AE Studio is an LA-based company focused on increasing human agency while maintaining our ineffable culture and whimsy. If the work diminishes agency, we may simply decide to “eff” it after all. In our Venice CA office and our respective domiciles live a team of highly-skilled developers, data scientists, and dubiously-lucid humorists building agency-increasing products you may recall from such sentences as the one in this paragraph. We’ve worked with Samsung, Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway, and other large, important entities you’ve probably heard of. Our work environment is fantastic for aspiring coders, calculators, and entrepreneurs. Also, we have neither VC, nor PE, nor other acronyms funding us. We have a weird business model where we sell our work for a profit and use those profits to pay people (I told you it was weird!).
More specifically, we deploy the proceeds from our consulting work in development and data science and our skunkworks proceeds to support research into cause areas we think are of paramount interest to human beings. We have made a name for ourselves in cutting-edge brain computer interface (BCI) R&D, and now we want to replicate past successes and solve the problem of AI alignment (aligning future powerful systems with human best interests). We want to optimize for human agency, if you feel similarly, please apply to support our research efforts. Data scientists will have the opportunity between client projects to work on important alignment research, with the opportunity to potentially have your research project prioritized if particularly promising.
Do you have strong problem-solving skills? Do you have a disposition suited for self-management? Have you ever composed a Gilbert and Sullivan parody that would offend Victorian sensibilities? If you can say “yes” to two of those three questions, please apply!
Working at AE means receiving equity in some of our client projects and in the Skunkworks projects we incubate. The equity granted is priced at a value of $0 when you receive it. If it were otherwise, you’d be forced to pay taxes. But to be clear, there are no free lunches, only the choice of who pays for your sandwich.
At AE, the equity you receive is not free to AE. We invest millions annually in Skunkworks projects - paying our employees to build technology for which no client pays a bill. We receive equity from certain clients, which means we accept less in terms of our billable rate. We then pass that equity on to our employees. Sure it’s priced at $0 on day 1 - a call option on a stock trading at $100 with a strike price of $100 is priced at $0 today for tax purposes, but you’d want to receive that option. If you received that option on a dozen stocks, you’d be fairly confident that some of them would be worth a lot more than $0.
Offering this equity (by investing in Skunkworks or offering clients a lower rate) comes out of AE’s margins. Theoretically, we should be lowering salaries to compensate. But we’re competitive on that front as well. Over the long-term, we believe AE employees who stick around are likely to fare extremely well monetarily (no legal promises). We think long-term. You should too when you choose your employer.
We are looking to hire people who think long term. People create exponentially more value here in their 3rd or 4th year rather than their 1st or 2nd, and that only increases. The value you create leads to more equity issued every year, and you retain it while you remain at AE or at a Skunkworks co that spins out, in order to free up equity for others, which is how we afford to be generous with the equity.
* Disclaimer: If you leave AE on good terms, you can retain 20% of your equity if you continue to send leads our way, share our core values, etc. If you leave AE for your own AE-incubated Skunkworks project (or someone else’s), you retain 100% of your equity. Folks create exponentially more value here in their 3rd and 4th years than their 1st or 2nd - we want folks who think long-term like we do.
Salary range from $120k/year to $220k/year. Not in the range? That's fine, you can still apply and our team may fit you in a more senior position that we're not actively hiring right now, but we are growing fast and may have other openings soon.
We only hire the world's most effective people.