I was a huge fan of SteelSeries long before I worked here. Now that I've been employed here for a few years, I can confirm that it's certainly different from the inside than I expected. Let me explain, despite my new vantage point, why I am still a huge fan.
The Big Misconception
I always assumed SteelSeries' workforce was as large as it's competitors. Corsair, Logitech, and Razer all have somewhere close to 1000 employees each, so I assumed SteelSeries was probably about the same. In actuality, we have less than 150 employees across the globe. Our modest American office seats maybe 30-40 employees, and we're considered the "big" office.
Because of this, you can definitely sense the "quality over quantity" mentality throughout the company. Every person is responsible for at least one important aspect of the business. There's no ridiculously corporate chain of command ladder to climb. Instead, people are here based on what their skills contribute to the company. It really is a fairly small business where everyone is an integral member, despite how big or corporate we might seem from the outside.
Do What You Do Best
I was hired for my community management experience, so I organize giveaways, run the SteelSeries blog, and put together the official newsletter. But I frequently find myself roped into all kinds of tasks, from testing upcoming products to cosplaying as Sniper at TI7 (and firing off our plushie cannon).
Everyone is the master of their own domain, and then some. There's no corporate-style "that's-not-my-problem" apathy; in fact, I'd say that we can struggle from the opposite. People who work here care deeply about the brand, and more often than not, disputes can arise out of people caring too much.
The Harshest Critics
We are our own harshest critics, and we don't like to settle. We're all gamers who want the best. If we don't like a product, we say it. Our product designers poll our audience for their opinions, and constantly test new gear with employees, local LAN center, events, and pro players. We are encouraged to not hold back on the criticism - I'd love to read the "additional comments" sections of the product testing surveys that employees fill out. For example, I frequently tell the product managers how a headset feels with my hair tied back vs. not tied back, which seems neurotic, but I need to speak for my fellow long-haired gamers, because something as seemingly trivial as the style of your hair can affect how a headset fits.
That's why it's so exciting for us when a product makes it to the shelf. While I know I can't see all of it, I see products go from conceptualization to production under one roof. From Richard tinkering with circuits (and trying his damnest to explain them to me), Angela designing awesome packaging and information guides, Sam making sure that SteelSeries Engine's tooltips are easy-to-understand, Jackson making sure that our website shows off a product accurately, etc., everyone here plays a vital role in the success of every product.
It's Not All Fun and Games
But sometimes it is fun and games. Our head of social media runs an office D&D group that plays on Fridays. We put together employee teams for the After Hours Gaming League. A quick game of PUBG or Fortnight isn't uncommon during lunch (or a quick episode of Monster Factory), and folks stay after work to watch Overwatch League, E3, and more. My stoic Danish boss randomly sat down and made mincemeat of everyone in an office Quake tournament, then calmly returned to work.
The SteelSeries office is also dog-friendly, and we have some very good puppers working here. Instead of coffee, I'll often step outside to get some air and bring one of the office pups with me.
Getting a Job at SteelSeries
I interviewed at SteelSeries 3 times before I landed the job. A fair amount of people start as interns and then become full-time employees - for many, it's about getting your foot in the door and proving your worth to the company. If you couldn't tell from our size, we go for quality over quantity, and don't rush to hire. Working at SteelSeries means working hard and being quick on your feet. I've personally learned a lot about self-motivation, responsibility, and how to work with people towards our common goal: making amazing gear for gamers.
If that sounds like something you're into, I'd encourage you to keep an eye out for job openings and apply.