I read Dave McClure’s “Engineering Minimum Viable Inspiration. (aka: do you give a Shit + can you get others to give a Shit)” post today.
Dave hit it square on the head. Giving a shit, and getting others to give a shit too. That’s what being a founder is all about. If you don’t do those two things each and every day, you WILL fail building a business.
I wrote my own Building a “Give a Shit” Culture a couple years ago while working on our first product, Oh Hey World. Since then, we’ve completely pivoted the company and rebranded to Horizon. But the goal remains. Build a give a shit culture.
I’ve been fortunate to work at two companies where this culture exists, Zillow from 2005 until 2010, and Virtual Results from 2010 to 2011. It goes without saying company culture starts at the top with its leader(s); their work ethic and values flow through the entire organization. Zillow and VR were very, very different companies, but both had executives…and team members…who cared more than the competition.
Zillow was started by a very experienced team of veterans (Rich, Lloyd, Spencer, Kristin, Jorrit, Amy, Dave, etc), all of whom were prior executives at extremely successful companies. They came from Expedia, Amazon, Hotwire, and Microsoft. They knew what it took to succeed, and cared deeply about the mission to empower buyers and sellers with information to make better real estate decisions. Succeeding did not involve being satisfied with low quality work. It did not involve going through the motions. It did not involve taking shortcuts. Not caring…was simply not an option for any Zillow employee.
At Virtual Results, our answer to “why work with us?” was that we cared more about our clients than anyone else.
And we truly did. Jim Marks simply cares more than any other technology vendor in the industry, and that mindset filtered down through every person involved in the organization. If an employee/contractor wavered from that and let subpar work out the door or didn’t fulfill our clients expectations, that didn’t stand.
In short, successful leaders give a shit about everything.
That’s why they succeed.
What am I hungry for?
Simple. People that give a shit. About anything. About everything.
Like Virtual Results and Zillow, and every other successful company, we’re building a “Give a Shit” culture at Horizon. If you fall in that bucket and love travel, join us in this next journey to broaden your horizon by signing up for the upcoming BETA.
Update: We’re now on the app store.