Maqsam's Culture Principles

A company's culture is how people in it behave when no one is looking and no one is telling them what to do.
- Paraphrased from Ben Horowitz

 1. We Have Opinions

Form opinions: We form our own opinions, and don't let our starting point be conformity. Our opinions provide new perspectives, new solutions, or new critiques

Share opinions: We challenge what others say, defending our position with arguments and data if possible. We love being wrong and losing an argument because it lets the best ideas win. Our discourse is respectful, we criticize ideas, not people.

Make mistakes but keep moving: If a decision has to be made, we disagree and commit. We will make mistakes, and we do not blame one another for mistakes.

2. We Take Ownership

Owning something means you are responsible for making sure it gets delivered well and on-time, whether you execute it yourself or not.

Bias for action: Get the ball rolling as soon as possible with the simplest step, don’t create unnecessary barriers for the sake of perfection; perfect is the enemy of great.

Set the agenda proactively: It isn't like someone else figures out all the details and we just execute; we're involved in figuring out what needs to be done, we set the agenda proactively, work on developing preliminary solutions, and have the ability to make decisions without blocking on others unless necessary.

Self-accountable: Every person is in charge of what they do, so we hold ourselves accountable before anyone else does. We create things we are proud of having created, things of high quality. 

3. We Are Transparent

Raise flags early: We do not wait till the last moment to tell others about anything important; we raise anything of importance early. If you’re unsure if others know, remember that over-communication is better than under-communication.

Radically honest: We are radically honest; we have any tough conversations early and openly instead of postponing or avoiding them. If we have a problem, we talk to the people involved directly first. We believe knowing things even if they are bad is better than not knowing them

No misuse: We trust each other with information, some of which might be sensitive, so we handle this trust responsibly, ensuring it is not misused or used in a way that could harm others or the company.

4. We Are A Team

Just like a sports team, to win you have to have the best players and they need to play together as a team.

Best-in-class: We want to work with strong world-class people, and we invest in developing people to keep growing.

Shared journey: We all succeed together as one unit, we therefore are all responsible for keeping the quality of our team high, to consistently win. You do not want to be a strong football player in a team that has a bad goalkeeper. If you see something wrong, say something.

Trust: We assume everyone else is operating with good intentions, we trust each other to make reasonable decisions, and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Us, not me, not you: We shine together in a bright constellation, not as individual stars. We are selfless; we focus on serving the team and achieving its shared goals. We recognize how others enable us, as opposed to focusing on what we deliver as individuals. We speak up on behalf of each other.

5. We Have Integrity

Do right: We want to be able to sleep well at night; we do the right thing morally.

Not all about the money: We do not measure success purely financially.

6. We Are Systematic

Organizational knowledge: We understand that humans forget, or might not always be available, and therefore do not depend on tacit knowledge for important matters. Rather, we turn our knowledge explicit.

Repeatable results: We design systems to have predictable and repeatable results through the use of processes. We try to understand cause and effect by being data-driven to avoid flukes.

Learn from mistakes: We will make mistakes, but we shouldn’t make them twice. We codify our lessons learned in our processes.

Balancing act: Being too systematic or systematic too early can be as bad as not being systematic due to the overhead it can introduce. We are conscious of the balance between being systematic and being pragmatic. We try to learn from doing things before we build a hypothetical system around it.

7. We Value Comfort

Comfortable most often: While there will be days where we're overworked, we should be comfortable more often than not. We care about feeling safe and healthy.

Work hard and have fun: We try to be a happy team that has fun at work as we are working hard.

Accept differences: We recognize that different people have different needs, and try to accommodate each other.