Aesthetic (formerly Plato Design)
Aesthetic helps companies become more valuable through design.
We’re building technology that disrupts the design agency model by being able to scale the number of projects we work on at the same time beyond that of any agency that’s ever existed. We believe that if we can do this, we can make quality design accessible to every company in the world.
We think this is important because it’s letting us offer the service quality of a big agency at a cost that’s less than a single freelancer.
All of our engineering projects have measurable impact on real customers and revenue.
Features we build are driven by demand. Our customers pay us at least $5000/mo for subscription design services, so we have highly engaged customers who are invested in our roadmap and give quick feedback on product ideas.
Our revenue has grown >20% every month since we started in July 2018.
To build a seamless experience for customers to receive design iterations and give feedback, our creative directors and the designers in our network have a complex series of briefs, asset handoffs, creative reviews, and deliverable preparation. We're building a workflow engine to automate this tedious coordination, letting creatives focus on the work they love.
We believe that by automating the non-creative work and by building augmentation tools for creative work (e.g. visually searching through design portfolios, automating competitor design comparison through web crawls, etc), we're creating a truly unique design agency.
We're a remote-first team.
Working with freelance designers around the world, we felt that it was only appropriate for our team to be distributed from day 1 (even during YC).
We're thrilled at how the commitment to working remotely translates into better work-life balance, and it's great motivation to be thoughtful about written communication and to really value any synchronous time we spend together as a team or in smaller groups.
We're second-time founders.
Our cofounders previously founded URX (YC S'13), a mobile deep-linking company acquired by Pinterest in 2016.
Having learned a lot of lessons the hard way as founders and managers, we're excited to put those lessons to work, growing a real business and building a culture that we can be proud of. Two things we learned never to compromise on: - We value writing and great communication - We've made sure that our goals and metrics are measured and reviewed weekly from the very first week we started operating.
Aesthetic's engineering team is managed by its CTO, Andrew Look. We meet as a team each Monday to prioritize the work that we want to do for the week to support our key releases. This process is done in conjunction with our Head of Product / CEO, John Milinovich, and Product Design Lead, Jake Doering.
We don't overly prescribe to one single project management methodology, because we think that's ab bit too rigid. We tend to work in a scrum-lite process, with heavy use of GitHub Issues and ZenHub.
We prefer structured conversation when talking about our project work (ie, in GitHub Issues) and use Slack for more informal conversation and questions.
Plato is one part software company and one part design agency. Each day, our software team does user research on our agency team to understand their processes and workflows. Our goal is to evolve our agency from human-centric to machine-centric processes.
Practically speaking, this means that we often need to
back solve from the user problem into the right technical solutions, which sometimes feels a bit backwards compared to traditional software design paradigms.
How might we define a state machine for design projects, and automatically keep it up to date by mining our design workflow?
How might we use traditional IR techniques to expand the recall of human operators? For example,
which creatives in our network are skilled at copywriting and are available to start a project right now?
How might we apply traditional operations research methodologies to measure and systematically automate as much of the non-creative part of the design workflow as possible?
We're a culture built on trust, respect and accountability. We aim to empower each of our employees to be a contributing member to both our work product as well as our company culture. At Plato, you will not find any
glass ceilings or any people telling you what you can't do.
We have a
responsible PTO policy - take as much time off as you need, so long as you are hitting your goals!
Every 6 months we get the entire team in a cool destination to help us build
in person bonds and get to know each other better.
We ask that all employees have at least 4 overlapping hours of work — 10a - 2p pst — but other than that, let people find the hours that work best for their rhythm.
We offer premium, health, vision and dental insurance.
We offer up to 4% 401k matching
We are a distributed team with hubs in San Francisco (North Beach) and Brooklyn (Williamsburg). Work from wherever best suits you!
Interested in this company?
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