Argent is the first smart wallet for Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies and apps. It was founded by three Belgians, Gerald, Julien, and Itamar. Their team is remote, working from different countries across Europe. We asked Itamar, the company's CEO, some questions about how they work as a team.
How did you decide to build Argent as a remote company?
This was partly chance and partly by design. Argent has three Belgian founders. Two lived in Brussels and wanted to stay there, while I live in London, and likewise didn't want to move. We also work on decentralized technology, a crypto wallet, so we thought the remote angle was fitting. With Brexit looming, it may also be an essential way to maintain access to top talent.
How do you make sure someone is a good fit for a remote team?
Being a remote team does affect who we look for. We're after a track record of working pretty autonomously to the highest standards. People need to be able to learn independently, and quickly, and communicate clearly and concisely. Self-motivation is crucial to all of these, so we also look for clear enthusiasm for our mission.
In our recruitment process, we include quite a lengthy technical assessment for them to do in their own time. The quality and speed at which they do it is an indicator if they're right for the role.
What will be the future of remote work in your opinion?
I think it's going to be an increasingly large part of the economy. It just makes so much sense for people's flexibility, and for increasing opportunities for those living in areas without local companies they'd want to work at.
It will also get easier as specialist services and tools emerge, from compliance to communication.
What is the biggest shortage in the current setting of remote work?
Firstly, a better ability to advertise remote jobs on traditional platforms. For example, on LinkedIn you have to target a city by city, you can't just say Europe or another region.
Secondly, there are a lot of challenges with legal, payroll, and contracts. It's hard to deal with this, so I'm excited about what Deel has to offer in the space.
What do you to do foster relationships in Argent?
The main thing is for one week every three months we all stay in a house somewhere in Europe. We discuss the roadmap, what we can improve as a company, do hackathons - but also just hang out, eat a lot, enjoy whatever the local activities are. So far we've surfed in Portugal, bowled in Brussels and played petanque in Nice.
The remote community seems to be growing- what are the companies you get inspiration from?
We've spent some time researching how prominent remote companies like Buffer and Zapier have approached things. But actually, we've mainly tried to develop our own way of working and building a culture. And in fact, it doesn't quite center on us being remote. It's not something we're that conscious of in our day to day, it just feels pretty natural.
Itamar Lesuisse is the CEO & co-Founder of Argent. He was previously the co-founder and CEO of Peak, the leading mobile cognitive training service with over 60m users. Peak was acquired by Lagardere in 2016. Prior to Peak, he worked at Visa, Amazon, and BCG.