Wing | Meet & Greet

Automatic Summary

Discover the Future of Delivery with Wing: An Insight into Our Journey and Vision

Take a step into the future with Wing, a revolutionary concept aimed at reshaping the future of delivery. If you've ever wondered how it would feel to get your package delivered by a drone in minutes, we're the ones turning that dream into reality. Here's our story along with our unique approach towards hiring and the exciting roles we're looking to fill in our organization.

About Me

Hi everyone, I'm Jordan and I've been serving as a talent partner at Wing for nearly three years now. With over 10 years of experience in recruiting, my journey began at Tesla where I spent over 6.5 impactful years. My enduring fascination with drone technology and the striking similarities between Wing and Tesla lured me into joining the former.

At Wing, I primarily support software roles, predominantly our flight automation teams. They write the software and tools enabling the drone to perceive the world, extending over in areas like perception, path planning, backend aerodynamics, guidance, navigation and controls, and systems roles.

The Vision of Wing

Our aim is to redefine the future of delivery by creating aviation technology that benefits everyone. Hoping to slash delivery times and reduce pollution generated through traditional delivery methods, Wing has developed an on-demand drone delivery service as well as an unmanned air traffic management platform, enabling safe aerial routes for our drones.

Our Unique Approach

For us, it's not just about creating drones, but also about building robust systems that allow seamless integration with other drones and aerial vehicles. In order to tackle this complex task, we focus on three paradigms:

  1. Building drones and managing hardware infrastructure and embedded systems
  2. Mediating human-drone interaction for delivery services
  3. Integrating drone technology comprehensively

Our Journey So Far

Wing has had an exhilarating journey since its inception. Starting off as a part of Project X, a tech incubator under Alphabet, Wing initially began dabbling in drone technology. Following our first real-world deliveries in 2014 in Queensland, Australia, Wing officially grew out from X, becoming a standalone entity under Alphabet in 2018.

With every step, unlike a regular start-up, we get to enjoy benefits of being part of Alphabet’s wing, such robust infrastructure, and accessibility to resources like Google Geo data.

Our Future Plans

With over 400,000 flights, 200,000 of which were real-world deliveries, Wing has set its ambition high. Looking forward, we aim to scale up our team and operations to make drones an integral part of society. Part of our focus includes diverse and strategic hiring across different divisions like accounting, finance, flight operations, hardware engineering, software engineering, program management, and more to meet our expansion plans.

Join Our Team at Wing

Curious about joining our journey? Our hiring process is straightforward and fully virtual. We care about hiring diverse groups of talented individuals and creating a foundation based on impact, respect, integrity, and diversity. Every job role, whether it's a technical one or not, is essential for us. We believe in equal opportunities for all and appreciate diversity in every aspect.

Interested in becoming part of our future? Drop me an email or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Note: This article pulls insights from a session by Jordan, a talent partner at Wing, exploring the company's journey, its vision, and work culture.

Video Transcription

Um So my plan was just to share a little bit about me. Um Then I can walk you through Wing and sort of our approach, what hiring looks like as well as uh some of the roles that we're, we're supporting here. Um So, hi everybody. I'm Jordan.Uh So I'm a talent partner here at Wing. Um A little bit about me. I have been in recruiting for a little bit over 10 years. Uh I started my career at Tesla. Um and I spent a little over 6.5 years supporting different parts of the business there. Um Frankly, I thought that I would spend most of my career at Tesla. Uh However, I always had interest in a lot of the drone technology. Um And we did a lot of hiring from that space. Um And so when I started talking to Wing, uh it really caught my eye and there's, there's actually quite a few parallels between the two companies from how we're entering the industry standpoint. Um So I have been at Wing for almost three years now. Um I joined for a lot of the reasons that I stayed at Tesla for so long. Um I believe that Tesla laid a lot of the groundwork and kind of paved a foundation that just didn't exist yet. Uh The automotive industry has functioned in a very specific way with very specific players for a very long time. Um And Tesla really disrupted and kind of redefined what that looks like and, and what companies uh can um can enter that space.

