<aside> 💁 Some of these values are strongly worded, voluntarily so.
We realize that some of them will be controversial. Our goal isn't to ruffle anybody's feathers. But we also don't want our values to be corporate platitudes ("a commitment to excellence and integrity as a foundation to customer trust…").
We also recognize that they aren't for everyone. That's fine. We don't mean that this is the only way people should work. It's just our way — and we totally understand and respect people who decide it's not for them.
Lindy’s culture is composed of three pillars:
An elite institution (who we are)
Doing the best work of our lives (what we do)
Moving fast (how we do it)
An elite institution.
But for feedback to be effective, it needs to be paired with care. The point is never to hurt or to vent your anger — always to improve as a team. - Do’s and don’ts
Doing the best work of our lives.
When confronted with a problem, we decompose it into parts; read the folks who dedicated their lives to it; and "think on paper" about it. Better, we share this thinking so that everyone can benefit and contribute to it. - Do’s and don’ts 2. UX > EX — User Experience is more important than Employee Experience Customer experience is infinitely more important than maker experience.
We keep the user in mind every step of the way, and go the extra mile to remove every last bit of friction from their life. All the better if it's hard — taking hard things off their shoulders is what customers pay us for.
One great example is Apple's first generation Magic Mouse. Every other battery-powered gadget has you put batteries in reverse directions, which is confusing.
Apple's Magic Mouse has batteries in the same direction — with a wire behind them to connect opposite poles. Imagine the work involved for a seemingly inconsequential detail, hidden behind a plate, under the mouse, opened once a year.
One corollary is that we spend a lot of time with users. It hardly seems radical to spend 5% of your time talking with the folks you spend the other 95% building for. And yet, these 5% represent 2-3 hours a week — significantly more than most people spend talking with users.
Related readings: UX and the Civilizing Process, Fast Path to a Great UX, A guide to talking with users.
![<https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/dd80993c-6ce1-45ee-9e78-dec3f9179616/Untitled.png>](<https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/dd80993c-6ce1-45ee-9e78-dec3f9179616/Untitled.png>) - Do’s and don’ts
First, because you got to a high position because you were good — disabling the brains of the best people in the company would be extraordinarily counter productive.
Second, because most problems only reveal their true root cause once you dive to the deepest possible level of detail.
Third, because someone must eventually dive deep. Managers deciding not to sends a message that details are unimportant.
Don’t let the fear of being perceived as a “micro-manager” prevent you from diving into the details. Your job isn’t to protect people’s feelings. It is to create a better product for our customers — if your diving deep achieves that, that’s all that matters. - Do’s and don’ts 4. Obligation to dissent; Disagree and commit. If you have concerns, you must voice them. The more uncomfortable the truth, and the more important it is that you speak it.
That is even if you must speak against your manager, your manager’s manager, or Flo. None of these people are your boss: the customer is your boss, and he ultimately doesn’t care about our feelings — he only cares about whether we solve his problems.
Groupthink takes hold quickly, and you should be terrified of it: it shuts down your brain. Don’t let the HIPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) win — let truth win.
Disagree and commit: once your concerns have been voiced and heard, keep in mind that there is always one single decision maker — ideally, the subject matter expert about whatever is it that is being decided.
Most decisions — particularly the ones that are reversible — should be made much faster than they are. Do not let your concerns block the entire group, and accept that you won’t agree with every decision made: disagree and commit.
<aside> ✅ **Do** - Question every single requirement — both internal and external ones. </aside> <aside> ⛔ **Don’t** - Blindly accept a requirement, just because someone said so. Push back, even against lawyers. </aside>
************************************Most people give up too easily — often, before they even tried. That means that by pushing harder, aiming higher, thinking bigger, you get to a place where there is much less competition — and you get to achieve things that are much more awesome.
Plus, it’s kind of fun to do the impossible.
<aside> ✅ **Do** - If you have a 10-year plan, ask yourself: why can’t you do it in 6 months? - Give yourself the permission to think crazy ideas. “We’d need like a billion dollars to train this big of a model…” So, should we raise that? </aside> <aside> ⛔ **Don’t** - Give up before you even tried. - Use other people as your measuring stick (”Google with all their resources couldn’t do any better, what makes us think we can?”). </aside>
This is not driven by ideology — on the contrary, this is for very pragmatic reasons. There are only so many minutes in the day, and every minute spent talking politics is a minute not spent building a better product for customers.
Talking politics can take a lot of minutes, and it doesn’t even work. You are unlikely to change anyone’s mind, let alone national policies, and you may even hurt your relationships with your teammates if the issue is emotionally loaded.
This means no political talk on work tools like Slack, Notion, Google Docs or, well, Teamflow.
Now, we hope you will make friends at Lindy, and what you do on personal channels is none of our business. Places like iMessage, Twitter, Facebook are entirely your turf. - Do’s and don’ts
We use lots of erasers, and few sledgehammers. We conduct user research and usability testing and write RFCs before we build. That does not mean we take it easy — we follow the road, with all its twists and turns, as fast as we can. But we don't go off-road, as we think it actually slows us down on net. - Do’s and don’ts
Related reading: Shackleton's Way.
This is one of these invisible "optimizing for the maker instead of for the user" moments. Being truly user-obsessed means accepting that users love something, swallowing your pride, and implementing it, regardless of its origin.