Being just strengthens our thoughtfulness, and is critical to the success of Percolate and our culture. Even more than that, being just helps Percolate play the right role in the broader, more accepting world we want to see and create together. Fundamentally, being just is simply the right way to treat one another. It’s who we are, and we don’t ever plan to forget that.
At Percolate, we have a short set of values that define and guide who we are, how we work, and the decisions we make. One of those foundational values is “just,” commonly defined as “not doing wrong to any; violating no right or obligation; upright; righteous; honest; true.” As a startup, one of our original inspirations for “just” comes from a tradition of blameless post mortem reviews of errors and company mistakes. The goal is to always question assumptions, try to understand root problems, and solve for the system’s failures, rather than laying blame on an individual. When you push people to create important change, it’s only fair to also focus on the community and context where that change needs to succeed.
We’ve always strived to embody this value of “just” since the start of Percolate, but sometimes it’s important to reaffirm your beliefs and remind yourself why they really matter.
When we look at the world, or just look around the office at the type of company we want to build and the people we want to build it with, it’s clear that being just — practicing it, upholding it and standing side-by-side with others who want to spread the same kindness, truth and fairness — is one of the most important things we can do.
When we think about what it means to be just, it’s clear a truly just company does a few specific things that go beyond HR mottos or talking points on a poster:
—It champions diversity, tolerance, and equal treatment of people, regardless of where they’re from, who they love, how they look or what they believe.
—It encourages its employees to run fast, be fearless, work hard and be judged on the merits of their contributions, not on external factors connected to their identity or culture.
—It builds community and goodwill through its brand, actions, people and relationships.
We believe the only way to scale out Percolate is to distribute decision making out to the edges. That means we ask each and every person in the company to make decisions on behalf of the organization on a regular basis, without necessarily going to their manager to get advice or approval. Their guide instead must be the company’s culture. This values document is an attempt to officially record the values that we believe make Percolate great. Each value is paired with a question that anyone within Percolate could ask themselves to help them understand whether the decision they’re making is aligned with the company.
We ask each and every person in the company to make decisions on behalf of the organization on a regular basis, without necessarily going to their manager to get advice or approval.
Startup = Acceleration. A startup isn’t determined by size, it’s a company fueled for productivity, speed and removing friction. We must keep this spirit alive.
Does this decision move us closer to the company’s mission and vision?
2. Thoughtful by Design
We aim for thoughtfulness in everything we do. This should be felt by colleagues, customers, and competition.
Will this interaction leave the person on the other end feeling like I care deeply about their time?
3. Judge Percolate against Percolate
Know that everyone else has a lower bar than we do, never compromise.
Is what I’m doing truly exceptional or am I allowing it to be watered down by outside influences?
4. Success is measured in advocates
We are truly successful when our customers, employees, and partners become our champions.
How is what I’m doing helping to drive advocacy?
You own this company. As we grow, it is your responsibility to ensure that we’re awesome. If it sucks, make it better.
If I were the owner of this company outright, would I still do what I’m doing?
6. Constant questioning
Asking ‘why?’ isn’t just for children. Being curious will make you and this company great.
Do I understand the first principles of this problem and can I use them to design a better solution?
7. Focused on scale, but willing to do things that don’t
Sometimes the best way to reach scale in the long term is to do things that don’t in the short term.
If I look back on this decision in the future will I regret doing something that didn’t scale?
8. Led by product
Product is not just what we build, it’s the way we are. Everyone in the company should be thinking in, and building, products.
Can I find a way to automate or productize the work I’m doing right now?
9. Not just a job
We want you to look back and feel that Percolate put your career on a new trajectory. You are proud, and you wouldn’t change a thing.
Does this decision move me closer towards my personal mission and vision?
At Percolate you are encouraged to run fast, be fearless, and work hard. If you make a mistake, let’s all learn from it.
Am I acting in the best interest of the company’s values?