Who we are and where we’re going

We’re a design and innovation company. We help ambitious businesses to: bring new products and services to market and transform those they already have. In doing this we’re also helping them reboot how they work, think and organise to be future-fit.

We’re a growing team of smart, collaborative strategists, designers and engineers. We’re based in a lovely, bright but quiet studio in Shoreditch.

We’re creating an end-to-end model that brings design, business and technology together in a modern, effective way because we just don’t think anyone is doing it. Software companies are fantastic at delivery but struggle to engage early enough with clients to influence what they end up building. Large consulting businesses either don’t know how to bridge strategy and delivery or are struggling to embrace new ways of working and end up creating bloated teams that follow a traditional, slow, waterfall approach. You can read more about our view on this here.

When we think about our future we want to be the go-to alternative for a leader of a business looking to redefine their company and their industry. Work that helps these companies ride and take advantage of the change that’s flipping every sector upside down rather than sit and watch from the sideline. And doing so in a way that’s different to what they’re used to.

Where we’ve been

To give you a flavour of what we’ve been up to over the last year: we’ve launched a new business for Three mobile working from conception through to launch in 6-months, and now growth in market. We launched a connected car product for Vodafone which launched in 30+ markets. And we’re currently helping redesign retirement for a leading pension provider.

Technology is firmly in our DNA but after starting out there we gradually moved earlier in the product development lifecycle, focusing on design and strategy. Over the past couple of years though we’ve been getting back into delivery and to do so have worked with a talented team of contract engineers but now it’s time to rebuild our technology team.

The opportunity

Our non-exec director, who knows a thing or two about the tech scene in London, described this as a great opportunity for these reasons:

You can really influence the growth of the team and how it works. We want people who are opinionated about how things are done and want to establish and drive forward our approach.

Lots of the work is greenfield. While we can’t say that all of our work is greenfield, the majority of it is and the types of opportunity where we think we’ll play best are.

Be at the forefront of how design, business and technology come together. Big businesses separate these disciplines when in reality brought together they can be far more effective. We want to push each of these disciplines individually but also in how they are combined.

Define what to build rather than be told what to build. We don’t get given specs, we get given problems and as a result we design the solution with our clients.

Good culture. We don’t bang on about beer fridges and all that stuff. Yes we have them but other things are far more important for us. We work hard but we go home on time. We invest in the development of our people. We have a strong culture of feedback and continuous improvement. We think these things together with a belief in empowering our teams is what makes a good culture.

What you can expect

From the beginning we’ve always designed small, multi-disciplinary and empowered teams. We just think this way of working is smarter, more effective and faster. This means that engineers are involved far earlier - if they want to do customer research than that’s great as it helps them understand the customer problem we’re solving and empowers them to think about the best solution.

We strive to be agile in the truest sense of the word and we leverage technologies that enable us to deliver things quickly, with a small team of creative individuals.

We work with a mix of languages, frameworks and tools and we like to push ourselves and stay on the cutting edge. We’re currently enjoying working with React, Node.js, Ruby and Docker and you can read about how we are here.

But rather than just tell you more about what we think I asked a couple of our freelancers to share their honest opinion about the good and (in the interest of being transparent) what could be better about working at Adaptive Lab.

Ben Pickles

I like AL because: If there’s one word that describes AL it’s “team”. It’s a pleasure working with such an egoless group who are focussed on solving real user problems from top to bottom and back again. Also… everyone is Just Nice.

It would be better [for you] if: You joined AL to wield your experience and skills to that delicate process of building a successful tech product.

Marfat Abdullahi

I like AL because: It’s a place that values and promotes great process, creativity and a relaxed working environment. Communication and collaboration is valued immensely here at AL. Within a short period of time, I was able to integrate with the team and culture of the place. The onboarding experience was super helpful, detailed and covered everything to make sure you felt at home. Right from day one.

It would be better if: The growth of the tech department included a dedicated IT [support] team to work alongside the engineers. This way, innovative digital projects can be designed, developed and maintained within the walls of AL. Having witnessed the creative minds that roam at AL, I’m convinced that nothing would be better than to embrace the tech products that AL can (and will!) deliver.

Sam Whiting

I like AL because: They look at all of the steps of building a product as one holistic thing and not just a list of responsibilities that once tackled don’t need to be rethought once new information is discovered. Culturally it’s the most forward thinking company I have ever worked with - I am engaged with and informed about the health of the company. I’m genuinely lucky to be here.

It would be better if: The biggest challenge for a company like Adaptive Lab is getting a client to both emotionally and contractually understand the inherent uncertainty in building a software product - that their ideas, no matter how rational, are still just hypotheses until tested with customers. There isn’t a company in this space that doesn’t wrestle with this problem, but I think Adaptive probably have the best set-up to tackle this progressively and effectively.

What to do if you’re interested

We have a few open roles at the moment ranging from Technology Principal (think CTO) to Senior Engineers (Senior Frontend Developer and Senior Backend Developer, along with a midweight Developer role). You can find out more about each specific role over on our website here.