Start-Up Culture Code Manifesto — Probably the most important document you’ll read working in a tech start-up

I’ve been wanting to openly proclaim the reality of working in a tech start-up for long. This is a quick post on what our culture stands for and what it ‘really’ takes to build and grow a product.

This is the reality…Do you have what it takes to accelerate your life and overtake everybody else and break your own boundaries? You want everything but you want others to make the first move? Nah, ain’t happening in the real world folks!!!

Great companies are never built by mediocre teams. So, F#@k your laziness. F#@k your excuses. F#@k everything that smells rancid and doesn’t let you move forward. #CrazyNotStupid #KeepHustling

Scroll down the page for all 30 points.

Here are all the 30 points from this manifesto. Needless to say, somewhat inspired from Netflix, Rackspace, AirBnb, Hubspot and Bain culture but largely out of our own rights and wrongs.


1. No a$$holes allowed. This one is pretty self-explanatory. No political climbers, jerks, bullies, yellers, slackers, negative BS. We like to operate in a climate of mutual respect, and when one bad egg crosses the line, they need to go before they sour the whole bunch, regardless of how talented they are.

2. EQ > IQ

3. We Respect “Fully Grown Adults”. We aren’t fooling around here. This is a team of professionals working on a common mission

4. Be obsessive about your customers, not competitors. Users-first before company, team, and yourself

5. Having autonomy doesn’t mean crap, if you don’t act. Don’t over-think it. JFDI — Just Fu#@ing do it

6. If you’re delivering value and become a large part of our small team, we won’t ever let you go — no matter what we have to do. Promise.

7. Your colleagues have the right to clear, candid and constructive feedback. The management can ask for this anytime.

8. We have zero tolerance for deliberate mediocrity

9. We believe remarkable outcomes rarely come from moderate risk

10. Influence, Respect, Power is independent of hierarchy or age here.

11. We love giving directions on where to go — not directions on how to get there.

12. Honesty Always.

13. We’re suckers for consistently high performance.

14. Be self motivating, self aware, self disciplined, self improving. We don’t like to spoon feed.

15. Pick up the trash lying on the floor. Behave like an owner.

16. Thrive on freedom, but first, be worthy of that freedom.

17. We like to get things done with a strong sense of urgency, because we are always racing against time.

18. If you don’t respect your colleagues, customers, users and investors — you can leave.

19. Nothing will happen, unless you make it happen.

20. Be a doer and take initiatives, not just a talker.

21. Fail fast, and fail often because that’s the only way you can learn.

22. We like to celebrate great things. There is no celebration for ordinary or above average achievements.

23. You’re encouraged to have an opinion and have a healthy debate.

24. You can be anyone you want here. Feel free to explore yourself, but with the right mindset thinking in the best interest of the product, users and your own growth.


25. DO NOT expect others to test your brilliant code for you.

26. Your job is not to ship code. It’s to help your company win. It’s to help yourself win. It’s to help your users win.

27. Every day that you spend not improving the product, is a wasted day.

28. You have freedom to always improve our techniques, process, and technology whenever we need to. In fact, this is where you add real value and this goes a long way. We really respect initiatives in this direction.

29. As a startup coder you must balance competing priorities including speed, cost, quality, UX, design, and scalability.

30. We take design seriously. Very, very seriously.

Bharat Sethi is a start-up enthusiast with a lot of interest in building marketplaces, content led platforms, and online communities. He started selling art on Ebay at age 16 while still in school. He founded PosterGully in early 2012 as a side project to continue with his interest in solving the monetisation problem for artists & designers. Since then, he’s played an integral part in building a cult brand within its target audience, getting over 8 million users to the unique marketplace. He has been published in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, TNW, Quartz, Business Insider including many other business magazines. You can reach out to him at or connect with him on LinkedIn:

Serial Entrepreneur. Co-Founder @Rage Coffee. Exited PosterGully in Aug’16. TEDx Speaker #ecommerce #consumerinternet #startups #marketing #branding #tech