January 26, 2023
Aligning on your organization’s values is one of the most important things to get right at the start of your journey as a company. Values get embedded into the DNA of the company and become the foundation for day-to-day operations, so it’s critical that they are intentional, explicit, and well-known by each and every member of your team, even before they are hired.
If you haven’t yet, there’s no time like the present. When our company first started, our founders made it a point to sit down and determine how we wanted to operate the company. One of the prompts they used to help figure things out was, “Assuming this project is going to be successful, who do we want to work with?”
Deciding what to focus on turned out to be eerily similar to parenting. When you’re figuring out how to raise kids, you either do things exactly the way your parents did or the complete opposite, and we found ourselves doing the same thing when it came to previous organizations we were a part of and how they handled things.
The first person you hire and each subsequent employee after that has to be a value-fit, not just for your own sanity, but also for the success of the organization. At startups especially, you spend more time with your coworkers than with your family, so choosing the right people can make or break an organization. Also, if you hire a good technical fit that isn’t a value-match, you’ll end up on divergent paths with that employee, making it less likely that they’ll stay long-term.
It’s better to have a clear value-match from the start than to spend the time and money working with people who aren’t aligned and having to replace them later. Take the time to decide what your values are, then operate and hire accordingly.
Our main core value — customers first, always — was a sort of reaction to what we had seen in the past. All three co-founders had been a part of companies that turned their attention from listening to customers and solving their problems to conversations about analysts, share prices, and essentially meaningless vanity metrics.
They wanted to make sure the company kept a relentless focus on the customer and creating solutions for them — this is one of the keys to our success thus far, and will hopefully carry us forward even further.
Another thing we value is being irreverent, but serious. One of the things we’re most excited about is how much fun we have on a daily basis. What we weren’t necessarily expecting to come out of having this value was people citing having a funny legal team as one of the core reasons why they love working at Cribl. How many places do you go where the lawyers are just as likely to have a good laugh with you as anyone else? Hiring excellent attorneys was important, but not at the expense of our values.
Some of the other things we value are being curious, transparent, and working together. We do everything we can to seek a full understanding of our customers’ problems, keep everyone in the organization on the same page, and work together to solve issues to the best of our abilities. We are also remote-first, but not remote only! If this is the kind of team you want to be a part of, look at our open positions here — we would love to welcome you aboard.
Berwyn Jones Jan 18, 2024