For those of us out of sync with the European press cycle, “silly season” refers to these last weeks of summer. The news is slow, the days are long, and many workers are taking some much needed time off. The hallmark of silly season, or “cucumber time” as it’s also sometimes called (yes, really!), is lighthearted, cheeky news stories.
What better theme to curate content around for the August roundup? Without further ado… August at Humu.
What we’re up to…
We’ve had an awesome summer, nearly doubling our team with recruits hailing from as far away as Sydney, Australia. We’ve gotten so big that our dishwasher can barely keep up, and we no longer fit in our elevator as a team (though we still try!). To celebrate this growth, I’m kicking off a new series to help you get to know our team better… one “Humun” at a time.
Meet Joy Ekuta, the newest member of the Humu crew at Castro Street.
What were you up to before Humu?
I came to Humu from (another!) stealth startup—though this one was fintech—where I was building out recruiting. Before that I worked in program management and recruiting for software engineering at Two Sigma, where I was a co-creator and leader of the employee resource group Bridging Ethnicities @ Two Sigma.
What are you most excited to accomplish at Humu?
I’m most excited to help build a diverse team for Humu, and to support a product that will impact people’s daily lives. The energy and drive in the office has been contagious! If more workplaces had the opportunity to put into practice what we are learning at Humu, I really believe people could be much happier both in and out of the office.
What’s a fun fact about you that might be surprising?
In 2013, fellow Nigerian MIT alums and I created a nonprofit in Nigeria called ImpactLabs. Through it we run a two-week hands-on engineering workshop for high school and university students from across the country. Our goal is to inspire the next generation to innovate together and create solutions for our community, by our community.
What we’re learning…
We need Humu vests—stat. Fleece vests have become so de rigeur that the “midtown uniform” has its own Instagram account (53K followers and counting). As workplaces eschew business casual, men across the country are swapping suit jackets for cozy fleece. Closer to home, a vending machine at San Francisco airport rakes in over $10K a month selling vests to travelers, ostensibly in town for Silicon Valley business meetings. 200 vests a month at $50 a pop… there’s nothing silly about that business model!
What we’re loving…
Goodbye, vacation guilt! According to researchers, taking time off can lead to higher creativity, boost productivity, and may lead to a raise sooner than later. Despite its benefits, and obvious fun factor, women tend to take less vacation days than men for fear of appearing less committed to their jobs. Sounds like it is time for yours truly to embrace silly season, in the name of success, of course 😉
What we’re reading…
Switch up your beach-reading to get ahead. While the tastes of Humu employees run the gamut from fantasy and sci-fi (heavy on the fantasy) to self-help (shoutout to our girl Marie Kondo!), it should come as no surprise that, career-obsessed as we are, we’re suckers for a leadership read. If you need a little inspo picking out a summer read (or a new virtual mentor), here’s a list of the top leadership books of all-time—we think you’ll especially like #7!