Defining the kind of company I want to help create. I will continue to revisit and improve this over time.
'We shall either find a way or make one'
Taken from the Latin 'inveniam viam aut faciam'. Inspired by Hannibal Barca, the Carthaginian general who replied with this when told it was impossible to lead an army with Elephants over the Italian Alps to attack Rome.
I want to be part of a company with deep satisfying relationships and meaningful achievements. Therefore, the values I want to ingrain into as much as possible are as follows: 1. Courage 2. Learning 3. Openness 4. Creativity
No innovation or meaningful achievement can be achieved without courage. I truly believe it is the most rare and valuable of all human qualities. I believe courage stems from a strong internal locus of control, i.e. the belief that we can influence outcomes to create the changes we want. Courage happens when we take ownership and responsibility for results and use each lesson to grow in confidence and belief.
The next most important thing is to strive to be the best we can be at what we do. We win by out-learning our opponents. This means we sacrifice short-term productivity for long-term capability. We don't pretend to know more than we really do and we're never afraid to ask silly questions. Everyone starts off as a beginner.
Openness = Speed, nothing makes a project go slower than the need for constant communication back and forth. If I trust you completely, I don't have to communicate very much, If I don't trust you, no amount of communication will fix it. If I trust you completely, I will try my hardest to help us succeed because I know you will fairly reward me. If I don't trust you, I will do the bare minimum and pour my remaining effort elsewhere. I believe compensation and equity should be fair and allocated in a transparent way. Openness = Emotional safety. Another major productivity killer is fear. Too many people fail to reach their potential because of fear. Fear and insecurity are toxic and should not be tolerated. Everyone should feel safe to share their most unpopular ideas and beliefs without any emotional backlash. Mutual support, belonging, trust and inclusion are paramount to high performing teams.
Great ideas are almost always the ones that are opposite to conventional wisdom but correct. The only way to find great ideas, therefore, is to be as unconventional as possible. We think of ways to beat the game, not play the game
A huge brain dump of things that I want to do
- Profit-sharing on projects - Priority to anything that gives an employee more control of their career outcomes. - We give anyone a chance and a clear path to grow. - Focus recruitment and development around evaluating values and skill, not experience or reputation. - No office hours, just outcomes - Random seating arrangements that change periodically - Meeting activities that force participation (i.e. 6 hats) - Radical transparency in everything - All pay is performance-based, peer evaluated and transparent - Management by outcomes NOT output - A partnership of semi-independent teams not a chain of command and control
- Small empowered self-contained teams of 3-5 - Direct communication between customers and engineers responsible for their projects - Teams must be cross-functional, own a particular “product” and contain members from all levels of career development - No managers or product managers, just team leaders - Each team has a clear connection to the bottom line - Each team has one key outcome that they are responsible for. - Low costs of failure due to small teams with research, analysis and promotional skills. - Invest in platforms and tools that speed up teams' value attempts. - Celebrate attempts and make value discovery experiments fun in themselves - Proper introductions and an onboarding buddy - Each employee must have a teacher and a student - Autonomy in decision making, teams only report on their outcomes NOT output
- Believability weighted decision making and peer evaluation - Time set aside for purely experimental projects - Frequent hackathons and opportunities for people to show off their skills - Whenever underperformance happens, the focus should be on learning causes and effects not blaming or shaming people, same goes with praise, must be factual. - Name wall - Lots of 1 on 1s and asking what they would fix if they were in charge - Strong creative attractor. The world needs what we are making. We believe it can be done. We have an opportunity to do it. Shared anticipation of a better future if we succeed - We must have a clear sense of purpose, vision and mission - Invest in team member growth by having opportunities for advancement - Grant autonomy and delegate authority as much as possible, give plenty of opportunities to "step up" and provide the support necessary to succeed.
Small empowered teams that are passionately pursuing meaningful innovations that have the potential to transform our community, company, and lives into some epic, next-level thing.