Blog

November 30, 2016

Working in Boston Tech at iZotope: Innovating Audio Technology

 

The iZotope team has spent over 15 years developing award-winning audio production tools. Everyone from hobbyists to GRAMMY, Oscar, and Emmy winners utilize iZotope's technology. Alongside the development of studio software, iZotope incubates bleeding-edge audio technology for future release, and develops rich audio education to help enthusiasts and professionals alike improve their craft.

CEO, Mark Ethier prides the fact that each day at iZotope brings new projects, challenges, and successes. The employees are driven by a passion for audio. Mark told us more about what its like to work for this innovative company!

iZotope is hiring! Check out its BIZZpage

 


Jill Gregoriou: Having founded iZotope 15 years ago, what was your vision for iZotope’s culture and how has it evolved?

Mark Ethier: As a group of founders, we didn’t have a clear vision of what we wanted iZotope’s culture to be — at the time, we were just living it.  It wasn’t until we started to grow that we did work to really understand and capture what was unique about the company.  Most of the founders had never worked at any other company for more than an internship, so we didn’t necessarily know what made us different!

Over the years, I’ve tried to keep us connected to that original spirit, building an environment where people can be connected to three levels of happiness: comfort, challenge and fulfillment. Comfort is that they enjoy the environment and the people around them.  Challenge is that they are learning and developing.  And fulfillment is that they really believe in and can be connected to the mission of the company.

At this point, the culture is a creative, collaborative space where people’s passion for innovating in arts and technology shows up on a daily basis.

JG: What are iZotope’s core values?  

ME: Our core values are centered in three key areas:
  1. Developing our expertise and sharing it freely with each other and our communities.

    • We’re always learning, and we always want to help others learn, too. Whether it’s through our free educational guides, our webcasts, our participation at technical conferences, or our Customer Care team, we strive to share the knowledge we have to benefit others.

  2. Inspiring and enabling our customers to be creative.

    • We take pride in our craftsmanship, and keep the end user at the forefront of our minds as we plan new products and refine existing ones. Keeping our products as intuitive as possible for our different customers is essential, especially since our customers vary in skill level (from beginners to experts) and in role (from music producers and songwriters to people working in film, TV, and new media). We want to keep every customer in a creative space, where their tools serve as an inspiration rather than a distraction.

  3. Raising the bar on audio technology.

    • We are passionate about audio, and relentless in our pursuit to unlock new opportunities in sound. We’re dedicated to innovation -- aside from our R&D team, we even hold “iZotope Open” sessions, where the entire company spends time thinking about how we can push the envelope and experiment in the world of sound and media.

JG: Hiring the right talent is important to a thriving culture. What qualities would you look for in a great hire?

ME: We look for people who excel in their domain and have a passion for film, TV and music -- either as a musician or filmmaker themselves, or as a lover of music and TV/film!

In the spirit of our culture and core values, we also value candidates who show a deep appreciation for learning, developing themselves, and supporting their colleagues.

JG: How does the team stay active and involved in the Boston tech community? Do you host or plan to host any events?

ME: As our team has grown, we have been able to increase our community involvement — and with our move to our new office in 2014, it’s also opened up the opportunity to share our gathering space with more local groups!

For hosted events, we’ve brought in BostInno’s “50 on Fire” meet-up, a recent Tech in Motion meet-up, Boston VR meet-ups that spotlight the latest in virtual reality tech, and Boston Rock Shop meetings to discuss the state of live music in the area. We also host gatherings for local communities, including the local chapter of Audio Engineering Society, the Boston Avid Users Group, and Berklee’s Women, Technology and Creativity group. We’re busy now planning what’s up in 2017!

Outside our offices, we’ve enjoyed exhibiting with fellow tech companies at Mass TLC’s TechJam, introducing kids and families to “seeing” sound at the Cambridge Science Festival, and giving talks to students at local schools like MIT, Berklee, and Tufts.

JG: What types of activities are employees are involved in at or outside the office?

ME: Our employees are active in the local, national and international arts scene, with more than one employee who’s performed on The Tonight Show! Here’s a sampling...

  • Ben, our Facilities Manager, is a founding and current member of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who has performed on the every late night show (and appeared on The Simpsons!)

  • Sean, our Community Manager, is the original drummer of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, an indie group that hit critical success and performed at Lollapalooza

  • Luke, a Senior Software Engineer, worked on the music for an independent film that made it all the way to Cannes

  • Matt, one of our Marketing team members, has music productions that have reached the top 15 on the Billboard Club Charts for the last 6 years

  • We even have one engineer who regularly performs with a circus!

Inside the office, our team gets together regularly for listening parties (sometimes our own work, sometimes our favorite records), movie nights, and Tech Talks featuring our own employees and industry experts.

JG: What unique benefits/perks are offered to iZotope employees? What’s on tap or in your fridge?

ME: Being in the music, TV and film world, we get to interact with some of the most creative people in the world -- whether it’s the music producers and engineers working with Beck, Sigur Ros and Justin Timberlake, or the audio professionals supporting beloved entertainment like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Dr. Strange, The Hobbit, and the Olympics.  We get tickets to shows and a chance to meet musicians backstage.  Our teams go to film and TV studios around the world and see behind-the-scenes of how media is made everyday.
 
We have an iZotope-sponsored lunch following our weekly company update, which also features a brain-twisting riddle! In addition, our kitchen is always loaded up with healthy snacks...although the cocoa and marshmallows do sneak in once the weather gets chilly.

In addition to subsidizing the expense of commuting to the office, iZotope even offers a monthly allowance to walkers and bikers. Our 401(k) match is generously above the market and all employees are offered an ownership piece of the business. Beyond those amazing benefits - iZotope offers subsidized medical, dental and vision coverage as well as fully paid life insurance and short- and long-term disability.

Last, but not least, we also have sound and recording studios on-site for our employees to use to record, mix or master their own music, or simply to jam with each other on evenings and weekends.  You won’t find that very often!

JG: Finish this sentence: I love working at iZotope because… 

"I love working at iZotope because of the people. Our teams are the best IP we have, and everyone is incredibly generous with their time, knowledge and efforts. Our customers are also great people; passionate about great music, great audio and great art. It's so gratifying to connect with them and build technology that helps them do what they do."

-Brad Swanson, Content Marketing Manager



"I love working at iZotope because of the people here.  I am surrounded by so much musical talent and intellectual prowess it's dizzying.  Every day I have the opportunity to explore my inner creativity and broaden my mind.   Such a fun and satisfying environment to work in!" 

-Matt Johnson, Content Marketing Manager


Jill Gregoriou is the Customer Success Manager at VentureFizz. Follow her on Twitter: @JillGregoriou

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