Company culture shouldn’t be “Means to an End”.
Last week, we had Silicon Valley’s IPO of the year. A not-so-young cloud communication platform, Twilio, went public after 9 years. Share price went over the roof and some people made lots of money.
It’s been a while since the only measure of success in a startup is money. Not even money you earn, -that I could almost understand- but how much money you raise; specially given that, the model for startup venture funding is, while sometimes necessary, absolutely tedious.
In their way up the hill, avid, money-driven entrepreneurs have come to realize that “Culture” holds an important role within the company. It attracts talent and compensates lower salaries. Culture keeps staff motivated and builds a team which will work better together. Culture, if crazy enough, will make headlines and PR.
Culture will essentially deliver more, for less.
Never mind whether any value is generated by the company. Culture is almost always means to an end.
I say screw that.
What if the means WERE actually the end? I’d love to hear the story of three or four crazy co-founders who said one day:
“Hey, let’s build an awesome place to work, where people don’t mind spending time, where you learn every day, and the goal isn’t making money.”
Someone would say “Sure! What could we do?” And they’d use their full potential to find a way to pay for such a life. How extraordinary would that be?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for making money with the companies we build, I’m just not sure I would wake up at six in the morning just for the sake of it.
Going back to such a company… it could or could not grow. It may or may not succeed. But as long as the company is on break-even point, the life of several -if not many- people would change. Isn’t that enough? What about the things you’d learn. Wouldn’t it be worth trying?