Our Values

We take inspiration from other companies. Just like the rest of our work, we continually adjust our values and strive always to make them better. Our values help us to prevent the five dysfunctions.

Teamwork

  • Give feedback effectively. When providing feedback, always make it about the work itself, focus on the business impact and not the person. Make sure to provide at least one clear and recent example. For managers, it's important to realize that employees react to a negative incident with their managers six times more strongly than they do to a positive one.
  • Negative is 1-1. Give negative feedback in the smallest setting possible.
  • Say thanks. Publicly recognize the people that helped you.
  • Get to know each other on a personal level. We use a lot of text-based communication, and if you know the person behind the text, it will be easier to prevent conflicts.
  • Say sorry. Saying sorry is not a sign of weakness but one of strength. When we share our mistakes and bring attention to them, others can learn from us, and the same mistake is less likely to repeated by someone else.
  • No ego. Don't defend a point to win an argument.
  • People are not their work. Always make suggestions about examples of work, not the person. Say, "you didn't respond to my feedback about the design," instead of, "you never listen".
  • Blameless problem solving. Investigate mistakes in a way that focuses on the situational aspects of a failure’s mechanism and the decision-making process that led to the failure rather than cast blame on a person or team. We hold blameless postmortems for stakeholders to speak up without fear of punishment or retribution.

Engineering

  • Dogfooding. We use our own products.
  • Accept uncertainty. The ability to accept that there are things that we don’t know about the work we’re trying to do, and that the best way to drive out that uncertainty is not by layering analysis and conjecture over it, but rather accepting it and moving forward, driving it out as we go along. Wrong solutions can be fixed, but non-existent ones aren’t adjustable at all.
  • Pick simple solutions. Use the simplest solution for a problem, and remember that “boring” should not be conflated with “bad” or “technical debt.” The speed of innovation for our organization and product is constrained by the total complexity we have added so far, so every little reduction in complexity helps. Don’t pick an interesting technology just to make your work more fun.
  • Do the smallest thing possible and get it out as quickly as possible. If you make suggestions that can be excluded from the first iteration turn them into a separate issue that you link. If we take smaller steps and ship smaller simpler features, we get feedback sooner. Instead of spending time working on the wrong feature or going in the wrong direction, we can ship the smallest product, receive fast feedback, and course correct.

Operations

  • Measure results not hours. We care about what you achieve; the code you shipped, the user you made happy, and the team member you helped. Someone who took the afternoon off shouldn't feel like they did something wrong. You don't have to defend how you spend your day.
  • Frugality. Amazon states it best with: "Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.".
  • Accept mistakes. Most decisions are easy to reverse, have the directly responsible individual make them without approval. Not every problem should lead to a new process to prevent them. Additional processes make all actions more inefficient, a mistake only affects one. Only when you can't reverse them there should be a decision process.
  • No matrix organisation. We believe everyone deserves to report to exactly one person that knows and understands what you do day to day. The benefit of having a technically competent manager is easily the largest positive influence on a typical worker’s level of job satisfaction. We have a simple functional hierarchy, everyone has one manager that is experienced in their subject matter.

Culture

  • Building a safe community. Everyone has the right to feel safe when working. We do not tolerate abuse, harassment, exclusion, discrimination or retaliation.
  • Unconscious bias. We are responsible not only for what we intend to say but also for the effect it creates. This includes not only obvious disrespect or lack inclusion but also the everyday things - well-intentioned people nevertheless unintentionally injuring one another due to ignorance. That means we all need to get better at recognizing unconscious or implicit bias in ourselves.
  • Family and friends first, work second. Long lasting relations are the rocks of life and come before work.
  • See something, say something. Disasters are normally the consequence of a combination of multiple small events. By reporting and taking action on the small events as we see them, we minimise the probability of disaster.
  • Eliminate toil. Toil is the kind of work that tends to be manual, repetitive, automatable, tactical, devoid of enduring value, and that scales linearly as a service grows. We identify and eliminate toil as we go.
  • Learn and be curious. We are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. Be curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

Leadership

  • Customer obsession. Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Honesty about our position is crucial to this.
  • Ownership. Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job."
  • Are right, a lot. Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgement and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.
  • Insist on the highest standards. Leaders have relentlessly high standards - many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
  • Bias for action. Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
  • Earn trust. Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
  • Dive deep. Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are sceptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
  • Have backbone; disagree and commit. Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
  • Deliver results. Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never compromise.

Armed Forces Covenant

We are a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, which means:

  • We are an armed forces-friendly organisation.
  • We support the employment of veterans young and old.
  • We support the employment of Service spouses and partners.
  • We endeavour to offer flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment.
  • We seek to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces.