What are core values? They are a small set of vital and timeless guiding principles for our company, our DNA.
Our core values will serve as a guide to know what is expected, how to behave and how to make decisions every day.
1) 💎 Simple is Beautiful
Simple = Beautiful.
Simple = Elegant.
Simple = Harder to achieve.
Simple = High quality.
We strive for simplicity in all aspects of our business. Less is more. Simple is harder to achieve and must be practiced. All members of the team must prioritize, reduce scope and complexity. The speed with which we can iterate is directly related to how complex we have made things. Simple is materialized in the following areas:
- Simple Product: Build the minimum features needed to solve a problem. Before adding a new feature, ask yourself: is it really necessary? Avoid distractions or diluting the “calls to action” that we want users to take. Simpler experiences are more enjoyable for our users. There should be just one way of performing something within the product. When we say "product", it's not only our main product, but anything that we produce, including webpages, demos, documentation, marketing campaigns, processes, etc.
- Simple Documentation. Create both internal and public documentation that are easy to read, concise, to the point, and that avoid boilerplate. Keep in mind that users and teammates will need to read documentation fast. Use appropriate titles that are self-descriptive and avoid jargon. This will also make documentation easier to maintain.
- Simple Communications. When communicating externally and internally, simplicity keeps messaging on point and ensures that we are respectful of other people’s time. Reduce messages, lines, and formats where possible. Practice setting expectations with the team and clients. Structure and format your messages: use bullet points, italics, and bold to help make messages more readable.
We must always seek quality. Everything we build must be thoughtful, designed to create a simple and delightful experience for our users and team. Magic is in the details.
2) ♥️ Empathy
Be generous, caring, and considerate with everyone you cross paths with in the business. Showing humility and balancing ego should be practiced. Our team should listen first (we have two ears and one mouth so shouldn't we listen twice as much as we speak?), act second. Empathy is materialized in two areas:
- Within our team. Listen to other team members. Keep your ego in check when discussing solutions. Give candid feedback in an empathetic way. Celebrate other teammates' successes and help others get over failures. Help other team members as much as possible.
- With our customers and users. Show gratitude for a client or user who shows interest for or invests time in MonkeyLearn. Our business exists because of them; they pay our salaries. Never treat a client or user in a derogatory way or in a way that might remind them of something they don’t know. On the contrary, treat users as if they were guests at your home. You want them to feel as comfortable and happy as possible. We strive to understand why people use MonkeyLearn and then try to add value each time we interact. If a user doesn't understand something, it's likely our fault, not theirs. Remember that you have much more knowledge about our product than they do.
3) 📊 Results
Work hard and maximize your impact. This company exists to build a world-class product and business. This can only be achieved with hard work. It's about measuring results, not hours. Our team prioritizes productivity over striving for perfection. Apply the Pareto principle of generating 80% of your impact from 20% of effort. Productivity is materialized into three aspects:
- Get things done and show results. Achieving great things is dependent on working hard. You must give your work a sense of urgency; we are competing with the best in the world. Show a bias for action and results.
- Be organized, divide and conquer, prioritize, ship, get feedback, and iterate. Be smart about how you set yourself up to work. Defend your time. Focus. Slice big problems into smaller ones, do incremental iterations you can show incremental progress for. Divide and conquer. Split big problems and projects into smaller steps and tasks. Prioritize the top tasks to resolve. Each step may take you 1hr to 2 days. Ship the results from those small steps, get feedback quickly, and iterate.