Um And so I, I also believe that some of the biggest tech payouts and, and potentially um you know, companies that can give you a lot of exposure, um start with a lot of risk. Um And so I decided to, to join Wing and kind of see what we could do over here. Um So here at Wing, uh I support software predominantly um specifically our flight automation team. Uh So flight automation basically writes the software and tools that allows the drone to view the world. Uh So we hire folks into like perception, path planning, uh backend aerodynamics, guidance, navigation and controls and systems roles. Uh So it's a mix of hardware and software uh but predominantly working on the actual aircraft. Um And then secondly, I support our flight operations teams. Uh So these roles are predominantly in Australia, uh the ones that I support at least. Um And so these are the employees who are um supporting and actually running our flight sites. Uh So we call these nests. This is where the drone takes off and lands um after it delivers. Uh So we hire folks into like assistant chief pilot, flight operations manager and pilots and command roles. Um And then lastly, I support technical program management. Uh So mostly program managers who are supporting our software and hardware teams. Uh that ladder is pretty extensive though.

Um They don't just support engineering. I've hired folks into like policy and regulatory teams um who can help kind of on a program management perspective there. Um So that's a little bit about me and kind of what, what I support um wing is, I'll kind of walk into what um we do as a company here. Um Our main mission is, is really focused on creating aviation that benefits everyone which is a pretty wide net. Um We're looking to reshape what the future of delivery looks like uh and kind of redefine how that functions. Uh So we've developed an on-demand drone delivery service that can deliver food medicine or other items within minutes. Um We also developed an unmanned air traffic management platform. Um I don't have slides but I will send over uh some for folks to review afterwards. Um So we, we've also developed um an unmanned air traffic management platform to safely route drones throughout the sky. Um And kind of the idea is that our service is faster, safer and produces far less pollution than traditional uh delivery. Um So when it, when it comes to drone technology Um And there are a ton of companies tapping into that space which I think is only exciting for us just to, I think the more companies that uh look to tackle this technology, it becomes much more of a reality uh that it will become part of society.

Um However, I do think we are somewhat unique in how we are approaching the technology. Uh So there's, there's three main components of the technology that we're we're looking to tackle here. So one is building drones. Uh So the hardware infrastructure and embedded systems behind them.

The second piece is like looking at the human drone interaction. Uh So how we interact with drones for delivery service. Uh So um we build out the software products and services which connect drones to merchants to deliver to customers. Uh So we've built a customer application, we have a merchant application and then lastly an operator app. Um So these are the pilots um that are operating the drones. Um And then the third piece which I think is debatably the most challenging um is looking at the integration of drone technology. Um We have built an unmanned air traffic management platform which is kind of like an ecosystem for service suppliers to help operators to plan and manage their flight safely. Um We by no means believe that we'll be the only drone manufacturer or application of these drones.

Um And so, um the idea is we're not only interested in creating drones and how people interact with them, but how drones will function with other aerial vehicles or other drones in the sky. Um which I think is probably one of the most challenging parts of this technology. Um So a little bit of history about wi history about wings. Excuse me. Uh We've actually been around for quite a while. We've been working on the technology for about 10 years. Uh We started in 2012 as a part of project X. Project X is a part of alphabet that functions kind of like a technology incubator. Uh So it gives engineers the ability to work on really undefined problems with quite a bit of resources at their disposal. Uh So that's where we started really just kind of playing around with the technology and, and, and seeing what we could do with it. Um And then in 2014, uh the team successfully completed their first real world deliveries. So this was in rural Queensland Australia. Uh they delivered first aid kits, candy bars, dog treats water to farmers. Um We really kind of cut our teeth there and um you know, really started to tackle kind of how this technology might function in society. Um 2016, uh the team delivered burritos to the students at Virginia Tech at the time, this was the largest and longest drone delivery test done on us soil. Um And then in July of 2018 the team officially graduated from X.

