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Startup Culture at - Innovation & People


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We sat down and tried to define the culture at - the guiding principles and values that would ensure our company becomes the company we want to work for every day.

As founders, we have the unique opportunity to set the tone and foundation at the very beginning. A philosophy and blueprint that informs all hiring, and firing, decisions from here out.

We want this to be aspirational, while at the same time, embodying what's important to us. The identity of our company is an extension of our own identity, not a regurgitation of best practices from other startups.

I hope other founders and CEO's will add comment, we've iterated on this internally quite a lot, and I expect (and hope!) we iterate on this a lot more as we grow and learn.

Published in: Business, Education, Technology

Startup Culture at - Innovation & People

  2. What Is Culture To Us? • Culture at is a “default” way to act whenever you’re unsure how to approach a situation • It’s the unbending and never compromised foundation of all hiring, and firing, decisions • Culture allow us to shape a company that we feel happy working in every day, allowing us to work smarter not harder • Our culture is always evolving to become a better philosophy, a better blueprint to a better company • Our culture should never become the “average of all our current employees” - hiring mistakes happen
  3. If you like what you see in this deck, we’re constantly hiring great Ruby on Rails developers and Dev Ops Engineers 
 (London or remote within UK) ! Email and say hello!
  4. Our Guiding Principles
  5. 7 Principles To Guide Culture • Innovate 1% at a time • Be aspirational without compromise • Have the courage to capitalise on freedom • Practice self discipline • Default to transparency • Take responsibility • Empathise
  6. Reduces To 2 Core Values • Innovate 1% at a time INNOVATION • Be aspirational without compromise INNOVATION • Have the courage to capitalise on freedom INNOVATION • Practice self discipline PEOPLE • Default to transparency PEOPLE • Take responsibility PEOPLE • Empathise PEOPLE
  7. Gives us of purpose ing sense an amaz Innovation & People zing people
 s us the ama Give at purpose to ach ieve th required
  8. INNOVATION Innovate 1% at a time
  9. INNOVATION • The product belongs to the customer, not to our R&D team. Our team shouldn’t hold onto a product update because of their vanity, ego or desire to launch it at their convenience • When we take small steps, its easier to change direction • Never get comfortable, we can always improve 1% more • Innovate with conviction and confidence, but never with blind arrogance • Rely on self discipline to ask yourself “Could the customer be enjoying value from the parts I have already created?”
  10. INNOVATION Be Aspirational Without Compromise
  11. INNOVATION • We execute in small steps, but dream in marathons. Always point your compass to a bigger, better, happier destination • Money, people, geography, opinion. These are just challenges to overcome, not limitations on your creativity • Always question how this could be bigger or benefit more people • Always ignore negativity, but be open-minded and respectful to informed warnings and educated feedback
  12. INNOVATION Have The Courage To Capitalise On Freedom
  13. • We provide total freedom in everything, this is a luxury which needs to be enjoyed to be worthwhile • Have the courage to experiment within this freedom and make the most of it, don’t rely on others to be “the crazy creative ones” • Take responsibility and discipline to recognise good, and bad experiments and use the results to inform future decisions • Celebrate the failures of others and support them emotionally and practically • Always be mindful of becoming a deterrent to experimentation, with both your comments and actions, towards your colleagues • Never wait to be told to practice self improvement (books, courses, seminars) and always aim to become more valuable to our purpose
  14. PEOPLE Practice Self Discipline
  15. PEOPLE • Never wait, or expect, to be told when something isn’t great. Manage yourself so others don’t have to • Create your own ideal environment, schedule, strategy • Maintain your own sense of purpose, and talk to someone when you feel yourself losing it - before it starts to affect your happiness and productivity • Always iterate on personal productivity tactics
  16. PEOPLE Default To Transparency
  17. PEOPLE • Share everything, good and bad, internally and externally (when legally possible) because: • It could bring value to someone else’s work • Other people might be able to help you • The unknown is usually worrying and stressful • It allows people to share in the common purpose • Take pride when sharing good news and maximise on it’s potential to create happiness • Take responsibility, and realise the significance, when sharing bad news
  18. PEOPLE Take Responsibility
  19. PEOPLE • Own mistakes, you’re pretty much always the most qualified to correct them and implement strategies to avoid them repeating • Over-delegation creates an environment of all talk and no action. If you’re able to, just get it done and move on • In contrast, be mindful of your own efficiencies: when you need to delegate, embrace that you’re still responsible for it’s success or failure
  20. PEOPLE Empathise
  21. PEOPLE • Try to understand colleagues as people and go beyond their professional identity. Family, finance, hobbies, desires, passions… we’re complicated people and our professional work is only a fraction of what’s fighting for attention in our minds. Never compromise on your expectance of excellence, but support each other in achieving it • Understand the customer, the things frustrating them, what happens in their day, week, month after using our product, after speaking with you, reading our marketing. Who are they? What’s making them happy, what’s making their life less enjoyable? Always aim to make their life happier • Vendors and partners are companies, teams & people exactly like us. Treat them as you would a fellow colleague: with compassion and kindness, but an expectation of excellence
  22. This Company Is Built On Innovation & People. You Have A Great Opportunity and Responsibility To Deliver On Those Values
  23. This deck is always evolving. For more detail and context, speak to the founders: @liamgooding and @msaspence