Our offering is designed to give our team more control over how much money we make.
Table of contents
Axe throwing in Toronto with Playlab
We all share in the company's profit, in a egalitarian and generous way.
Our profit share calculator is here, and the math is open source here. It's not a measily bonus given at the end of the year, but instead it's vesting share of our generous profit pool that we calculate right before christmas.
An employee who's been at Sanctuary Computer for 3 - 4 years might make between $32,000 to $48,000 USD in profit share after a successful year.
The longer you've been at Sanctuary, the deeper the grooves of your effect on our group dynamic and mindshare. Everyone at Sanctuary earns one (1x) profit share unit per month, capped at four years worth (or 48).
We believe this is far more valuable than equity - Sanctuary Computer is just a bunch of desks and monitors in a room. What's really valuable is our ability to generate profit year over year, so that's what we distribute to our team.
Secondly, we have a salary cap of
$90,000 USD. Even the most senior developers here won't make higher than the salary cap (yes, including Hugh).
Your starting salary will fall somewhere below the cap, based on how experienced, autonomous and reliable you are.
Without a salary cap, we wouldn't be able to implement such a generous profit share plan, so it should be best understood as a "base salary" - it's not supposed to be compared to market value, as market value salaries don't have a massive profit share (and rarely include 100% Healthcare contributions), like ours.
Making More Money
Growing your salary is simple: it's measured by value, and is totally up to you. Outside of "just doing your job", the following traits make you more valuable to the company:
From a high level - we're able to justify paying an individual more money if they are growing more valuable to the company. As a creative person, you become more valuable as your depth and bredth of experience grows, not because you're smarter, but because you're able to achieve more with less help, and thus we need less people to achieve bigger things.
We're a razor sharp technology company, and for that reason, precision is valued highly, both internally and externally. Take the time to really understand what you're doing so you can do it right straight up, and triple check everything is correct before showing anyone. This allows your team and clients to trust you more, and spend less time fixing your mistakes for you.
Clients are paying us to do work for them, and for that reason, they hold us to a very high standard (and rightly so). Even just a couple small mistakes or typos in contracts, documents or website copy can start degrading their trust in our ability. That's not accceptable!
If you're a someone who's patient and willing to spend the time educating others through pull requests and pair programming, your expertise will have an amplifing effect on the value of the team. It takes a lot of effort, but it doesn't go unnoticed: it's a big deal.
Creatives who can achieve things on their own while needing less hand-holding or help from others are using less of the team's time. This might mean you know more programming languages, or take lessons to better learn how to use our tools; but it doesn't mean you need to be an expert, either.
Autonomy can mean taking an extra 30 minutes to google something yourself before asking, or making a judgement call on a design solution without breaking someone else's focus to ask.
Of course, there are cases when communication is far more important that Autonomy, and in those cases, communicating well is important. If you're unable to solve a problem, and need someone's help to move forward, you should ask as soon as possible, and give that person all of the context and information they will need to help you quickly and efficiently.
The same is of true of responding - good communication makes no assumptions of what the person may or may not know. Well crafted emails go a long, long way, and treat your inbox with care. Take the time to communicate, it means a lot to everyone!
Gone are the days of the nerdy developer in a cave. At Sanctuary, you're responsible to be able to craft emails to clients on your own. The better you do with communication, the better the end result.
Being "Client Facing"
Client facing team members are not simply "people who can sit in a meeting". To be client facing, you should know how to confidently explain parts of the system in language a client would understand, talk through concerns in the timeline, break down complexity and deflect agressive questions with a friendly tone. Clients should come away from every interaction feeling welcome and understood, no exceptions. If they "don't get it", we didn't do a good job in communicating.
Premptive Action / Dodging Human Error
The most reliable source of mistakes in our line of work stems from human error. For better projects, it's incredibly important that you are constantly on alert for moments when clients or collaborators might drop the ball, and doing what you can to predict and solve for that mistake ahead of time.
A practical example? When you send an email that requires feedback, always set a reminder to followup with that person after a week or so. You have no guarentee they'll even open it without a poke, and if they don't, that can mean missing a deadline.
Blogging, Email Blasts, and Social Media
As we gain more and more recognition and momentum, we all make more profit. Part of bringing in work (and new hires!) at a company like ours is self promotion, and by all means, it's too much work for one person to do alone. If you want to write posts for our Medium, or create content for our Instagram / Twitter, please do!
Taking more Responsibility
In traditional jobs, taking on more responsibility often works like this:
- You ask your boss for more responsibility
- Your boss gives you an extra job to do
And sure, you can do that here too.
However, because this is not a normal company with a normal management structure, the best way to take on more responsiblity is to identify somewhere we can improve as a team, and make it your job to fix it. If you think that someone is spending far too long doing things that aren't valuable for their time spent, tell them you can help! If you think one of our technology stack or code styleguide can use some tweaking, do the work to bring it up to speed.
The best way to take on responsiblity is to create positive change. New ideas are always welcomed, and are incredibly valuable.