Cultures don’t exist apart from their companies. A company doesn’t have a culture, it is a culture. A company is a group of people on a mission. Therefore, the people and how well do they work together is what defines the culture, and the success of a venture.
Hiring the most talented people and pitching them together is not sufficient. People should like working with each other. They should be passionate about the work they are doing. They should believe in the company’s mission. Hiring talented people that work well together and care about what they’re doing will take you much further than hiring the “best” who might view the job purely transactionally.
From outside of the company, all company’s employees should look different than all other employees, but similar to each other. A tribe of like-minded people devoted to the company’s mission.
Inside of the company, everyone should have sharply distinguished roles. Each employee should have one thing they’re responsible for, and know that they’ll be evaluated only on that thing. This increases accountability, and eliminates competition. This way, employees build relationships that far transcend mere professionalism.
You want your team to have an almost cult-like spirit. Cults are groups of people who are usually fanatically wrong about something. A good startup is a team of people who are fanatically right about something people outside have missed. The extreme opposite of cults are consulting firms: the company lacks a discriminative mission on its own, and employees drop in and out with no long-term connection to the company.
- Zero to One, Peter Thiel
Links to this note
Engineering: can you create a breakthrough technology rather than incremental improvements? A business needs 10x technological improvement to have real monopolistic advantage 2. Timing: is now the right time to...
Aim for 0 to 1 improvements - The dot-com bubble made people cautious of innovation and big thinking - Competition is usually bad for a business - Monopolies exaggerate their...