Uh So that's when we became wing our own independent alphabet business. Um It's kind of a unique setup. Uh We, I like to think of it as the best of both worlds. Obviously, I'm, I'm drinking the kool aid here. Um But we are, we're very much a start up however, fully backed by alphabet. So we have a little bit over 300 employees, I'd say about 40% of that is engineering. Um And then we have all other parts of the business hired directly into Wing as employees of wing. So we have our own leadership team, we do all of our own hiring. We have our own operations, legal, all other parts of the business are hired within Wing. Um At the same time, uh we are backed by alphabet. So we get to use their awesome benefits and uh we have a Google Campus that is specific to us. Um We have access to things like their infrastructure. So a lot of our engineers are on G three, which is Google's infrastructure. Um And we also have access to things like their Google GEO data uh which is really, really helpful for us when paired with data feeds from like the FA and Cas A and other government bodies um which just I think help us to have a lot more reach and, and function with a little bit more maturity than your average uh start up So we get to move really fast, we get to define like our own performance structure and how we hire and um kind of what scopes look like here within wing and how we tackle problems.

Um But we get to have the work life balance and luxury of, of, of being part of alphabet and uh utilizing resources from a larger company. So that happened in, in 2018, uh 2019 was a pretty big year for us. Uh We did earn the first of a kind air carrier certificate from the FAA. So we are officially an approved drone airline. Uh We also launched Open Sky. So Open Sky is a platform for 1st and 3rd party drone traffic management. So if you're in say Australia, which is one of the areas that we do a lot of delivering in and you have a drone like AD G I drone and you're a hobbyist and want to play around in your backyard. You have the ability to download this application and uh take flight with confidence in the same areas that we're actually delivering. So that's an example of us kind of focusing on the integration of the technology. Um We also launched our first uh us commercial drone delivery service in Virginia in 2019. Um And yeah, so uh 2020 we started to partner with some larger vendors. Uh So we are now partnering with Walgreens and fedex kind of trying to write the playbook for how we partner with some larger vendors, um and kind of streamline what that partnership looks like. Um So we're now operating in Dallas all together.

We're in a couple of different areas in Australia. We are in Finland, Virginia as well as Dallas. Uh So continuing to scale our operations across the board. Um I think some of our biggest focus right now is is creating a dependable product that is useful for customers. Um I think we can create really cool technology, but if it's not useful for customers, um there's not a ton of longevity in it. Um There's also a lot of focus on like the regulatory frameworks for allowing us to operate and scale. Um especially as we head into non rural areas, there's a ton of work to be done there. Um And Dallas was a good example of that. Um we're also focused on scaling operations while improving usability and efficiency. Um And then lastly, a lot of focus on user acceptance and market validation. Uh We have a lot of experience under our belts, but I think every area that we operate in will have its own challenges. And so coming in kind of eyes wide open. Um And you know, having the market kind of validate the usability of of our product. Um And then another point about kind of what we're trying to do here is wing drones are more efficient than other forms of transportation. Um And so capitalizing on kind of what that impact can have for society um is a pretty big focus here. Um Because we've been operating for a while. Uh We have done over 400,000 flights, over 200,000 of those are real world deliveries.

Uh As I mentioned, we are operating in a couple of different areas in Australia, Finland, Virginia and Dallas. Um And this year, we're looking to grow the team about 53%. Um So we want to do that within reason and very strategically. Uh But the idea is to get close to 500 employees by the end of the year um or hiring across the board. Uh So everything from like accounting, finance, administrative roles, business strategy, uh design, flight operations, hardware engineering, legal, uh manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and communication operations.

Uh Our people team is growing pretty extensively um product management, uh program management, software engineering, as well as our technical infra infrastructure teams. Um The process regardless of the role is, is pretty straightforward here. Um It's entirely virtual. Um So we are following what the rest of alphabet is doing. Um And all of that process is virtual right now. So it typically consists of a recruiter screen, a hiring manager screen, followed by a panel of about four or five members of the team you're interviewing with. Um Each of those one on ones tends to be about 30 to 45 minutes. Uh So it's some time to interview but also ask a lot of questions as well. Um And although we're part of alphabet, we do not hire through their hiring board. Uh So after interviewing with the team, the feedback and decision can be delivered within about 24 to 48 hours. Uh And the final step is just getting approval from our CEO Adam Woodworth. Uh and then we can work through an offer together um as an employee of Wing, you're also an employee of alphabet. So you do have a Google alias and access and all the same uh benefits and resources, any other alphabet employee has. So if you were to accept the offer with us, uh you would be on boarded through alphabet and attend the nuclear orientation. Um So the last piece I wanted to touch on is Wing is invested in creating a foundation that's based on impact, respect, integrity and diversity.

