As one of the few companies that does cutting-edge data engineering and machine learning—and is not a venture-backed product company or a large global brand—we often get questions that broadly fall under the umbrella of: “Why Manifold?”
We have written up this document in the spirit of trying to help people decide if Manifold might be a fit for them. We have also identified some of the reasons we have seen for why Manifold may not be a fit. We hope you find it helpful!
My only goal is to gradient boost over myself of yesterday. And to repeat this everyday with an unconquerable spirit.
— attributed to Mike Kim
Build Impactful Data Products
- We deliver production software—not research, not PowerPoints, not Jupyter notebooks.
- Zero to One. We work on (what we believe) is the best part of the product development lifecycle for our clients—v1 or v2, not v77 of a system that has been running for years. While we appreciate the engineering challenges of working on large complex systems that will live for years or decades, we also enjoy the energy of a new product.
- See the entire data product development lifecycle—from strategy, to architecting, to prototyping, to deployment. Our clients vary substantially in their starting point. Some line of business owners come to us with “Can you help me do AI?” while others are research scientists who need help in applying deep learning to model a complex dynamic system.
- Manifold is the rare place where your work is actually going to be used by a large number of people. Our clients are Fortune 2000 companies. Products that are used in production environments at their organizations affect thousands to millions of people.
- Deep technical work in data engineering and machine learning—we have filed several patents with our clients based on our work with them.
- Work on new client products every few months, giving you a breadth of experience across data engineering, machine learning, and machine learning engineering. You will have an opportunity to work on product development in areas as diverse as signal processing to traditional retail.
- A view into vertical-specific business processes that are fertile ground for software and ML-oriented company creation ideas.
- Recent projects include:
- Healthcare/pharma–developing personalized therapeutic dosing models
- Consumer electronics–smart retail products, augmented reality
- Media–recommender system for consumer preferences
- Telecom—adaptive wireless networking, reinforcement learning
- See more on our Case Studies page.
- Machine learning and data engineering is our business. We don’t do anything else. You are not a supporting function. It is the only function. Imagine a company built by engineers, for engineers. We are that company.
- An environment built to facilitate deep work. We try to minimize interruptions that take away from your ability to think deeply about problems. We have a writing-driven culture (for reasons that are similar to what’s articulated by the team at Amazon here) to ensure that we are being efficient with our time and only discussing topics when discussion is appropriate, after significant cognitive work has already been done.
- Manifold aims to make everyone 10x engineers through deliberate practice of making better decisions. We are particularly keen on mental models—both generally and around building data products in general. As an example, read about our Lean AI process.
Experience High-Growth Company Building
- Manifold expects to double every year for the next four years.
- Experience the professional opportunities that are only available in high growth organizations as well as the learnings from addressing the challenges that are unique to high growth organizations.
- Opportunity to directly work with the level of senior talent you would only find at big companies, but in a small company environment. We have amazing advisors, and we collaborate with academic and industry partners.
Build Your Brand, Build Our Brand
- At Manifold, we emphasize and support reading, writing, and public speaking for our entire team, helping everyone build their personal brands. Manifold’s brand is a sum of every individual’s personal brand. Team members have been part of patent filings, academic publications, open source contributions, and of course, blog posts, magazine articles, and speaking at events.
- Manifold provides a flexible environment for work-life integration. Each of our lives makes unique demands on our time, and we leave it to you to attend to your personal and family commitments as well as to your work commitments. It’s about getting what you promised done.
- We offer part-time employment that actually only requires you to work the hours that you want. If you are at a life stage where you would like to work 40% or 60% of your time while doing technically challenging work at the same caliber of technical prowess as being at a cutting-edge technology company, we have a unique ability to offer that
- Base compensation that is 75th percentile, no negotiation required.
- Unlimited PTO.
- Platinum tier health, dental, vision benefits.
- 3% automatic contribution by Manifold to your 401(k)
Why Not Manifold?
We also find that sometimes, folks prefer an alternative to Manifold. You are making this decision once, and we have seen many others make it. We thought we would share the patterns we’ve seen.
- I would like 99th percentile base compensation, rather than 75th percentile. I am willing to accept the other trade-offs required in terms of hours, politics, interestingness, colleagues, etc.
- I would like a global brand on my resume.
- I would like to primarily be doing research, more so than solving customer challenges.
- I would like to be part of company pursuing ludicrous growth to get to a quick exit, rather than rapid but sustainable growth to build a lasting business. I am willing to accept the trade-offs required in terms of hours and stress.
- I would like to be on a team getting tech press coverage (e.g., for raising money), more so than one quietly generating revenue from customers.