Company Culture and Building a Team, Part I

Lecture 10: Company Culture and Building a Team, Part I

Link: How to Start a Startup

(You can find notes to the other lectures here.) 

Alfred Lin (@Alfred_Lin)

If you don’t have a good culture in the company you can’t pursue your destiny.

Why does it matter?

  • First Principles
  • Alignment
  • Stability
  • Trust
  • Exclusion
  • Retention

If you have good strong culture, and good strong core values, you’ll know who want to retain and who you don’t want to retain.

As the leader ask what values are most important to you.

Company first. Then your department. Then your team. Then yourself.

A lot of teams break down because they don’t have any trust.

If you don’t have conflict and debate then it is the blind leading the blind.

You can have the smartest engineering in the world but if they don’t believe in the mission they aren’t going to pour their heart and soul into it.

Culture needs to be a daily habit.

Brian Chesky (@bchesky)

You want your culture to be awesome.

If you can’t build a great company then your product will not endure.

Culture needs to be designed.

Integrity and honesty are values that everybody should have.

You should have five or six core values that are unique to you.

Write your core values down before you hire anyone.

You want people to be there for the one thing that will never change–your mission.

No one ever tells you that you need great culture.

Things that are hard to measure often get discounted.

The biggest problem with culture is that it doesn’t pay off in the short term.

Missionaries will outlast mercenaries.

Culture and brand are two sides of the same coin.

Culture are the things inside of the company that you want people to be aligned with long term.

Brand is the promise outside the company that everybody identifies with.

If you have a strong culture then the brand will come through.

No matter how successful you are in life travelling will make you feel not special (waiting in line at the TSA, etc.).

If you have the right vision, right strategy, and the right people then you have a good company.

It is better to have a hundred people love you than a million people who just like you.