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We make customers badass - in a way that works for the business
Our guiding principle is that we solve customer problems. We exist to help them get their jobs done. To make them shine and be badass at what they do. But there’s an important constraint, we also have limited resources. So we need to solve our customers' problems in a way that works for our business in the long term.
We improve relentlessly
Compound interest might be the most powerful force in the universe. We believe continuous improvement is a close second. Matter of fact, it’s also a form of compounding. If we improve just 1% every day for 365 in a row, we’ll be 37x better than at the beginning of the year vs 1500 worse if we do 1% worse every day.
We are a team, not a family
Quoting Tobi from Shopify:
*Shopify, like any other for-profit company, is not a family. The very idea is preposterous. You are born into a family. You never choose it, and they can't un-family you....The dangers of "family thinking" are that it becomes incredibly hard to let poor performers go. Shopify is a team, not a family.*
We default to transparency and openness
We share liberally and strive to keep confidential information to a minimum.
We care personally and challenge directly
We practice radical candor. No one explains this better than Kim Scott.
We’re not afraid to have tough conversations. We first try to get to a “that’s right” from the other person, stay kind and respectful at all times, and argue the ideas, never the person. We have short toes and don’t become defensive if someone points out something to us that we consider our own turf.
We write more than we talk
We limit meetings to maximize maker time. /wiki/spaces/AWELL/pages/2823028773 are written out so they can be shared with others and we can come back to our thinking process later. We document our learnings.
We are aware that the most difficult thing in life is naming things. With writing, we are naming things for others to interpret. This means we write clearly, succinctly and assuming others have low context.
We prioritize progress over perfection
We set high standards but we know that chasing perfection is useless. Setting big goals and making significant progress towards them is our focus. Our quality analogy is to go 2 turtles deep on everything we do.
We have short toes
People joining the company frequently say, "I don't want to step on anyone's toes." At GitLab, we should be more accepting of people taking initiative in trying to improve things. As companies grow, their speed of decision-making goes down since there are more people involved. We should counteract that by having short toes and feeling comfortable letting others contribute to our domain.