In my last post, We spoke about ‘screw it, ship it’ as our second core value. We’re onto our third core value. As simple as it is, it’s about friendship.
The idea of this core value bring us back to the roots of this company; it was founded on friendship. A passing advice I noted from a big VC was that they look out for the relationships of the founders. If the founders had a history of friendship, they tend to find that positive. It’s not to say that the inverse is completely negative or that the former is always a positive. It was just observed in their space of investments. In my small experience, I’ve seen that with a developed relationship, it’s easier to cut the bullshit. That, to me, is important in a partner.
When we talk to talents, we try to set the tone so that they don’t see us as a company but instead, see us as a family. It may sound cheesy but it really sets precedence for a number of things. For one, with a family, we have each other’s interests at heart. This removes working with agenda and would help us promote a culture of learning/growing together. We want to foster a ‘we’re all in this together’ frame of mind.
“A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”
— The Godfather
Home away from home
If the underlying tone of your company is friendship and family, then you’re creating an environment that is a second home. We’re not defining a second home as the second place you’d spend most of your time. We’re defining it as a place you’d look forward to go to. A safe environment where people are concerned about each other. As much as we try to chase the team out of the office after a certain number of hours, we feel the office environment should be a cohesive place to work. A unity and synergy that lets you be you while you do what you do best.
With an understanding of friendship in the company, we’re able to break down the walls of the corporate big brother and allow the team to have a chat like families do. Not only does it encourage connecting people at a greater speed and depth, it also translates into more voluntary working partnerships. In turn, we’re hoping this translates into productivity like it did when it was just Jack and me.
With my conversation on our core values hitherto, I hope aspiring business owners can see the value of setting a culture from day 1. As I said previously, culture is the way we do things and some things become hard to change the longer an organisation negates it. Yvon Chouinard has a company policy: when a wave comes up, drop work and go surfing. I won’t go into the rationale behind this but when companies praised this idea and considered adopting it, he told them to forget it as you have to start with the very first person you hire.
I can speak for the rest of the team and say that we love sharing parts of our story every week but our hands have been pretty damn full lately and we need to start focusing on the core of our business at least for a while. As such, we’ll be on hiatus from our weekly posts indefinitely. When we can’t fight that urge to pen an experience down or when we find some time, we’d definitely put something up but we have to relax on the regularity for now.
Follow us on @madeinalpha to know what we are up to.