Why have values?
We’re in a phase of the company where we are seeking Product-Market Fit for Comply. We maximize our chances of finding it first when we iterate rapidly on shipping product, measuring and learning from it, and shipping again.
To do this, we need collaboration and communication across the organization, and we need to be able to make decisions quickly — which means we need to enable everyone to make decisions, rather than just a core group of Leads.
We have a bunch for ways of trying to help you decide what to focus on, or how to spend your time: Our mission is why we exist; our strategy is how we decide what to work on; our metrics are how we’re doing. Our values and operating principles guide our day-to-day decision-making in our interactions with each other and help us translate our mission and strategy into actual work.
When we talk about the “Aptible Values,” we’re referring to a set of shared attitudes about work. Specifically, these values represent attitudes we have that can be used to drive decision making and support the kind of team we’re trying to build.
We use our values in recruiting, hiring, performance reviews, and Win Columns, because we believe applying a consistent set of values will not only make us more successful but also help work be more rewarding for us all.
Invoking them when we talk to each other should promote:
- Healthy team dynamic of creative tension between optimism and skepticism → We make wise, high-quality decisions quickly.
- High velocity of product execution & going to market → We translate ideas to action quickly.
- High group learning, psychological safety, etc. → We enable our teams to learn from our actions quickly.
What makes for a good set of values?
Every member of the team should be able to understand and remember each value, all the time. So fewer is better, but each value needs to be simple without being simplistic.
Values should help guide decision making between otherwise reasonable, attractive alternatives. They should not be generic desirable platitudes, like “honesty” or “integrity” — no one would disagree with that.
The specific language in each value and supporting principles should help address undesirable behavior when it emerges. No one bikesheds, lets scope creep happen, or misses deadlines maliciously — those things happen when reasonable people make reasonable choices in the absence of guidance.
Finding Product-Market Fit requires intense focus, and that we be excellent at not doing things that don’t matter. We want values that build focus and bring wisdom to how we make decisions. Focus means explicitly saying no to things that would otherwise be attractive.
What are Aptible's Values?
Done is Better than Perfect
“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” ― Voltaire
We identify the core value of a project and ship the simple thing first. We’re willing to set a goal we’re not sure of because it inspires us to act in the spirit of learning, reflect on the results, and gather valuable data about what to try next. We fail often and early in pursuit of experimentation and risk-taking on novel ideas.
We value and respect teaching as the best way to learn, and make time to share information openly. We are a team of learners with a growth mindset: We talk about improving constantly and challenge each other to grow.
Be Hard on Problems, Not People
“Feedback comes from a place of positive intent." — Michael Terrell
We discuss our questions and concerns openly as a group. We practice giving effective feedback, with the intent of helping each other be more successful. When we give feedback, we make each other feel big, not small.
We work to create an environment where it feels completely safe to ask for help and take a risk — where we feel valued for our contributions and accepted for who we are. We don't attribute mistakes or unexpected outcomes to human error: We view them as a starting point for an inquiry, not the end. We can resolve difficult issues while supporting each other.
“Is the juice worth the squeeze?” — Source Unknown
We seek to understand before we act. We question our assumptions and surface differences of opinion, in order to discover gaps in our plans and make changes accordingly.
By asking “Why?”, we cultivate focus and create leverage: We pick the right things to work on and maximize the impact of our efforts. By asking “Why?”, we make space for the creative tension between optimism and skepticism, and think strategically about what and how we build.