Values at Slight
We believe that to build the company and culture that we are proud of and excited about we need to be deliberate about the values that guide us. Below you can find the values that guide us everyday at Slight. They are by no means immutable and we expect to refine these over time, but the spirit of these seven values will stay constant and serve as the foundation of our culture.
Commitment, Responsibility and Balance
Our commitments to our families, our colleagues, and our customers sustain and motivate us. Our commitment to each other includes teaching and passing on our skills. We’re not afraid to give away our Lego .
Individually, we are responsible for our actions and doing our best to hold up our commitment to one another. But we take responsibility for outcomes as a whole — successes are shared broadly and we reflect on missteps with a critical eye but do so without blame.
We genuinely believe in work-life balance and deeply value our time and commitments outside of work. And not just because it’s better for each of us - it’s probably better for the company too . We're serious about this - see our benefits and time off. Overcommitment is a sure fire way to let someone down so “hero-ball” isn’t desired or rewarded, e.g., staying up really late to finish something… it can wait !
We limit our total meeting time , and have no expectation of always being on - therefore we’re flexible with hours. We recognise the benefit of making space for deep work.
Focus and a Bias towards Hard Problems
When we work, we work hard. It’s not about “moving fast” for the sake of it, but about being decisive and moving without delay. For each decision, we need to decide: will it make the boat go faster ?
We want to break the big rocks first. We want to solve the hard problems so our customers can focus on the fun ones. Lucky for us, we have fun solving the hard problems, whether technical or otherwise!
We’re focussed on the mission: we can see the broad strokes of the long term vision, but are energized by all the learning, refining, and building that lies on the journey to get there and the value we'll provide to our customers along the way.
We're anti-complacent, both in terms of focus and curiosity. More generally, we care about what we do.
Of experience, background, opinion, and expertise. Diversity is both a consequence and a requirement for empathy, not a box checked. The pipeline isn't an excuse and, further, we hope that the way we hire and build our company will in some small way help widen the pipeline and keep folks who might have otherwise left find success in the industry. This is not some altruistic exercise either - we truly believe this is better for our company.
Courage, Encouragement and Curiosity
To succeed, we’ll need to be courageous and curious: to tackle tricky challenges, to learn new technology, to speak up when you disagree. Encouragement is the network-effect version of this! Even the best of us don’t know everything , and we should all be so lucky to be one of today's 10,000 !
To support this, we aim to be fearless, and we recognise that is only possible with the right support. We are all responsible for supporting each other in leaving our comfort zones - after all, how else could we have the necessary experimentation, innovation and ownership?
- Good tooling and processes, such as testing. But indeed, processes are not just for coding
- No retribution or blame. If (when) things go wrong, we will learn but not blame. If nothing goes wrong, we are being too safe!
- Psychological safety, openness and support
- No question is too basic, and being wrong a lot is good and normal
For more, see Julia Evans’ great blog post .
Sincerity and Transparency
Sincerity is like candor, but with a distinctly positive orientation. This goes naturally with honesty: honesty towards both colleagues and externally, and importantly inwards looking: both to ourselves, and about our company. We consider it an obligation to speak up when you disagree.
Everything is shared internally, including salaries, the cap table, investor decks, and standing invitations to meetings (all with the caveat of private personnel issues).
Feedback should be given often, and should combine honesty with good intentions. Instead of OKRs and annual reviews, feedback should be continuous, not something to be dreaded, but something to learn from. Whether coaching, evaluating, or giving deserved praise, we’ll always remain sincere. And don't forget to brag a little !
Conflict / differences of opinion are normal and expected. We don’t bury them and let them fester, but always work to resolve peacefully.
Openness and Trust
We believe that openness of mind and a commitment to perspective taking is the foundation for sustainable and productive relationships with each other and our customers. We strive to always operate in good faith, and approach situations with openness, generosity, and decency. This is a pre-requisite for many of our values: honesty, courage and sincerity are impossible without trust.
Autonomy and Self-Management
We believe everyone at Slight should have the freedom and resources to implement and honor their responsibilities and commitments. We’ll expand on this in a future post as we learn more - after all, it’s easy to self-manage when you’re small. Importantly, the goal of working together is not top-down hierarchy, nor pure consensus, but alignment.