I think being a remote startup can be an advantage, especially when you’re making an international product. We hire from all over the world because we are very picky and want to find people that love our mission, product, and culture. We also hire in a pretty unique fashion. Prospectives write in, contribute to the community, and then are considered for contract work. The best way to think about our team is concentric circles. Even the newest (positive) contributor is a member of the team, all the way to the CEO.
I still don’t think remote is an obvious choice. Remote teams, where critical assets aren’t centralized, are still pretty new. A lot of issues stem from connection fidelity and synchronization. Consider having a team of 5 where 4 people are in a single room, and one dials in on Skype. The telecommuter is intrinsically less connected to the rest of the group. At that point, even though 4 people are in one building, you might want to send everyone back to their desk and telecommute in too. That way everyone is connected at the same fidelity level. To be clear, that’s not to say being in a room together is better; but that communication needs to be balanced.
It’s a lot of fun being a part of the paradigm shift though! I hope that helps.
Asana, HipChat, Zoom, GitHub, EC2.