Startup corporate culture
Posted in Business, Thoughts

Should a startup have a corporate culture? Should it be invented or should it come naturally? These are some of the questions that came thru my mind as I watched Tony Hsieh’s presentation on Zappo’s culture, at Web 2.0 expo.

Start with the right corporate culture and the rest will follow is amazing advice, no doubt about it. But can any company do it? I think not. Most of,if not all, corporate cultures are mirroring the founder’s core values and I don’t think 1000 of hours of brainstorming can change that. Think for a second: Apple’s culture mimics Steve Jobs’s mania for perfection, Facebook is like a mirror image of Mark Zuckerberg … The same for Microsoft, Twitter, Ford, 37signals or any other company you like.

That’s why I think reading Jack Welch’s books on corporate culture at General Motors Electric or Jason Fried’s advice on how to run a software company and trying to replicate that will fail miserably. Think hard who you are and what your core values are, put them on paper and this is how your your corporate culture will look like.

I am looking fwd for your thoughts!

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3 Responses to “Startup corporate culture”

  1. Liviu Says:

    I agree with you on this. A start up is usually only a handful of people, where the founder(s) has the most influence. There is no company history, yet, so how can you speak of an corporate culture? But you can speak about values. And the human side is what makes things appealing to a company. Take all the companies you already mentioned, throw in Google, which is another great example for this. The first think that comes to mind when I think about these companies is their founders / leaders. When I think about Microsoft, I see Billy and his glasses, when I think about Google I see Sergei and space rockets and a home page with no more then 28 words on it. And I’m sure that the people inside the company see the same things. So yes,your values, as founders, are the foundation of the “corporate” culture.

  2. Radu Says:

    Dude, quick, replace Motors with Electric after General!!!
    Your readers who understand business will otherwise understand that you’re forgetting the titans and you don’t know the roots of business and all the BS they love to push against start-ups. Build your own sooper-dooper core values and call me when you’re on that beach in Bahamas! :)

  3. Adinel Says:

    What if you are a one man army? Why if you do this because you like it? Where the passion for doing something amazing is replaced by “corporate culture”? Where is the boundary or is there one? Isn’t better to see Gary Vaynerchuk, motivate yourself and do something… :)

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