Um I think the diversity piece is a really important part of what we're trying to do here. Um In order for us to create a product that is used globally. Um and can scale with impact. I think it's, it's, it's vital that we, we create a team that encompasses a diverse group of folks. Um I think we need to be able to represent the world that we are hoping to serve. Um And so in order to do that, we need to celebrate diversity of thought experiences, industries and people. Um And so we believe that that will be kind of the the strongest approach in um creating what we're trying to do here. So now there was a lot of very high level information. Um But I'm curious what other questions folks might have. It might be best if I just enter here in the um chat. Uh But let me know if anyone has questions and um I'm happy to, to be a resource. So one of the questions is, do we hire non tech roles? Absolutely. Um So I can copy and paste um within our career site. We have all of them listed. Um But those are all of the roles that we are actively hiring for. Um And so we do have a speaker on the software side. Uh Tara, who is the hiring manager of our open sky team. She's within our software products and services team.

She is giving a talk. Um And so she can speak a little bit more candidly about kind of how we approach software. Uh But if you have any specific questions about how we hire for the software teams, I'm happy to be a resource as well. All right, um uh at our career site. Um So let me just pull that up. Um And this is a good place to check out uh everything that we're hiring for and kind of exactly what some of those um positions look like. So, the talk that's called is by Tara Rezvani. Um, I don't know the actual name of it, but let me just pull up her, her name. Um, and I can see if I can follow up with that as well. The car has been here for quite a while. Um, and again, she supports a lot of the software um, on the software products and services team. All right. What other questions? So there's a question about when do applications for full time roles for May 2023 open up. Um So you can apply now, we are actively, you know, hiring for the future as well as now. Um And so you can easily, you know, submit an application. Now, we also have an intern cohort that we hire uh on a quarterly basis. Um So you should look out for those intern roles as well if that's of any interest. Um Can someone from Brazil work remotely with Wing? Um I don't believe we have a presence in Wing, however, we are global and open to remote work.

Um And so as long as you're OK with working, you know, from home, uh that's absolutely a possibility um that we'd be able to support, we also provide relocation um as well as uh immigration support. So if that's something you wanted to, to navigate, we would, we'd be happy to support that as well. Let's see. Where is the Wing website information? Let me pull that up. And I'll send that over to you. So here is our website. Oh, thank you. Thank you. One of the piece that I might not have highlighted is our, our headquarters is based in Palo Alto. Uh We do work on a Google campus that is specific to wing, uh which we have plenty of room to, to grow into uh that said and over the pandemic, which has been a pretty good case study for remote work. Um We do support either fully remote hybrid or on site work. Um Unless you are working on a very hardware specific role and need to be in like the lab on a regular basis, you do have the option of being hybrid or fully remote. Um And we have started to integrate back into the office. However, you do not need to be on site like a certain amount of days. It's really based on what the team needs, what works for your commute um And kind of your most um appropriate productivity.

Uh So we're pretty flexible about that uh for the tech stack, it is most, most of the code we deploy is in C++ we do however, use quite a bit of Python. Um and we actually hire from a language agnostic standpoint. So our philosophy is it's more about um you know, bringing first engineering principles to undefined problems being able to um work very cross functionally. Um Just because our teams are relatively lean. Um And So it's, it's important to be able to, you know, find the right folks and be able to collaborate through problems. Um We actually don't necessarily look for folks who have worked in aviation or on drone technology or who know all of the right answers. Again, it's really about um being able to work collaboratively and kind of rely on first engineering principles. Um I myself did not come from an aviation background. Um There are some folks here that, that, that have and that is definitely helpful and just having understanding of the space.

