These are the standards we adhere to as a team.
The process of building Elementary is similar for both product and company. Each one of us is responsible for implementing these principles daily, as well as demanding and helping others to do so.
Building Elementary is a team effort. However, each team member can have a major impact on our success - we measure your personal performance accordingly. In a sense, we expect each of you to think of yourself as if you are solely responsible for achieving our goals.
This requires you to understand what the goals are, recognize our biggest blockers and challenges, and think of the most efficient ways to make progress. The best you can do is focus your time and energy only on tasks that move the needle.
You have full ownership of your work, so pick the most impactful tasks and communicate to the team how they can help you succeed. As long as you do that, we will never limit you.
We measure you according to the impact you make on every aspect of our mission - building the team, the business, our product and our community. This also means that we expect you not to limit yourself to your job title. If it is impactful and whitin your ability - do it. If you see it as outside your scope, you are probably not a good fit for our culture.
We aim high. We expect our people to step up.
We are committed to being as transparent as possible.
We expect you to focus on what makes the most impact. The best way to achieve that is to provide you the full context. You have to understand the big picture, and get access to all the details. We believe that this is the best way to empower people to make right decisions.
This is also the best way to create alignment within the team. To work well together, we can’t afford information gaps. This means that everything is public and shared by default. The only exceptions are personal private issues and matters that can put the company at risk.
We talk openly and honestly about our challenges, goals, decision making, board meetings, fundraising and financials.
We also believe that being open and honest enables us to build strong relationships with the community, our customers and our investors.
Communication and feedback
Open and honest communication is essential for our success as a team. Open and honest feedback is essential for the success of each team member.
As a company founded by Israeli founders, we call this talking “dugri”. We communicate in a direct, straightforward and informal manner. We also expect unapologetic directness in feedback we get, and hence in feedback we give.
This kind of communication only works if we trust each other. We have common goals, and we want our team members to perform at their best. This is why we give “dugri” feedback, to help each other succeed. When you get feedback, always assume best intentions.
You can think of startups as a learning contest. You need to learn fast, change accordingly, and learn the next thing (even faster). What was right and worked for us last month might not work in the next one. What was right a year ago will definitely not work now.
We are constantly learning and adapting, we must be open-minded. People are naturally intimidated by changes, but in a startup - we must fear stagnation and embrace change. It sounds scary at first, but this is actually what makes us confident. As long as we respond fast and adapt - we are on the right track.
When we started Elementary we assumed we could built it better if we build a community around it. Today we are convinced that we won’t be able to succeed without it. Every data team that tries Elementary contributes to our efforts, and the learning and progress we make is thanks to the feedback and involvement of these teams.
We are committed to this community. We will continue to invest in the open source project alongside commercial offerings, we provide the best support and user experience we can to all our users, and we value and show gratitude to our contributors.
People above all
We have high demands, and we expect you to be highly committed to our mission. However, your top commitment should be your well being and family. This is not only the right thing to do, it’s the only way to build a healthy and thriving team.
If you don’t feel at your best, physically or emotionally, focus on healing. There is no point to work when you can’t be on the top of your game anyway.
There is always more work to do, so don’t wait for a good time to take a vacation. Just take it. We will manage, and we know you will come back charged with energy and creativity.
It is essential to our success that Elementary will be a work place that people enjoy being part of. We have zero tolerance to team members that don’t respect others.