Tushky culture code v1 - Building a Startup that knows how to have fun

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16 months back, when we launched Tushky, we invested a lot of time thinking of customer acquisition, thinking of building the product, integrating better graph API, color of buttons and so on. We …

16 months back, when we launched Tushky, we invested a lot of time thinking of customer acquisition, thinking of building the product, integrating better graph API, color of buttons and so on. We forgot about building culture.

We forgot our most valuable asset, the people who chose to work with us. Some chose to leave us and some, we chose to let go. If anything, it was the culture that was to blame. Culture sets in by itself, its inevitable. So if you let it build by itself, you never know which way it will build itself.

All startups think or talk about building google culture or facebook culture; thing is, one should look at building culture just like building product. Google and Facebook did the same. Google pretty much defined the lavish perks that silicon valley came to be known for.

So this time, when we set out to build our team, we chose to build our culture as well.


From Slide 34:

Tushky was built for everyone to have fun.

The world is a stressful place.
There are numerous tensions and micro problems.
At tushky, you are helping people forget their stress.
Freeze some moments, take a breather and smile.
At tushky, you are giving people a reason to smile.
Tushky is about stopping to smile.
Tushky is about having fun.
Tushky is about living life.
Its a noble cause.


Inspirations:
Netflix culture code
Hubspot culture code

Feel free to share

Disclaimer: All logos, trademarks of Tushky is owned by Tushky Events and Entertainment Pvt Ltd. Tushky doesn't own the rights of the other images used.

More in: Business , Technology
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Transcript

