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The Odoo Culture
Building a company we love.
May 2016
Why Culture
Matters?
?
It matters for people.
We spend 20% of our life at work.
Better do it with a purpose, building something
awesome, in a fun environment where we can
continuously learn.
It matters for the company.
Culture defines the working environment.
A great working environment allows innovation,
ability to execute faster and good performance.
”There is no magic formula
for great company culture.
The key is just to treat your
staff how you would like to
be treated.


-- Richard Branson
Now an
observation
People have 

dramatically changed 

how they live and work.
Then Now
Focus Career Purpose
Need Great managers Inspiring leaders
Hours 9-5 Whenever
Aspire to Manage Evolve
Tenue Whole career Whatever
The bigger the
companies, the
more they are
frozen in time.
At some point, they
act like if amazing
people are just
happy to have a job.
But we are different.
The Odoo culture
Odoo's Culture
Build for the long term

Optimize for customer experience

Execute faster

Recruit, develop and retain great people

Innovate, be disruptive

Keep things simple

Value autonomy and freedom of action
1
Build
for the
long term
Our mission is to transform the way companies
run their business.


We make it simple & fully integrated.


We help organizations grow.
User Friendly
BusinessScope
Magento
Hubspot
Quickbooks
Mailchimp
Trello
Slack
NetSuite
Salesforce
Zoho
Ms. Dynamics
Oracle
SAP
Shopify
ERP
Single Apps
It's easy to say, but very hard to do...
Nobody succeeded
to get there!
To crack this challenge, we have to move
mountains.
We focus on building for the long-term vision.

We have no time for one-shot actions.
To crack this challenge, we have to move
mountains.
We focus on building for the long-term vision.

We have no time for one-shot actions.
We sometimes prefer to fail
fail one-shots, to focus on
improving the long term.
Long Term
Recurring revenues

Getting a new partner
Develop the product

Write a documentation
Marketing automation

SEO
Write a methodology
Short Term
Services revenues

Develop customer features

Write a release note
Newsletter

SEA
Train a customer
Wait? 

Does this mean we have to stop all short
terms activities?
No.
Because...
Going bankrupt does not help building for
the long term.
What is it?
We don’t know if it’s for the long term or short.


Then,
do it manually, test and improve before
investing time on scaling and automation.
2
Optimize the
customer
experience
To transform how companies run their
business, having an awesome product is not
enough...
We focus on building the perfect customer
experience.
Every roadblock to the user adoption should be
removed. 



It's no longer acceptable to buy hundreds of
consulting days to run your business
efficiently.
We have to transform a service market
(expensive implementation projects) into an
out-of-the-box solution.




We care about the customer experience at
every step.
Discover
the
Website
Get
in
Touch
Subscribe
&
Start
Sales
Contrast
Implementation
Service
Support
For every decision we take, 

we should ask ourselves:



“Will it help delighting customers?”
Delighting users is about getting every
single detail perfect...
Getting real-time answers via live-chat 

Product onboarding experience

Short & clear contracts

Transparent pricing 

“No-bullshit” salespeople 

Great service

WOW effect in the product 

Usefulness of emails sent
3
Execute
faster
Our fast evolution is the result of the decisions we
take. It's all about optimizing the path to build
great things, and avoiding waste.
It's not (only) because we have fast
employees.
Whether an idea is good or not is rarely the
question.
An idea is worth implementing if there is no other
path that would lead to the same impact in less
time/money.
Staying focused is usually more important
than doing one thing more.
Example: building a new
website: 

• Quality: Perfect design,
perfect colors, shadow,
clean redirect…
• Fast: release it in 2 weeks
instead of 2 months
• Complete: multi-lang,
eCommerce features,
jobs page, integrated, ...
Quality
Fast Complete
?
Quality
Fast Complete
Most Companies 

They try to do
everything: 

Quality, complete, fast.
Odoo

We do less, but we
do it faster with
good quality
How do we take decisions.
Quality
Fast Complete
4
Recruit,
Develop and
Retain
Great People
Great workplace is Stunning Colleagues. 

Smart people want to work with smart people. 







In procedural work, the over-achiever perform
30% better than the average. In creative/inventive
work, the best are 10x. 



We invest in recruiting, developing and retaining
talents.
You become the average of the 5 

people you hang out with.
Drew Houston

CEO, Dropbox
Great people does not mean perfect.


We recruit people for what they can bring to the
team, not because they are perfect.
Exceptional skill
HR Skills
It usually means people that are exceptional in
some skills, but bad in others.
If you recruit for no default, you get average
people.
Red = Odoo
Green = Average Companies
Work hard. Play hard.
Working at Odoo is hard.
Expectations are high; you get huge
responsibilities, you have a lot to learn, etc.


