Lost in Space


Gwendoline Soulier
Aug 11, 2016 Column

Lost in Space

Hey it’s summer and for me at craft ai, the work is a bit calm. So I take the time to tell you a little story about my beginning at craft ai and my first impression when I joined the team. It's quite funny but you will find that working in a startup can be a strange experience at first. This article is equally a wink to my counterpart at Recast AI because our feelings were similar ;)

A few months ago, I joined the craft ai team as a Communication officer. The first days were not easy especially when you join a strong cohesive team only composed of tech persons. It felt a bit like I was disturbing their world/universe and completely upsetting mine because I almost knew nothing about programming and Artificial intelligence.

First days...

I never had the occasion to work for a startup before. It was a real discovery for me to say the least. My first day at craft ai looked like the movie “I am Legend”... alone against an army of zombies… Except that the zombies are just my new colleagues! Not easy to get into a team of developers and AI experts when yourself you know nothing about this domain. I was completely lost, with no frame of reference. I felt alone in the world and I did miss my former colleagues… I am Legend

So I simply stayed calm and tried not to show how I could be disturbed by this unsettling first day. At 9:50am, everyone stood up to place in the middle of the open space. I thought like:

    “it's weird, they will do the rain dance or invoke the god of artificial intelligence?”

Not at all. They started to tell what they did the previous day. This is what they call the Daily. Hum very interesting! The Daily is a way to keep informed the other colleagues about the work realised the previous day. I find this practice rather good and it allows to start the day smoothly. But there is a glitch: The more I listened to them the more I wondered if I did not accidentally teleport to another planet.


I did not understand their technical jargon: they literally communicate in coded language! Fortunately, some of them took pity on me and finally they slowed down a bit and explained to me some technical terms. At the end, I did not understand anything but the key was there.

After the daily, we had to get to work. Where to start? I put some days to know what to do and how to do it. Finally I realised that I was formatted by my former company where I had to constantly make powerpoint presentation to justify my choice and my actions instead of putting my effort into actual work. I remember having heard a colleague say:

    “Why you do that? You are losing your time. There you don’t need to make google slide to justify your actions!”

And then everything becomes clear in the depths of me!!! I soon abandoned that idea and I started to produce things in a simpler and more effective way. Brilliant!

Oh, I remember my first Communication action. It was a little destabilizing. I had to write a newsletter for our beta users including the token that allows access to the API. And there,

    “Oh my god!”

I know how to make a Newsletter, it was not a problem for me but:

    “What is a token? What’s the point? I don’t know the “technical” vocabulary to do that and I am not sure to understand what is an API in details… HELP”

One of my colleague came to my rescue and took his time to explain and help me realize this simple yet important task, “phew”.

Step by step, I discovered the startup ambiance: a work atmosphere unmatched by the biggest companies. Here we are relaxed, we work a little, a lot, passionately, to madness, almost! It breathes ambition, passion and mutual aid. There is no limits to realise something. I learned we can make everything with craft ai API: yes I know… as a novice, I am easily impressed but it is true! :) At craft ai, we can imagine a lot of projects and use cases to answer many problematics. I find it very incredible!

How it is today

Days and weeks have passed. Now it's been four months since I've been working here. It feels like it has been longer. Maybe it is the sign that I really am part of the team? In any case, I understand better my colleagues when they have a technical discussion and for me it is awesome! I can follow their projects closely and participate on it but from afar because don’t forget that I’m not a tech person :) I understand what craft ai do and my next challenge will be to succeed in presenting what we are and what we do during a meeting, a meetup or a conference. I already have the jitters just thinking about it. Fingers crossed for me! :)

I regret nothing