But how do you address job security and other benefits of more standard jobs that are not financial in such a flexible model? For example, does gumroad offer paid maternity leave? What happens if someone gets disabled?

      2. Do you hire outside of the US? If yes, how do you handle local labor laws that are intended to prevent precarious work conditions?

      1. 1
        1. We currently don't address them in any way besides paying them well enough.

        2. Yes, we do. We are in full compliance with any local laws to my knowledge (we have lawyers and accountants who make sure with every new "hire").

        1. 1

          Thanks for replying!

          1. Do you intend to in the future?
          2. Doesn't any of this compliance require that you add certain benefits besides salary? Or is it only a matter of contract wording? (like the person must be allowed to contract to other companies, can contract other people to do their work on their behalf, etc)
          1. 2
            1. Depends on what people want.
            2. As mentioned, we’re in full compliance. So I presume the answer is no.
    3. 1

      Hello @sahil,

      first of all, thank you for sharing the information about your way of working. It's really showing different ways of thinking which I wish more companies would at least try to consider.

      Inspired by your post, I just launched Creator Jobs with the goal of reaching more companies that offer these different kinds of opportunities for their future employees.

      Is it possible that we somehow get in touch the next time you're looking for a contractor so I can promote it on the site?

    4. 1

      could someone start off with a structure like this? love that you are so open on things like this.

    5. 1

      How would you sum up your differences between competitors such as substack or boon.tv?

      I’m starting up a video newsletter and haven’t committed to one platform yet.

      1. 2

        They're all subtly different in design and functionality. We're a lot more affordable than Substack, though I do like them a lot for free written newsletters.

  3. 6

    Great read. As someone who is just getting started, this serves as a great reminder that there are countless ways to build a company and they each have trade-offs and benefits.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. 5

    Super interesting read.

    I'd love to see a more detailed look at how you run your Notion sometime, @sahil. We also use Notion a ton with the team at IH. Rather than a complex organizational hierarchy, we work from a simple list of docs that are ordered reverse-chronologically by the "last edited" time, so the most relevant stuff is usually near the top. But our team is much smaller than Gumroad's, so not sure if this approach would scale. I'm also curious about how much detail goes into your tasks, who adds them, etc.

    1. 9

      I’d love to do a recorded Zoom about this maybe?

    2. 2

      I moved my community section out of that though, don't tell my boss. 🤫

    3. 1

      They have shared a sneak peak into their workflow before. How they use Notion can be read on their Public Wiki hosted on Notion here.

  5. 4

    AMAZING read! Thank you. It goes so much to say that the world is changing about how we all work and bring value to the table. I was surprised to suddenly see that Sahil was proposing to go back to full-time, but it is this kind of "moment" that makes us go through a thought exercise. Good stuff!

  6. 3

    I'm curious how you found the Indian firm to help and how much it costed?

  7. 2

    Do you follow any self management principles? Or are you just going with the flow?

  8. 1

    The article is great! I can't imagine a well known tech company can operate without a single ft staff. It looks like an open source project with a substantial amount of revenue.

    But who and how to decide raising salary?

  9. 1

    I think it’s coolest thing I ever heard in the past year.

  10. 1

    @sahil Wow, that was a great read, that's one company I wouldn't mind working for, are you accepting applicants ;D ? I really liked the end, I wonder if Gumroad is a good fit for my project MockMechanics? I could sell machines, tutorials on how to make them, exclusive videos. Definitely a path I should investigate.

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