On Sunday, February 16, 2020, I became an employee of the Maven Coalition as a result of its acquisition of LiftIgniter (completed and announced in March 2020), the company I had been working at since Monday, August 18, 2014. LiftIgniter had been my first full-time job, so depending on how you count it, my job at Maven was either a continuation of my first job, or my second job. You can read about my LiftIgniter experience here.
First few months at the job
For the first three weeks, we reported to a WeWork that Maven used for its San Francisco region employees. My first day reporting to the WeWork was Tuesday, February 18, 2020 (Monday, February 17 was a holiday for President’s Day). In the second week, I made a trip, along with other LiftIgniter engineers, to the Maven headquarters in Seattle (dates Monday February 24 to Wednesday February 26). The goal was to meet the bulk of the engineering, design, and product (EDP) team that was based in Seattle.
March 6, 2020 was the last day I went to the WeWork office in San Francisco. After that, I decided to work from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation; a couple days later, the company made work from home the official policy for everybody. Since then, I’ve been working from home from where I live in Berkeley. Maven relinquished the WeWork office (that had been on a month-to-month lease) at the end of March.
There was a plan for me and the other engineers to move to Seattle; however, I deferred moving because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Maven makes a lot of revenue from advertising and events, the COVID-19 pandemic affected revenue significantly. As a result, Maven made workforce cuts, reduced executive salaries and cancelled bonuses, and instituted a hiring freeze on March 30, 2020. The cuts were mostly in sales and I wasn’t affected; the hiring freeze does slow down some plans to offload some work. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down some other work streams.
On June 6, 2020, Maven announced a further 15% salary reduction for all employees, effective June 14, 2020. The news was also covered in The Daily Beast and Awful Announcing.
Starting November 1, 2020, my salary returned to normal. This was first tentatively announced company-wide on September 30, and then made official (for me) on October 20.
Remote work update
On November 3, 2020, it was announced that the return to physical offices would not happen by the end of March 2021. The date was further extended to June 2021 and then August/September 2021. On Thursday, September 2, 2021, an email announcement was sent notifying us that Maven was shifting to remote work for all employees for the long term.
In September 2021, Maven rebranded as The Arena Group.
On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, I switched to a part-time role in order to start work at Equator Therapeutics with the rest of my time. My last date of work at Maven / The Arena Group was Friday, September 30, 2022. Starting October 1, I switched to working full-time at Equator Therapeutics.