Hey! I’m Josef Pfeiffer, Vice President of Product, and I’m one of the newest members of Team Orum. I joined Orum for one big reason, and a bunch of smaller ones too. Here’s why.

Financial Inequality is a Problem Software Can Help Solve

I studied computer engineering, and I’ve worked in the product function since very early in my career; I worked in cloud computing, in media, then moved to fintech in 2016 after hearing an incredible talk from the founder of LearnVest. 

It was the start of a major passion point for me:

If we can improve financial inequality, people will have significantly more opportunity — and software can help solve financial inequality.

So that’s why I’m here at Orum. Because that’s what Orum is here to do.

Our world faces a lot of challenges, and software can’t solve all of them. But it can help with one of the biggest. The speed of money movement — time to money — impacts everyone on a day-to-day basis. Many of us have experienced a late paycheck, which is a serious challenge for many Americans. Increasingly, more folks are part of the gig economy where smaller, more frequent payments are common and speed is even more important.

When I was younger, I saw the way delays throughout the system accumulate. My parents owned a car dealership, and that business involves money moving across many different parties. You buy the cars, sell the cars, purchase parts, pay mechanics, issue commissions to salespeople, and so much more. Any little (or big) delays in money movement add up.

People who can’t access their money quickly are at a disadvantage — and that’s just not right. Life moves fast, business moves fast, and money needs to move fast too.

Orum's Special Sauce

My big “why” aligns with Orum’s, so that was a major driver in my decision. But it’s not the sole reason I came to Orum. The culture here is special.

Orum hires people who are really good at different things. 

I’ve worked with some incredibly talented people in my career. The challenge can be that when everyone is focused on the same things: designing the product, building the user experience or talking with users, then nobody’s doing the marketing, sales, or customer support. Plus, when everyone wants to do the same things you step on each other's toes.

Here at Orum, teams are passionate about the core mission and really good at different ways to help achieve it. Everyone rallies around a central idea, and they each contribute in discrete, complementary ways. Team Orum’s people are domain experts who know how to execute their distinct part of the overall strategy. It doesn’t feel like anyone’s stepping on toes. Instead, we move things forward together.

Orum takes a stand on remote work. 

The return to office vs. remote work debate continues to rage on. I can — and I think most people can — see the pros and cons of both sides. But you know what? A wishy-washy opinion doesn’t help anyone. And that’s what I’m seeing across a lot of businesses: Emails saying “We’d like for you to come back to the office 2-3 days a week…” but it’s not really coordinated. Some people go in and others don’t, and then you get the downsides of both. It’s confusing for workers and doesn’t solve anything.

Orum makes clear that this is a remote-first company. Team Orum’s talent is based all around the country, and workflows reflect that: meetings are scheduled between 12-6 pm ET when time zones overlap, asynchronous communication is an expected skill, and people are assessed based on results (not when they are in an office).

We still find ways to connect in person, too — like periodic All Hands meetings, which are designed to get the full Team Orum together IRL in a way that’s most beneficial and exciting.

Orum has found a way to combine the benefits of both ways of working, and yet leadership is really clear: We are a remote-first company. I appreciate that certainty and confidence, and it provides clear guidance for the whole team.

Orum values diversity of thought, and its people. 

Orum is working to solve a complicated problem, and it’s assembled a team of people with very different backgrounds.

I mean that in all ways. Some people come from the media world, some from finance, some from startups, and some from big corporations. Some of us are a few years out of college, some are in their 30s traveling a lot, and some are in their 40s and 50s caring for kids or older parents. Our founder and CEO Stephany Kirkpatrick is a woman, and we have people of color throughout our functions and on our leadership team.

While I wish this weren’t unique, it is — especially for a company of Orum’s size. We’re only 40 people, which shows that diversity of thought has been a core focus for Orum from the beginning. I find that really inspiring, and others do too. Our conversations are energizing, with everyone sharing their varied life experiences, their professional experiences, and their individual ways of seeing the world.

Orum also works to ensure that energy stays high. Among many other initiatives, Orum celebrates the first Friday of every month as Mental Health Friday. The business is closed; we don’t schedule meetings, we don’t send emails, you won’t get a Slack from Steph (because she’s taken off, too, setting the tone!). We let our customers know we’re on call in case of emergencies, but otherwise, you’re expected to use the day as you please: spending time with your family, sleeping in, getting errands and doctor’s appointments done so you have the weekend free, or whatever else you want. 

Final Thought

Those are quite a few reasons, and I have many more. Altogether, the underlying theme is:

Orum cares. Orum cares about its customers, about its team members, and about its mission to power a better financial system where everyone has the freedom to build to their potential. I’m so excited to be part of it!

Ready to move?Let’s talk.