  • 1. Culture sets in, when you weren't looking can we have some fun instead of work
  • 2. What's culture? Google Says
  • 3. Bull Shit! I SAY Don't underestimate the power of carefully crafted bullshit
  • 4. Culture is a set of Values, Ideals, Beliefs and Expectations. In short, V.I.B.E. It evolves organically over a period of time Is the least common denominator of all the VIBE in the people that compose the culture.
  • 5. It evolves organically over a period of time Evolves - Iterates over time Organically - By itself If left to itself, culture iterates and builds on itself over time, with little or no external input for better or worse. Eg. Indians have a culture of throwing trash on road. It evolved organically over time and now no one bothers. Try doing this in western countries. We all know, its a bad culture, few bother and a lot don't. The least denominator in culture dictates India to be a filthy country, because a vast majority of population(we already have such a huge population) chooses not to bother and continue throw trash. "Ek polythene bag se kya ho jayega"
  • 6. Is the least common denominator of all the ideals, values and beliefs in the people that compose the culture best explained with eg. Within India, there are pockets which are very clean. Its not difficult to observe that, most of the people in those pockets love cleanliness. Vast majority doesn't throw trash whenever, wherever. Cleanliness is the least common denominator in such pockets. Similarly, there are extremely dirty pockets. Staying dirty is the least common denominator there.
  • 7. OK! So...?
  • 8. So... At tushky, we have to raise our least common denominator to the point where ● we are proud of the culture we have created ● we love our work and our work loves us back ● we talk about our culture with everyone at large and make them go green with envy ● we evolve and grow into greater beings Wondering how to achieve this??
  • 9. This is achievable Provided that we accept that the biggest hurdle to growth today is BULLSHIT And we swear to accept that...
  • 10. What's bullshit?
  • 11. Bullshit is: ● Not talking about ideas, but about people ● Not doing but only thinking ● Not being decisive ● Taking lightyears to take a decision ● Not knowing the importance of being humble ● Not knowing the difference between self-confidence and cockiness ● Not respecting own and other's Time ● Not asking the right questions and that too at wrong times ● Not maintaining good communication only to mess up beyond repair
  • 12. Not talking about ideas, but about people http://www.quora.com/Quotations/What-does-this-quote-mean-Great-minds-discuss-ideas-Average-minds-discuss-events-Small- minds-discuss-people I couldn't have explained this quote better than what is there in the link above. people < events < Idea is explained beautifully in the monologue from V for Vendetta below
  • 13. Not Doing but only thinking ● People < Event < Idea < Thinking < Doing Replace "Let's think about it" with "Let's do it" Yes, you have to think before doing. But the emphasis here is on over-thinking and making the "think" a noun instead of verb. Its better to do, test and iterate then overly think about it endlessly. There are few exceptions!
  • 14. Not Doing but only thinking (Exceptions) Over-think when there are: ● High stakes, Monetarily ● High stakes, Time consumption ● Highly complex and failure can lead to domino effect
  • 15. Not being decisive Before taking any action, you have to take a decision. And most of us are too scared of taking decisions, for fear of failure. We accept failures. We don't accept indecisiveness. The bullshit inequality, will change to People < Event < Idea < Thinking < Decision < Doing Acting on a decision still trumps, taking a decision
  • 16. Taking lightyears to take a decision We are a startup. Startups are agile. There are new problems everyday. If you don't take decisions quickly, they will pile up, leading to cognitive overload, making a situation needlessly complex and rendering you confused and useless. Thus, the decision term can be expanded to: no decision < In correct decision < correct decision < quick decision This changes the bullshit inequation to: People < Event < Idea < Thinking < no decision < In correct decision < correct decision < quick decision < Doing
  • 17. Not knowing the importance of being humble Being humble is being confident of yourself. To be truly humble, you need to be acutely self- aware. Self-aware people are confident of themselves. They seek to upgrade themselves. They seek knowledge. They almost always outperform shallow people.
  • 18. Not knowing the difference between self- confidence and cockiness http://www.quora.com/search?q=self+confidence+vs+arrogant http://www.quora.com/How-do-I-strike-the-balance-between-confidence-and-arrogance While the previous points spoke about actions, this is about the nature needed to avoid bullshit. Its a rather simple idea. Only those who are confident, can take action(do), others keep thinking or avoid taking decision.
  • 19. Not respecting own and other's Time Being humble leads to respect, for yourself and for others. There is no better way to show your respect to someone, than by offering him your most precious commodity - Your time!
  • 20. Not asking the right questions and that too at wrong times When you respect time. You will learn the importance of being precise and concise. Who likes random rambling discussions, taking 30 mins to convey a simple 1 min point? None! Learn to ask the right questions and at the right time. What's a right question? A question that's specific, that's not open ended, that leads to a closure. How to know if it's right time? A question will be right only if its asked at the right time. Its funny how this works. Right time is, when you can absorb the answer. When you know the question in depth, contextually, so that you can make sense of the answer. For eg. Me asking for how to set a culture at Startup would have been a wrong question at the very beginning of tushky, because I wouldn't have any contextual information on, what does it mean to have culture. But now, this makes complete sense and I can ask sensible questions and absorb the answers.
  • 21. Not maintaining good(open) communication only to mess up beyond repair Good(open) communication is the backbone of any relationship. This can't be overemphasized. You can't ask right questions without being able to communicate your thoughts clearly. And by extension, you won't have confidence to do, and by extension you will keep bullshitting! Good(open) communication is crystal clear. And it works magically!
  • 22. To Summarise Bullshit Inequation People < Event < Idea < Thinking < no decision < In correct decision < correct decision < quick decision < Doing < failure < success Bullshit Induction Humble => Self-confidence => Respects Time => Asks right questions => Great(open) communication In a nutshell, great(open) communication helps in avoiding Bullshit by letting you focus on doing.
  • 23. AT Tushky We promise to avoid bullshit. And we announce that we are allergic to bullshit! Keep our focus on doing things Keep communication crystal clear When in doubt refer the bullshit inequation and use bullshit induction to do the right thing.
  • 24. And how are we going to do this? As in, how are we going to ensure that bullshit is not tolerated across organization, even when we grow to 400-1000 people team?
  • 25. Good Judgment and not by rules and policies
  • 26. But why Good judgment? Entropy is nature Entropy = Mess, Randomness Its natural for things to move towards more randomness. As we grow, with more exposure, we get more options and hence more confusion.
  • 27. Entropy can't be constrained with rules. Its unnatural. To cope with entropy, you need to encourage freedom, to encourage free movement of ideas. While, rules are built to constrain thoughts. And that's ridiculous.
  • 28. So, We encourage Good Judgment. Just that, act in best interest of Tushky.
  • 29. Act in Tushky's best interest? Yes. For eg. when you are stuck in decisions like Work from home, send a mail, get a sign, call off the deal, longer lunch hour, fire a freelancer, approve a freelancer and many others, Trust your good judgment and act in Tushky's best interest. If you have to take an opinion from a senior take it, but if the senior is not available, act in best interest. We trust your good judgment.
  • 30. Good Judgment & Entropy Good judgment gives the autonomy to work against chaos (mess, randomness), since you can mould your actions. Unlike, rules & policies etc which dumb you down against growing entropy. growth of mess, complexity in business growth of the individuals of an organization with strict rules ensuing chaos after a point of time
  • 31. At Tushky Clear Communication & Good Judgment are the only rules, if at all.
  • 32. And... what about fun at work? (slide 1)
  • 33. Tushky was built for everyone to have fun. The world is a stressful place. There are numerous tensions and micro problems. At tushky, you are helping people forget their stress. Freeze some moments, take a breather and smile. At tushky, you are giving people a reason to smile. Tushky is about stopping to smile. Tushky is about having fun. Tushky is about living life. Its a noble cause.
  • 34. fun is Tushky! Well, fun is what Tushky is all about. Unless every Tushky member is having immense fun, we will cease to exist. Only a fraction of this fun will percolate out to our customers. If we aren't having fun, no one else will.
  • 35. For this We encourage all of you to come up with your own nuances. Things that you like, you love, you do when you are super happy or when you want to take a break. Sticky notes, ring a bell to announce good news, play kabhi saas bhi kabhi bahu thi title track when there is sad news, Hammock, bean bag, poker, treks, cooking competition, antakshari, shopping trips etc We will try to incorporate as many ideas as possible. Good judgment, you know!
  • 36. Tushky = Fun We don't want Zombies! 'coz you know what happens to zombies
  • 37. THANKS For reading through this. For trusting us with your career aspirations. For trusting us with your time. For believing in our vision. For having good judgment. For choosing to be a part of our family
  • 38. Thank You! Do something new. Do something you always wanted to. Do something you were passionate about. Do something your job didn't give time for. Do something you want off your bucket list. Do something you can brag about. Do something your friends have already done. Do something you wanted to explore. Do something to explore a new hobby. Do something to restart your hobby. Do something for yourself. Do something for someone you love. Do something today. Do something!! Life is short. Talvinder Singh & Kranti Agrawal