But it is fun too...
Examples.
Free dinner every Thursday.
Doing sports with colleagues? Odoo pays the bill.
Once a month, free lunch at the restaurant with 5
random colleagues.
Game nights.
5
Innovate,
Be Disruptive
It's easier to be different
than to be better.
It's ok to fail.

It's not ok to not evolve.
We will never fire someone that does a mistake.
But we can fire someone who does not evolve.
(or, who doesn't help the company evolve)


Don't be afraid of doing a mistake, feel free to
take responsibilities, try, move forward and
learn.
We’d rather be failing frequently
than never trying new things.
Time Time
We grow by successive revolutions
Successive Revolutions Continuous Improvement
• Changing & Evolving 

• Target: big step forward 

• Revolution then stabilization 

• Everyone contribute 

• Mature & Stable 

• Target: perfection 

• Continuous improvement 

• Manager define, employee do 

6
Keep Things

Simple,
Fight
Complexity
“ If we simplify everything, 

we can do anything. ”
-- SAP's, “Run Simple” campaign
As we grow, there is a dark, powerful force
that pulls us towards more complexity, more
process, less autonomy, ...
Why does complexity
creep in?
It is often the easy, seductive answer to short-
term issues.


Fighting for simplicity takes courage and
commitment to the long game.
Why does complexity
always increase?
Because everyone adds complexity and
nobody takes it away.


Ironically, adding complexity is easy and
maintaining simplicity is hard.
Complexity and the
tragedy of the commons.
Example: “I need to hit my goals this month,
so I’m going to push for this exception to our
standard contract.”


Result: you may make your goal now, but we
all pay the price of the complexity forever.
Like software,
Organizations should be

frequently
refactored.
Refactoring means to improve
internal structure without
changing external behaviour.
Refactor.
Remove unnecessary rules

Stop useless reports

Cancel unproductive meetings

Stop complex process 

Pull out unused features 

Shorten contracts size
7
Value Autonomy
and 

freedom 

of action
Usually.
Organisations try to prevent mistakes with
policies and procedure.
At Odoo…
Buying policy

Travel & expenses policy

Company events policy

Working hours

Holidays policy

Branding policy
Our policy on all of these:
Use Good Judgment.
Usually.
Influence based on hierarchy.
Command and control.
At Odoo…
We give people the
autonomy, and freedom to
be awesome.
We give real responsibilities and we
trust ourselves.(*)
(*) And if they fail, we don't blame them, we help them.
Inspired by:
Hubspot (Culture Code)

Net ix (Reed Hastings)

37Signals (Rework, Getting Real)

Richard Branson

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The Odoo Culture

  • 1. The Odoo Culture Building a company we love. May 2016
  • 3. It matters for people. We spend 20% of our life at work. Better do it with a purpose, building something awesome, in a fun environment where we can continuously learn.
  • 4. It matters for the company. Culture defines the working environment. A great working environment allows innovation, ability to execute faster and good performance.
  • 5. ”There is no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated. 
 -- Richard Branson
  • 7. People have 
 dramatically changed 
 how they live and work.
  • 8. Then Now Focus Career Purpose Need Great managers Inspiring leaders Hours 9-5 Whenever Aspire to Manage Evolve Tenue Whole career Whatever
  • 9. The bigger the companies, the more they are frozen in time. At some point, they act like if amazing people are just happy to have a job.
  • 10. But we are different.
  • 12. Odoo's Culture Build for the long term
 Optimize for customer experience
 Execute faster
 Recruit, develop and retain great people
 Innovate, be disruptive
 Keep things simple
 Value autonomy and freedom of action
  • 14. Our mission is to transform the way companies run their business. 
 We make it simple & fully integrated. 
 We help organizations grow.
  • 16. To crack this challenge, we have to move mountains. We focus on building for the long-term vision.
 We have no time for one-shot actions.
  • 17. To crack this challenge, we have to move mountains. We focus on building for the long-term vision.
 We have no time for one-shot actions. We sometimes prefer to fail fail one-shots, to focus on improving the long term.
  • 18. Long Term Recurring revenues
 Getting a new partner Develop the product
 Write a documentation Marketing automation
 SEO Write a methodology Short Term Services revenues
 Develop customer features
 Write a release note Newsletter
 SEA Train a customer
  • 19. Wait? 
 Does this mean we have to stop all short terms activities? No. Because...
  • 20. Going bankrupt does not help building for the long term.
  • 21. What is it? We don’t know if it’s for the long term or short. 
 Then, do it manually, test and improve before investing time on scaling and automation.
  • 23. To transform how companies run their business, having an awesome product is not enough...
  • 24. We focus on building the perfect customer experience. Every roadblock to the user adoption should be removed. 
 
 It's no longer acceptable to buy hundreds of consulting days to run your business efficiently.
  • 25. We have to transform a service market (expensive implementation projects) into an out-of-the-box solution. 
 
