Fred Wilson on Values

Scott Francis
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Such a great read from Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson, on Values:

Most companies have a mission statement and many have a values statement. But not so many companies live their values so much that they permeate the company and ooze out from every pore; the product, the office, the hiring process, the marketing, and so on and so forth.

He then gives three examples of companies that live their values: Etsy, Kickstarter, and Twitter.  And he backs it up with real examples.  From what I know of Kickstarter in particular, I believe him.  And he’s right – there’s a difference when values are “corporate slide deck” and when values are innate to your culture.

At BP3, you’ll find that our culture permeates our team’s behaviors in ways that aren’t dictated by management.  Our team is humble, yet brings competency and craftsmanship to the job.  Our team puts customers first- and we care about our customers’ successes.  When team members don’t live up to that standard, the culture kicks in, and they hear about it from their team mates and management. In the comments of Fred’s blog, a commenter wrote that it isn’t a value if it doesn’t cost you something.  Delivering the customer experiences we create for customers costs us a lot – but we think the results are worth it.

And we have these values because we believe it is the right way to do business with our customers.  But Fred makes the case that values are a differentiated advantage:

Values matter. A lot. In a hypercompetitive world where technology eats at every advantage you have over time it is good to have unique and distinct values that you live as a company. That’s a form of differentiation that is not easily copied. It matters and is at the core of building great companies. The kind of companies I like to talk about when people ask me about my best investments.

 

I can’t argue with that.

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