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Building a startup: A view from the other side
I have always been fascinated by why some startups succeed and others fail. Many companies have similar ideas about how they want to solve a specific problem, but usually, only one, maybe two come out on top. Do they execute better or faster than everyone else? Do they have smarter people working for them? Or, did they do something unique with the culture early to set the standard?
In my opinion, the best thing any startup can do is establish a culture early that inspires everyone in the company to believe in one mission and pushes employees to succeed.
I co-founded a technology company in NYC and helped guide the growth of that culture. Anyone that has been a founder of a company can attest to certain things being lost in the commotion of daily work or areas where they felt they might have neglected as the company grows. One of the most important indicators of a successful company is culture: Do people love coming to work every day? At my startup, I was so focused on building a successful business that in hindsight, I could have done a better job contributing to building the culture.
At Percolate, Noah and James’ commitment to culture starts from day one. Our entire team believes in one common goal: Re-define digital marketing and communication. As Jim Collins, best-selling author of Good to Great and Built to Last says, “Commit to a set of core values that you will want to build your enterprise on…for 100 years.”
Building culture takes constant iteration and a willingness to fail and try again. Each Monday morning, both the product and business teams meet to set strategic goals for the week. We all then support each other in reaching those goals, and once Friday comes around, we celebrate our weekly ‘Wins’ with an all-hands meeting. This structure is an important contributor to building teamwork.
That teamwork is extended to new employees when they’re assigned a “Percolator” who acts as their mentor for the first few weeks to get them up and running. It’s present in our recently formed Percolate clubs to align similar interests inside the company like: art and culture; winter sports; bread baking; running; and yoga. And, it’s present as we build our internal knowledge network, Barista, that both Greg and Noah discussed in previous posts.
Percolate has given me the unique opportunity to experience the growth of culture at a startup from the employee perspective after seeing it as a founder. Does our culture sound like something you’d want to contribute to? We’re hiring.