Lemon #61. Programming your
While reading ‘The hard thing about hard things’ from Ben Horowitz, we learned about how to program your culture:
Ask ten founders about company culture and what it means and you’ll get ten different answers. It’s about office design, it’s about screening out the wrong kinds of employees, it’s about employees, it’s about fun…
So what is culture? The primary thing that any technology startup must do is build a product that’s at least ten times better at doing something than the current prevailing way of doing that thing. Two or three times better will not be enough to get people to switch to the new thing fast enough or in large enough volume to matter. The second thing that any technology startup do is to take the market.
If you fail to do both of those things, your culture won’t matter one bit. The world is full of bankrupt companies with world-class cultures. Culture does not make a company.
You needn’t think hard how you can make your company seem bizarre to outsiders. However, you do need to think about how you can be provocative enough to change what people do every day.
Ideally, a cultural design point will be trivial to implement but have far-reaching behavioral consequences. Key to this kind of mechanism is shock value.
If you put something into your culture that is so disturbing that it always creates a conversation, it will change behavior.
Ben Horowitz @ The hard thing about hard things.