Flush with a $10 million round of venture funding, Life360 is expanding its IT staff as it builds additional features into its family location and communication app. The San Francisco-based startup, which was founded five years ago and counts Facebook and Google among its investors, has added more than 40 million users and received good buzz in publications from The Wall Street Journal to VentureBeat.
Life360’s free service offers a location map of family members and a chat feature, as well as a one-click check-in feature. Its newly launched premium product adds features like roadside assistance and an expanded location history. With its new round of funding, the company plans to develop strategic growth initiatives, such as localizing the app for international markets and integrating it with home security and automotive partners.
“People sometimes think we are only an app for moms, but almost half of our users don’t even have kids and we are not a ‘child tracker,’” says Chris Hulls, Life360 CEO and Co-Founder. “We have a much broader utility that sometimes gets overlooked by younger engineers. We have a product that solves a real daily problem – we aren’t just another social network that you use to share cat pictures.”
Who They’re Looking For
Life360 now has 32 people on its staff and plans to increase that to about 40 people with its additional funding. Almost all of the new positions will be for engineering and product specialists. “We process 250 million requests a day, and will be launching a public API,” Hulls says, adding that back-end engineers will help the company scale its platform.
Mobile developers are also needed. “We are a mobile first company,” Hulls points out. “But our mobile devs will also do stuff like build apps for in-dash car infotainment systems.”
How to Read a Job Posting
Life360’s job postings clearly delineate between must-have skills and frosting on the cake. Or, in the company’s parlance, “requirements” and “bonus points.” Explains Hulls: “We’re trying to whittle down our job listings to only the things that truly matter to us, so if it’s in the listing, it’s an important skill, trait, to have.”
The Interview Process and White Board Test
Before sending your resume off, download their app and play with it. If you get an interview, you can be sure you’ll be asked about your experience with it.
Typically, Life360 begins its process with a phone interview. If you move onto the next step, be prepared to meet with five to 10 people over the course of a couple days, largely one-on-one. Interviews will include whiteboard tests, or possibly a homework assignment.
Beyond the knowledge you demonstrate during the tests, Life360 will be looking for the right cultural fit. For starters, engineers and developers who have “genuinely nice” baked into their DNA have a leg up, as do those who crave working on unique products, rather than the 3,532th photo sharing app.
Most of all, Hulls emphatically says: “We need people who are passionate about our product. No wallflowers.”
Advice for Seasoned Professionals
Going to a Life360 interview with great examples of your past work is a given. However, if you’re an engineer or developer, you should also be prepared to articulate not only why something worked out, but also why parts of it didn’t. This helps you demonstrate what you’ve learned and how you can apply it in the future.
You’re sure to be asked what you’re seeking in your next position. It’s a question that job candidates don’t typically face in an interview, and Hulls wants the response to be genuine. “If someone is stretching the truth just to sound like they belong at Life360, it’s pretty easy to tell,” he warns.
Advice for New Graduates
Graduates typically don’t have the work experience to make them strong candidates, but they can move the needle in their favor by researching the company, industry and competition. Equally important, college grads need to articulate why the geolocation and communication space intrigues them. “We’re looking for authentic interest in what we do, and excitement to contribute to it,” Hulls says.
Images: entrepreneurship.berkeley.edu, Dice