In Order to Form a More Perfect Journey

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We might have just rolled back the clocks, but the Transit Labs team is springing forward!

We’ve been hard at work on a number of projects: rolling out updates to TAP, our enterprise application; finalizing a small cities transportation funding analysis with Microsoft; planning for a few conferences, including the Congress of Cities in Austin, Texas; extracting data for our work with the Detroit Department of Transportation; among other things…

And as some of you might know yourselves, the startup life is not just wearing jeans and drinking beer in the office (although we might be guilty of that on occasion). In fact, we’ve also been thinking a lot about the what the future of our company will look like, and how we’ll get there. It just so happens that the mountains of West Virginia were the perfect canvas for sketching out that future.

Now we’re rested and rejuvenated after spending a few days in Berkeley Springs, just two hours from DC. We highly recommend you go: be sure to hike, eat the best carrot cake in your life, and call the fire department in advance if you’d like to build a bonfire (we didn’t learn this from experience, our wood got rained on!). Bonus points for finding the original spring.

The team agreed to abandon cellphones and laptops during our trip — pretty impressive for a tech startup. “Being present” is catching a lot of buzz right now, and it rang true for us — the atmosphere was much clearer and more focused without the distraction of connectivity.

We kicked off our sessions with a homemade lunch by our research director, James. His famous chicken salad gave us the strength to draft our very own Preamble, Mad-Libs style. We’re so pleased with the final result that we’ve decided to adopt it for real.

"...in order to form a more perfect journey..." -The Transit Labs Preamble.
The Transit Labs Preamble

Envisioning the future in the midst of the day-to-day is difficult, to say the least. But our Preamble laid the framework for our big picture goals, and from there we brainstormed words that describe where we are now, where we want to be, and what we want to continue or shed as we continue to grow. Both the consensus and the discussion around these words was really helpful to define specifically what we want to be. A few words that stuck out were technical, intensity, and disruptive.

Our technical prowess extends to archery as James, our research director, demonstrates out in the woods.
Our technical prowess extends to archery as James, our research director, demonstrates out in the woods.

From wrangling immense data sets and building out our product to understanding the ins and outs of how transit is funded, how its data is reported, and how it functions, we are extremely technical. What we love about our work is that we are also a bridge. Our product is a bridge to making huge data sets informative — combining data visualization and intelligent design to provide actionable intelligence to inform the planning and delivery of public transit.

Maintaining intensity requires brain food.
Maintaining intensity requires brain food.

We had a great discussion about intensity. At Transit Labs, our intensity is opportunity driven, and our goal is to be grounded in it. As #DagSays: “Biology is intense — that’s how you feel alive!”

We do things differently.
We do things differently.

Our work is disruptive. We’re doing something different. And being different is never easy. There’s a lot to be done, and we’re excited for the challenges ahead.

But hey — we didn’t just limit our chats to the fireside. As a team, we did a lot of walking and talking, and had great conversations over home-cooked meals. We even had a couple of four-legged friends who tagged along for the weekend too.

Feeding our biology.
Feeding our biology.

Our company is growing a lot right now and we’ve been seeking a balance between how growth can drive process, and how process can drive growth. In the past few weeks we’ve nearly doubled in size, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon! It’s a really exciting time for Transit Labs. Another word we talked about… it’s going to be amazing.