Mature Your Culture as You Grow
David Sacks: Just as founders should balance their own psychology, they should also balance the psychology of the “hive mind,” the corporate mind. There are a few ways to do this.
1. Choose the right cofounders
The first step is choosing the right cofounders. A strong founder will have a blind spot for their own worst traits—we all do—so the best cultures usually come from a yin-yang relationship.
Apple is a famous example: Steve Jobs brought the maniacal drive and vision, and Woz brought the heart. It’s really good for companies to have a Woz.
2. Mature your values over time
The company’s values should mature over time. What worked in the early stages won’t work when a company reaches massive scale.
Facebook changed its famous motto, “Move fast and break things,” to “Move fast with stable infra” because catchphrases can be misunderstood once the company has thousands of employees.
Messages percolate to junior employees, who are left to wonder what they might mean. They come up with their own interpretations.
Then HR gets reports of employees engaging in reckless or shortsighted behavior all over the company. So, you have to mature your values over time.
3. Add structure as you grow
Growing without structure creates chaos. As a company grows, it’s smart for founders to create more structure around HR and culture—things like formal on-boarding programs, training, employee satisfaction surveys, and stressing the virtues of operating with integrity.