 We care about the customer experience at every step. Discover the Website Get in Touch Subscribe & Start Sales Contrast Implementation Service Support
  • 26. For every decision we take, 
 we should ask ourselves:
 
 “Will it help delighting customers?”
  • 27. Delighting users is about getting every single detail perfect... Getting real-time answers via live-chat 
 Product onboarding experience
 Short & clear contracts
 Transparent pricing 
 “No-bullshit” salespeople 
 Great service
 WOW effect in the product 
 Usefulness of emails sent
  • 29. Our fast evolution is the result of the decisions we take. It's all about optimizing the path to build great things, and avoiding waste. It's not (only) because we have fast employees.
  • 30. Whether an idea is good or not is rarely the question. An idea is worth implementing if there is no other path that would lead to the same impact in less time/money. Staying focused is usually more important than doing one thing more.
  • 31. Example: building a new website: 
 • Quality: Perfect design, perfect colors, shadow, clean redirect… • Fast: release it in 2 weeks instead of 2 months • Complete: multi-lang, eCommerce features, jobs page, integrated, ... Quality Fast Complete ?
  • 32. Quality Fast Complete Most Companies 
 They try to do everything: 
 Quality, complete, fast. Odoo
 We do less, but we do it faster with good quality How do we take decisions. Quality Fast Complete
  • 34. Great workplace is Stunning Colleagues. 
 Smart people want to work with smart people. 
 
 
 
 In procedural work, the over-achiever perform 30% better than the average. In creative/inventive work, the best are 10x. 
 
 We invest in recruiting, developing and retaining talents.
  • 35. You become the average of the 5 
 people you hang out with. Drew Houston
 CEO, Dropbox
  • 36. Great people does not mean perfect. 
 We recruit people for what they can bring to the team, not because they are perfect.
  • 37. Exceptional skill HR Skills It usually means people that are exceptional in some skills, but bad in others. If you recruit for no default, you get average people. Red = Odoo Green = Average Companies
  • 38. Work hard. Play hard. Working at Odoo is hard. Expectations are high; you get huge responsibilities, you have a lot to learn, etc. 
 But it is fun too...
  • 39. Examples. Free dinner every Thursday. Doing sports with colleagues? Odoo pays the bill. Once a month, free lunch at the restaurant with 5 random colleagues. Game nights.
  • 41. It's easier to be different than to be better.
  • 42. It's ok to fail.
 It's not ok to not evolve. We will never fire someone that does a mistake. But we can fire someone who does not evolve. (or, who doesn't help the company evolve) 
 Don't be afraid of doing a mistake, feel free to take responsibilities, try, move forward and learn.
  • 43. We’d rather be failing frequently than never trying new things.
  • 44. Time Time We grow by successive revolutions Successive Revolutions Continuous Improvement • Changing & Evolving 
 • Target: big step forward 
 • Revolution then stabilization 
 • Everyone contribute 
 • Mature & Stable 
 • Target: perfection 
 • Continuous improvement 
 • Manager define, employee do 

  • 46. “ If we simplify everything, 
 we can do anything. ” -- SAP's, “Run Simple” campaign
  • 47. As we grow, there is a dark, powerful force that pulls us towards more complexity, more process, less autonomy, ...
  • 48. Why does complexity creep in? It is often the easy, seductive answer to short- term issues. 
 Fighting for simplicity takes courage and commitment to the long game.
  • 49. Why does complexity always increase? Because everyone adds complexity and nobody takes it away. 
 Ironically, adding complexity is easy and maintaining simplicity is hard.
  • 50. Complexity and the tragedy of the commons. Example: “I need to hit my goals this month, so I’m going to push for this exception to our standard contract.” 
 Result: you may make your goal now, but we all pay the price of the complexity forever.
  • 51. Like software, Organizations should be
 frequently refactored. Refactoring means to improve internal structure without changing external behaviour.
  • 52. Refactor. Remove unnecessary rules
 Stop useless reports
 Cancel unproductive meetings
 Stop complex process 
 Pull out unused features 
 Shorten contracts size
  • 54. Usually. Organisations try to prevent mistakes with policies and procedure. At Odoo…
  • 55. Buying policy
 Travel & expenses policy
 Company events policy
 Working hours
 Holidays policy
 Branding policy Our policy on all of these: Use Good Judgment.
  • 56. Usually. Influence based on hierarchy. Command and control. At Odoo…
  • 57. We give people the autonomy, and freedom to be awesome. We give real responsibilities and we trust ourselves.(*) (*) And if they fail, we don't blame them, we help them.
  • 58. Inspired by: Hubspot (Culture Code)
 Net ix (Reed Hastings)
 37Signals (Rework, Getting Real)
 Richard Branson