Prior to joining Social Capital as an EIR, I led marketing at Gusto and helped scale the company from approximately 10 to 500 employees. One of my favorite things about Gusto was how values-driven we were. Not only did we articulate our values, we operationalized them by building them into our recruiting and decision-making processes.
Values cannot be taught; they are intrinsic to people. The best you can do is be clear about your values and let others opt in or out. As we build our new company, Mutiny, I want to articulate the values that will form its foundation.
1. Work should feel like play
The corporate world teaches us to be “professional.” Dress a certain way. Talk a certain way. Be a certain way. In reality, the quality of our work degrades when it’s being done by our “work” self instead of our “real” self. We do our best, most creative work when we feel safe, energized, and completely immersed. Our vibrance and playfulness help us connect with other humans, whether it’s a coworker or a customer.
No Sunday Scaries. Let’s bring our full selves to work, quirks and all. And make work feel more like play every day.
2. Faster always wins
Humans are wired to move slowly. Gather more information. Minimize risk. Avoid looking like a fool in front of others. As companies get larger, coordination overhead slows us down even further. This is why we must be explicit about the importance of speed. Focus on speed before quality. In the short run, moving fast leads to mistakes and imperfection. But speed also leads to seizing more opportunities, learning faster, and course-correcting quickly — all of which increase quality in the long run.
If you have an idea, put yourself out there. Figure out the shortest distance from A to B. Then go do it. We’ll be here to support you all the way.
3. Do the right thing when no one’s watching
It’s easy to put on a show. To meet the minimum requirements. To advance by taking credit for someone else’s work. At Mutiny, we’re empowered — and burdened — to define what is right and let it guide our behavior. We each take responsibility for our mistakes, wipe up a coffee spill in the kitchen and make hard decisions in a way that would make us proud. And we sleep better at night for it.
Let’s do the right thing for each other and for our company, instead of the bare minimum or what is expected. Especially when no one is watching.
4. Don’t be afraid to piss people off
It’s human nature to avoid conflict. To ask for permission first. To avoid rocking the boat. But progress requires the opposite. The most important truths — the ones that are the foundation of progress — tend to be really hard to face at first. We have to speak our minds clearly and immediately (albeit with grace and empathy). Challenge the status quo. Seek radical candor over ruinous empathy. Disrupt inertia if it no longer takes us to where we need to go.
Let’s speak our minds and move forward together instead of being afraid of “stepping on toes.”
5. All hands on deck
Building a product that millions of people use is really hard. Shit hits the fan on a regular basis at a startup. To win, we have to keep going where others have stopped. We have to want it more. Most importantly, we each have to play our part. Our individual actions are the difference between winning or losing a customer, shipping early or late, or building a strong or weak community.
Let’s strengthen our commitment in hard times. Let’s show up, ask how we can help, and build a really fucking cool company, together.
Let’s build an amazing company together and have a blast doing it. Reach out if this sounds like the company you want to build, too.