As you grow your start-up watch the corporate culture…

Saw a fantastic post at – right on the money as usual!

As the CEO of an early stage high-tech venture and having started a few I have to say that as you grow the “culture problem” can be a real challenge to the business.

In uncle Sam’s post be states that his quoted CEO believes this list of Core Values is one of the key reasons that his adVenture has maintained below-industry employee turnover rates for well over a decade. As such, he does not want to alert his competitors to what he believes is a real competitive advantage.

The Core Values

1. Always Invest, Never Spend

Be frugal but not cheap

2. Proactive Mentality

Follow up, anticipate, prevent

3. Seek “Quad” Wins

Ideally, the Client, Company, Team, and Individual should all benefit

4. It’s Everybody’s Problem

Take ownership, be accountable, offer assistance

5. Mistakes Are Opportunities

Learn from new mistakes, avoid repeating old ones

6. Never Give Up But Be Reasonable

See a commitment, resolution, project, or idea to its completion

7. What SHOULD I do? vs. What CAN I do?

Never take advantage of a situation, just because you can

8. Enhance Everything

Make continuous improvements to Client, Company, Team, Individual

9. Team Above Self

The Team’s objectives supersede those of the Individual

10. No Solution, No Whining

Whining allowed only if followed by a thoughtful solution

The values have become part of the organization’s fabric. There is no need to plaster the walls, coffee mugs or paperweights with your Core Values when they reside inside the hearts and minds of your employees.

My own take on this, although less comprehensive than the excellent post is:


Don’t do it unless you can have fun doing so – in other words do what you love and make sure the rest of the team feel the same way. Misaligned, miserable, grouches need not apply.

Give 150% to yourself, your team and your customers (and suppliers) – demand the same in return. Be totally committed and passionate about your role and be prepared to “contribute” to and support others within and without the venture. Let the team be involved with new hires so that they can help filter and apply the “culture” before recruitment and during the settling-in process.

Profit will come if you can pull all the rest together…but that’s the end result not the focus of the venture.

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