Culture is a heavy word, its not something that can be measured yet can be felt within the confines of an office space, interactions of your product and behaviour of your employees. Usually you will find a lot of startups tout their culture and why they are different, but almost 99.9% of the time they are creating a mirage of what their culture is rather than really molding it. Its not easy for a founder to accept that his company culture is not where he wants it to be, but to ignore it makes no sense.
I have decided not to ignore it :) . I have never had the time to ponder on this because the first few people at TeliportMe matched my culture perfectly and everything felt great. But as the early employees left and new people came in, then more of them came in and suddenly all of us TeliportMe felt that we were not working the way we should. The reason being that we were still churning product and features like a BOSS, we were able to have great progress but it didn't feel right atleast not to me.
We were still winning but we were not enjoying the process and that was a problem.
Last week I attended a conference organized by ATTA where I came across this Leadership and Culture session and I ignored it the first time but after my new found friend Rajesh Ojha coaxed me into how great the talk was I decided to go for the repeat session the next day. It was very useful in providing some structure to the problems we face as startups everyday and how to deal with the “non-physical” parts of working with a high performing team.
This graphic speaks a lot about how behaviour works in a simple structure, most of the guys TeliportMe come from different walks of life and mostly have different values, its not an ideal situation but we still have worked like crazy together and made great stuff so I believe that we can easily figure this out and start enjoying our wins more :)
One of the first things they talked about in the talk was to publicly define your culture and values, this is something I had worked on a long time back but never published it, mostly because it never felt relevant, I will work on that again and publish that soon. This will be followed by some more posts on the vision of TeliportMe, our journey so far and our journey ahead.