Building a Startup Culture That Lasts4 years ago Srinivas Aki
Every startup toils at validating an idea by feverishly working towards business goals, hiring people, paying them, retaining them and getting work done. Consistent and observable patterns of behavior are created within the company just by way of things getting done. A well defined structure, processes and incentives define the cultural identity of any startup.
Contrary to the simplified version of – which startup has the best workplace culture – working in a fancy office with lime green fixtures and drinking beer along with the CEO of the company do not define the culture of a company.
Building a cultural identity is even harder for startups, because people have to be incentivized enough to believe in the founder’s vision and become one with it. When all else fails, startup with a strong cultural identity, can rely on its own team to keep going.
Startup cultures are predominantly defined by the processes and structure that keeps the employees productive. A much more inclusive approach to teams well being can build much strong teams that are positive, vibrant and happy.
Here’s some pointers to actively nurture your startups cultural identity.
- Communicate Your Vision – both for business and the team
- Nurture Your First Follower – because without him there is no movement
- Regularly rally the team – this is a marathon alright.
- Encourage Empathy – because you reap what you sow.
- Discourage Negativity – keeps your morale high as well.
Netflix’s own culture document outlines the vision for all the stakeholders. Some notable pointers.
- Context Over Control
- Freedom & Responsibility
- Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled.
Lets all hope there comes a day when a startup is considered newsworthy not just because of the money they have raised. But the culture they have built.
- Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility
- Startup Class by Sam Altman, Lecture 10, Culture
- Angel List, New Employee Reading List
- Derek Sivers, How To Start A Movement
- Engineering Culture Driven By Extreme Programming Rules
About The Author
Srinivas Aki in his current role as the CEO & Founder of The Egghead Creative, works with entrepreneurs and startups advising them on technology, products and strategy. As an Indian born and US bred technologist, he brings a formidable outlook to software driven endeavors. If you are an early stage startup looking for advise, reach out to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org