How We Make Things

How We Make Things

How We Make Things

How We Make Things

Make Things

Values are good (we’d even call them sacred). But values don’t build things. People build things.

Here’s how we put values to work.

We are maker owners

When we ask, “Who should do this work for me?” Our default answer is: “Me.”

We are a team of relentlessly resourceful people. No one at Wealthsimple is the kind of “manager” who doesn’t do hands-on work. When we believe something needs an update, a change, or a fix, we start doing it. And then we #ShipIt

When in doubt, we make it ourselves.

Forever In Beta

At Wealthsimple, nothing is ever done.

We value experimentation and iteration over the perfect solution. We recognize that most decisions can be changed or reversed, and that it is often superior to make the “wrong” decision quickly than to make the “right” decision too late. Sometimes we make missteps. But if mistakes happen early, we can adapt and learn.

It means more work sometimes, but it also means endless creativity.
And that’s what makes it fun, right?

Wealthsimple WebsiteWealthsimple Website

Work hard,
but smart

What you accomplish is more important than how many hours you spend at the office. We don’t care about unnecessary face time. We don’t track hours.

Working here will mean some late nights, some weekends, and—especially if you end up in a position of significant responsibility—paying attention to email/Slack
even during off-hours.

But success over the long term requires working smart. That means being efficient, remembering what our highest priorities are and finding the
simplest ways to accomplish them.

We’re running a marathon,
not a sprint

Trust through

Our default setting is: open. As much as possible, we show everyone everything. Because transparency is empowering. It’s empowering to know exactly what fees you're being charged. It’s empowering to know exactly what the
business you work for is doing.

We conduct most conversations on public Slack channels. We invite dissent in our weekly company-wide meeting. We share, internally, our most sensitive numbers and our goals and our decision-making across the organization.

And we’re open about our individual successes and failures. Maybe that means praise, and maybe it means sharing lessons about a project we tried that didn’t work. Because both are important. Honest feedback is constructive, even when we don’t agree with it, as long as we share a common intention: helping Wealthsimple succeed.

Transparency is empowering

We Haven't
Won Yet

We are the underdogs. Upstarts who want to be the world’s most successful financial company. So we have to do more with less. Sounds kind of impossible, right? That’s what makes it exciting. And sure, sometimes exhausting. But we hope
more exciting than exhausting.

We’re in the business of growth. If we have a decision to make, we always ask ourselves: what’s going to help us grow more? We know that growing fast, for a long time, is going to be hard. So we’re always all hands on deck. Everyone, and we mean everyone—from our co-op students to our leadership team, from our engineers to our Client Success Team—has to behave as if their role is crucial. Because it is.

In 2017, we reached a pretty big milestone: $1 billion under management. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, came to our HQ to congratulate us.

CongratsThanksNot So Fast

But we were thinking about other things.

Like: how do we get to $1 trillion?

Demand a diversity
of ideas

Diverse teams build better products and generate better ideas. You can only build great products for your clients if your team understands all the myriad needs and wants of the myriad types of people who need you. Diversity isn't about hitting a number for show, or being accommodating for the sake of being nice. We demand openness, curiosity, and a culture that where everyone can be their true-self and
know their voices will be heard.

Have confidence
and humility

The best leaders are confident and humble. They have conviction in their ideas, but are also open minded. Everyone on the team is here for a reason, so it makes sense that everyone's input is valuable. So share your opinion with confidence, and allow others to question that opinion with confidence and always be ready to admit and learn from mistakes, and try new approaches.

Do Your Homework

Our decisions are driven by data, facts, and rigorous analysis. We do our homework to come up with the right answer because knowing is better than guessing. When we need input from others, we make the most of our time together by preparing and sending materials in advance so that everyone can show up with
an informed perspective for debate.

Debate and then commit

We value communication that is respectful, thoughtful, direct, and timely. Not only is it OK to challenge each other's thinking, it's obligatory. Great solutions don't usually come from social cohesion.

But decisions aren't determined by popular vote. We are a team of Directly Responsible Individuals. And each Directly Responsible Individual owns their decision and is accountable for the outcome. It's important to come to a decision quickly—especially when the decision can be reversed.

And when is that decision made? The debate ends and it's our job to commit 100% to giving it the chance to succeed. And then re-commit if we realize we need to do it over.

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