Building a world-class engineering environment

Last updated:

|Edit this page

We know we've got to be quick to build all the tools in one. So we better have a world-class engineering environment that lets us build everything. How do we do that?

No product management by default

Engineers decide what to build. If you need help, our product manager (we have one today) will give you coaching.

If an engineer at PostHog believes they should work on X, they can build X. We'd prefer you ship ten things quickly (and make a couple of mistakes) than plan too much. You will tend to gather more information by doing rather than planning.

There are some exceptions - for example, where we need to work on architecture, but we leave it down to you to decide when you should plan more or just get started.

Transparency is fuel for autonomy

In nearly any company, having each engineer decide what to work on would fail. Why? They simply would lack enough context over what the company is aiming for, or what everyone else is up to.

PostHog is exceptionally transparent. You're reading our public handbook after all.

It starts with hiring

Finally, we hire people we think will flourish in an autonomous environment. We often hire people with broader rather than narrower skill sets, who are more flexible. They've often started (and often failed) their own startups. They're low ego and flexible. They're builders at heart who love innovating and working like this.

One of the things we've learned is the very strongest engineers are usually those who want autonomy the most, and so freedom is a great way to attract and retain world-class talent. Now that we're lucky enough to have people like this already here, people see PostHog as a destination company, accelerating further our access to some of the best people in the world at what they do.

A high percentage of our employees are engineers

If we want to ship a lot, we need to figure out how we can have most of capital go into engineering.

We have zero outbound sales, and a hyperefficient go-to-market, largely driven by self-serve. Since we focus on engineers, we have less customer support and set-up handholding than all our competitors.

80% of the company are shipping product.

Deep work

When you're doing engineering, you're in the business of building up large, abstracted models in your head of how the code works. That takes time and requires focus. Doing a ton of meetings is a great way to screw this up.

We therefore have meeting-free days every Tuesday and Thursday. We encourage you to call it out if things are going into your calendar on these days. Since we also are all remote, these usually give you lengths of uninterrupted time to get your work done.

The only exceptions to this rule are for customer success and recruitment, who may need to have external meetings with users or candidates on these days in order to do their jobs.


Was this page useful?

Next article

Not running out of money

Stay calm and default alive We don't optimize for short-run revenue growth, but we do make sure we have enough money to never feel dependent on future fundraising. If we average 5% MoM growth, we are default alive (i.e. we'll become profitable before we run out of capital). If we average 7.5% we'll hit $100m by the end of 2026. Maintaining a strong financial position helps us optimize for long-term revenue growth. For example, we've removed products and revenue for long-term gains. Fundraising…

Read next article