We are passionate believers in strong culture: it’s the most effective way to have controlled and scalable growth, but more than that it’s significantly more likely that you’ll get fun out of work and get the most out of yourselves. A strong and identifiable culture is what we like to invest in, both in our portfolio companies and in ourselves.
Airbnb has scaled to be one of the biggest unicorns of recent years on an unbelievably quick timescale. Its co-founder, Brian Chesky, encourages you to surround yourself with people that are so good they intimidate you.
“I think that’s what the first thing is, to build a team that is so talented that they kind of, slightly make you uncomfortable to be with them, because you know you are going to have to raise your game to be with them.”
Strong culture gives the team first principles to fall back on. It aligns people with values that matter to the company. It provides stability for the company. It provides trust that binds people together. It gives you a list of what to do and what not to do (exclusion). It allows you to retain the right employees. If you have strong core values, you’ll know who you do and do not want to keep.