If your company was a person, who would they be? Something that is universally true is that your company will have a culture whether you create one or not, and so it’s up to you to shape it into the culture you want and need.
My co-founders and I sat down at the very beginning of the creation of Medinas Health to figure out the foundation for our culture. These are the values that we try to hold ourselves to as a team and as individuals. Over time we’ll look to evolve and scale our culture, but I wanted to share where we’re starting and what makes us tick over at Medinas Health.
We seek the truth.
In startups, it’s incredibly hard to figure out what to do, and founders are typically very emotionally involved because their startup is their baby! Co-founders are family, and just like any family, you have good days and bad days. We fundamentally believed that we need to put our egos aside and focus on finding the truth. This value is explained a little more in my blog post, The ruthless pursuit of the truth in entrepreneurship, and why startups fail.
We do more with less. We get more done because we have to.
It’s very easy to get complacent when you get that first injection of cash. It’s very easy to justify spending a little extra to make something easier, which can be incredibly dangerous for a startup that is burning cash every month. We’re trying to be committed to being responsible in our spending, and recognize that we have to be better than your average Joe, especially considering that we are being trusted with hard-earned money from our investors.
When it seems impossible, we find another way.
I was at a happy hour at KPMG in London back in 20010, and I spoke with someone who was a security advisor to the royal family and he was telling me about the incredible technology & security threats they faced. Some of it seemed impossible to prevent, and he told me, “for some people, impossible only takes a little bit longer,” which has stuck with me ever since. When it’s seems impossible, we will find a way to make it possible.
Medinas is our child, we relate to the world through it.
Each of us could be an employee, but we decided to be founders. When you “birth” a startup, you’re committed through and through, and everything we do needs to be in the service of our “child.”
We’re focused on the problem and ignore distractions.
One of the (many) big reasons that startups fail is that they can’t stay focused. There are distractions every day – conferences, coffees, calls, new ideas, etc. We need to stay focused on solving problems, growing a KPI, and building something people want.
We keep moving towards the goal despite all opposing forces.
It doesn’t matter when the going gets tough. We have to recognize that friends and family sometimes won’t get why we can’t come over for dinner, or why we have to work late. We have to make sure we keep going.
While there’s hope we carry on.
Startups are a game of no’s. You keep asking until you get that yes, and our job is to make sure there’s always a door to knock on until we find that yes.
We don’t make excuses.
People make excuses to save face, and defend their ego. You can’t hide behind your ego and be successful. We don’t make excuses, we focus on the truth, and find ways to accept our faults, learn from them and grow. I personally made A LOT of mistakes in my first startup. There were people (and investors) that I failed in a big way, and my career ever since has been in the pursuit of learning from those mistakes, owning them, doing right by them, and trying to do right by every person I’ve encountered since.
We do the things we don’t want to do.
The difference between you and success is doing the things you don’t want to do. Go to the gym. Call that angry customer. Stay up late for a deadline. Listen to the brutal feedback. We have to overcome our distain for a task and realize it’s that action that is the difference between success and failure.
No job is beneath us, we do whatever is necessary.
Egos can kill. Be humble. Every single task is important in a company – from the cleaning staff that provides a sanitary place to work, to the Board of Directors who are using their experience to solve a problem. We will do what is needed to empower our team to achieve our goals.
As our company grows and evolves, so will we and so will our culture, however starting with a clear sense for who you are can help build a strong foundation to build on.