Um But I think a lot of this we will look at as like engineering problems and, and problems that just haven't been defined yet. And so being able to be comfortable brainstorming um and working in somewhat of a uh a start up environment uh is really kind of what we look for here. I also think being passionate about the problem space is helpful. Um You know, because it's a, a, an industry that doesn't exist yet, there's a lot of going back to the mat and kind of figuring out different ways to approach um approach obstacles. Um And again, just being able to work very cross functionally across the board, there was a question, I see a couple of PM roles but none for Q A, um I know that we have a Q A role coming up uh in Q three. So I would definitely stay tuned for that um that's an area which is becoming more of a um an emphasis going forward, how large is wing. Um So we have um a little over 300 employees. Um about 40% of that is engineering and then a big portion of that is operations. So folks based in our flight operations sites, um whether that's in Australia, Finland, Virginia now, Dallas, um and then we're looking to get closer to 500 by the end of the year.

We of course, want to do that within reason and make sure that we're, we're setting so folks up for success and um you know, giving them a um a good time to ramp what other questions? Oh, so, II I guess Tara did do her talk a little bit, apologize for that. Um I will touch base with her and see if there's some time um that she will be at an expo booth. Uh But she should be, I think we have a little over five minutes left. Does anyone else have any questions? I appreciate everyone taking some time to, to listen to me and uh learn a little bit more about wing. Um I definitely encourage you to uh take a look at our page, connect with me. Um I definitely wanna make sure that um I get the right resources in front of really anyone who's, who's interested. We have quite a bit of work to do this year and, and, and going forward. And um yeah, I would love to, to stay in touch and if you want to apply to one of the, um I, I think you mentioned you're interested in Q A program management. Um if you wanna apply to one of those and then just note um that we touched base at this conference.

Um You could also connect with me over linkedin and send me your, your information there and I will make sure that you get in front of the, the Q A role as soon as it's posted live. Um But I also support pretty much a cross program management and would be happy to kind of facilitate you to the right folks. You can also email me directly. Oh, project management. Well, I actually support that as well. If you want to just send me an email, I'll make sure that the Q three roles uh get in front of you. Project management has been um kind of a new area that we've been building out here at wing uh program management has been kind of defined over the past couple of years. Um And as we've gotten farther into, um you know, building out that organization, uh project management uh will become a big emphasis going forward. One other piece that I can highlight um is since we graduated from X, um it was important to us to have a stake in what we're building here. I think that in trying to define an industry that, that doesn't exist yet.

There's potentially a lot of upside, it certainly comes with risk. Um, but it was important to us to have a stake in what we're building here. And so we did, um, negotiate our own equity component. So that is something that is included within your offer. Um Basically, we give out equity settled options, um which are, um, basically there's a, a strike price associated with your start date. Uh The idea is that you'd be coming in essentially at the ground floor at this time. Um And as that strike price grows, that difference multiplied by the amount of options that you have is kind of how that cash mechanism works. Um So we are considered private right now. Um However, alphabet does provide liquidation windows annually for wing employees to cash out their vested equity if that's something that you need on more of a short uh short term basis. Um However, you can hold on to it and see it kind of as it grows. Um And so that's another piece that I kind of parallel to Tesla is, you know, pending that we can continue to define this industry. And um you know, make a lot of impact here. The hope is that um you know, that strike price will continue to grow. And um we do also much like we o and other parts of the business that alphabet uh support sports, we have the option to like bring in external investors and um there's, there's several different avenues that we can take the equity.

Um But right now, we're, we're um fully backed by, by alphabet. Uh And again, they've provided those liquidation windows um as a way to be competitive. Um So just another piece of our compensation to, to highlight, all right, we're, we're getting close to time here. Any other questions and again, feel free to email me directly. Uh I'm really here to be a resource and can make sure to get really anyone in, in front of the right group of folks, my linkedin should be within the site. Um I can also pull that up. So that's my linkedin. Feel free to connect. Well, thank you everybody. Um I really appreciate your time or taking time uh to listen to me um and for connecting about wing today. Um And yeah, I, I hope to stay in touch and I hope you're all enjoying the conference. There's some awesome talks out there. Um So, yeah, thank you, everybody. Have a great day.