Before we dive into the specifics of 21n78e’s culture, let’s get a few basic concepts out of the way.
What is a startup?
A startup is a setup where the unpredictable happens. It’s a setup that throws new challenges at you every single day, a set up that thrives on day to day progress and how driven you are to make something out of nothing.
A startup is born from sacrifices and personal investment in an endeavor that means more than just a source of income.
What is startup culture?
Defining a culture may sometimes seem like a fruitless task, but as entrepreneurs may have learnt the hard way, doing so at the very start can take you and your company a long, long way.
Startup culture is more than just having a foosball table and a ps3 (both of which we proudly sport at 21N!). It is meant to define your workplace’s environment, its core values and puts in place filters that better the process of recruitment.
At 21n, when we hire individuals the first question we ask ourselves after an interview is – Would he/she be a good fit for us?
Without defining the culture, your workforce would scramble around like a bunch of headless chickens, to say the least.
At 21n, the employees laid the foundation for the company’s ‘startup culture’.
The aim was to build a family, not a company.
A family of people who have their own quirks, who treat their workplace like their playground and whose vision corroborates with that of the company. It is important to hand pick this mixed bag of individuals who help shape your company and bring in that extra zing!
Recently, our COO conducted an exercise with the entire team to understand everyone’s perspective on the company, its vision, where we are headed and what everyone thought 21n78e’s core values stand for.
Taking out a couple of hours to check in on your employees and gather feedback helps everyone not only work better together but also gives them a sense of belonging. It helps everyone identify broken links or key areas to address and improve.
It is important to listen to those who make up the culture of your office. A startup cannot thrive on the vision of just a few, it must be a joint effort amongst everyone who is risking something to be here. It is the vision of that seasoned professional coming from an established company, who has put his/her reputation at stake, credibility on the line and a big question mark on their stable, high paying job. It is also the vision of a junior executive who chooses to start off his/her career at a small setup over a reputed name. Joining a startup is no joke and every establishment must acknowledge these sacrifices in order to build a culture of empathy and collective growth.
It’s fairly simple.
No individual would give their time, effort and energy to a company that doesn’t care about what they have to say. You’d end up hiring just another employee, who does their daily chores and clocks out at 6PM every day.
Some get lucky, some don’t. But the point is, in a country that is ranked number 3 globally in terms of startups, the chances of someone finding their right fit are high!
I found my home at the age of 23, we’ll get into my slice of this cake a little later. Till then, to all those still looking – happy home hunting!