This is about who we are and what we do. These are the basic principles of how we live and work. It is also a guide for us to make good decisions. It was something we kept internally, but felt right about publishing it on our website. Transparency is very important to us.
Be good and work hard. Thats just the start. Working at AppDevy should always be fun. If we aren’t having fun along this wild ride, something is wrong and we need to figure out as a team how to fix it. We will fix it. We always find a way.
It’s not easy, nothing in life is when you build things that are extraordinarily difficult. Everyones job is to make AppDevy a success. Take ownership, find new problems that others on our team might not notice right away and fix them. Its very important to trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a problem or become a problem, it probably will. Act on it right away. Don't ever assume its not your job or that someone else might notice it.
Make checklists as use them religiously. We are a team of surgeons dissecting code and sometimes building things that never existed. We have no margin for error. There are people that would love if we went out of business. Whether we succeed or fail, its up to you.
Only hire the absolute best. People who will be a powerful force in our company. People that will make sure we exist for the next 100 years. People that will open their laptop if need be on Thanksgiving or Christmas when they are with their family. People who understand working at a startup isn’t a 9-5. Its a way of life. Its up to you to decide whether its a great life. Hire people that if they did eventually leave the company, we would be devastated. Do your research before hiring someone. Be laser focused. Take your time when hiring. Always be hiring. Don't deal with recruiters. The best companies should be able to find the next great person to work with us. The right people actually tend to find us.
Don’t fuck up the culture. Remember where we started, why we started, and where we came from. Every new person we hire looks at the others for examples of how to act. Give them good examples, eventually they will be the ones hiring. They will be setting the example. Communication should always be easy between our team. It should always be fun too. Especially when you hire only the best people. The ideas that come up with super smart people can be some of the best!
How can you tell if someone is an extraordinarily great employee? You are consistently surprised about how well they do their job. If you aren’t consistently surprised, they aren’t an A level employee. Also, ask yourself, “is this person hungry?” You must always stay hungry, never full. Never satisfied. When hiring someone keep a few things in mind. Many skills can be learned, however some cant. Raw firepower, dedication, and determination can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t. Some things also can’t be reversed, like bad attitudes. Bad attitudes suck.
Choosing what we do and how we spend our time everyday is very important. Ultimately, this will effect our overall success. If your not spending your time working on things that will effect our long term success, you might as well not even come into work. Its important to ignore the distractions. Email is a huge distraction, not everyone needs it to communicate. We all have to work on things that aren't fun at times. Thats how life is sometimes. Deal with it.
When working on big projects early drafts are so important. Put one out soon as you can so we can all give input. Never be embarrassed. Finishing projects is whats most important. A project thats “almost done” is about as valuable to the company as a project that hasn't started.
Being busy doesn’t mean your being successful. There are so many things going on at AppDevy that its hard not to be busy. Just because you feel tired, your stretched thin, not on Facebook or Hacker News all day, doesn’t mean your making progress! Its important that we are the ones making our own agendas. We can just be accepting what the world shoves in our face. Proactive companies win, reactive ones don’t.
Some projects we work on are very difficult and they require several uninterrupted hours of deep focus and thought. Sometimes we lock each other in rooms with no internet. Whatever it takes to get the job done. Take ownership of what your working on. Be proud of what you are working on.
A horrible way to “stay busy” is constantly checking and responding to emails. Back and forth email debates rarely create progress on whatever project we are working on. Sometimes a call is quicker.
The worst way to “stay busy” is meetings. Meetings are VERY expensive for a company, especially if there are so many employees in a meeting. When you meet its important to have one very clear concise goal. Recurring meetings are the worst. Can there really be a very clear, concise goal every week?
Its very important to over communicate your feelings directly with other employees. If you feel like something is starting to bother you, bring it up right away. The longer you wait, the worse it will get and the harder it will be. We can’t have bad vibes or hostility between anyone in our company. Be critical and honest about each others work. Feedback from someone else is a gift. When giving feedback, don’t sugar coat things, but don’t be mean.
When building a great company things will get messy. We have a lot of problems at AppDevy. Its every employees problem to fix them. Push yourself to come up with a suggestion of how we fix things. Offering solutions instead of pointing out problems is very important. Also, don’t complain. Complaining is the absolute worst thing you can do when there is a problem.
Be proud of your work. We build some great things here. When speaking to other employees, people, or investors, speak like you mean it. Be bold. Get excited and speak with enthusiasm. This is a hard skill to learn, but its something thats easy to practice and easy to get great at. Its always a skill that can easily be improved upon.
The most important thing is to stay cool and stay positive. There are many times where we thought AppDevy was fucked and somehow we fixed it. No matter how bad it is, there is probably a solution. Its important not to freak out and figure out how to fix the problem. Don’t weather the storm, do something to fix the problem. When in the midst of a crisis, complaining is toxic! Keep in mind you don’t get any credit for being the one to figure out there was a problem. However, you get a ton of credit for being the one to stand up and fix the problem. You get even more credit for turning a crisis into an opportunity. Stay positive and look for opportunities!
This is just the start and we will add more to this list. Without these guiding principles its easy to lose focus and forget where we came from. We also become a company that no one likes and that no one wants to work with. We can’t have that.