Welcome to Swift Navigation’s blog. We are glad you are here! At Swift our mission is to enable a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate and understand the world. With the same spirit of navigators that came before us, we are extremely excited to chart our course towards the autonomous future. We launch this blog to share our journey and our lessons learned with you. Here you will find behind-the-scenes information on what it’s like to work at Swift Navigation and some of the things we’ve learned along the way about GNSS, engineering craftsmanship, startup growing pains, company culture, leadership and business execution.
Our journey started in 2012 when Fergus Noble and Colin Beighley founded Swift Navigation to make a highly accurate GPS system that was also affordable. While Colin and Fergus had a good grasp on what to build and how to build it, they knew they would need capital and a capable team to reach their vision. Through a mutual friend, Colin found Tim Harris. Over conversation in a Tiki bar, Colin came to the conclusion that Tim’s hustle, communication and persistence were exactly what was needed for Swift to be successful and Tim became the third co-founder.
Working out of a barn in the woods outside of Santa Cruz, the three founders charted the path for Swift’s future. As Colin likes to say, “It takes four things to build a successful startup-a great team, great idea, lots of hard work and a fair amount of luck!” After a successful Kickstarter campaign—that demonstrated the product concept and market fit—Swift secured a successful seed and “A” round of funding. The threesome moved from their barn to the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, CA and began hiring.
They knew that to attract a great team, they’d need to build strong culture–so time and effort was put into the creating Swift Values and crafting a great company. As Tim likes to say, “Swift is just our people. When our people go home, there is no Swift”. At Swift we strive to be a place where you can bring your whole self to work. We work hard but we also celebrate our successes and have fun too! We’re climbers, cooks, musicians and mixologists, PhDs, parents, pilots and veterans. We have learned a lot and want to share what we know about GNSS and beyond.