Our Mission and Values
What we're doing, why we're doing it, and how.
Jacob EitingOctober 12, 2018
Help developers make more money.
We have 4 core values:
Always Be Shipping
Almost every tricky decision can be decided by asking “What makes our customer’s life easier?” Sometimes this isn’t always the thing you want to do: it may mean more work for you or your team, or having to walk something back. In the long arc, doing right by the customer is a great guiding principle.
Every interaction with a customer should be thought of from their perspective. Are they going to be annoyed by this email campaign? Am I being too terse in my communication? It only takes one negative experience to turn a RevenueCat fan into a detractor.
The positive outcome and experience of a customer is more important than:
- Our plans – We shouldn’t put our vision for the product above what our customers need. They probably know better than we do.
- Our assumptions – If we assume a customer should be able to implement something we’ve shipped, but many are having issues, we need to ditch our assumptions.
- What a customer says they want – Faster horses etc etc. We need to listen to the pain, and solve their underlying problem, not just do what customers say they want. We know the product and our capabilities better than the customer in many cases. We should come up with a solution that actually solves their issues.
- What we control – If a user has a negative experience related to our product, it doesn’t matter if it’s under our control or not. We are still on the hook to make it better.
Customers Are The Only Reason We Exist
It’s important that we never become “RevenueCat Obsessed”. Everything we do should be in service of our customers and our mission.
Always Be Shipping
The best way to make sure we make long term progress is to make a little progress every day. If we focus on minimizing time-to-value, shipping quickly and often, it will add up.
We should be able to iterate quickly. The Pareto principle is real. Find the 20% of the work that will achieve 80% of the outcome and do that first. Making decisions and taking action quickly also allows us to course correct faster. The best laid plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy. The sooner we ship, the sooner we can make adjustments and ship again.
Default to Action
Do something, don’t just talk about it. As our company gains momentum, we will be tempted into the common traps of analysis paralysis and the innovator’s dilemma. Remember that we only made it this far through hard work, taking risks, and doing things. Actually ship. Shipping is not talking. Shipping is delivering things that deliver value.
We need to be efficient with our time and our capital. Long meetings, over engineered solutions, and costly rewrites should be minimized. Minimizing the time-to-value will by default be efficient. Automate the things that are toilsome. Focus on simple solutions that are cheap to throw away. Remember the big picture.
Being a distributed company, we rely heavily on our written communication. When writing, be sure that your communication is clear and that you provide enough context for the reader to understand what must be understood. Don’t over communicate. Keep your writing simple, direct, and easy to consume.
If someone is having a bad experience with your work, it should hurt. Own what you build. Not making mistakes is admirable, however, being there to help when you do is more important.
Attention to Detail
A great product is a collection of thousands of tiny details. Attention to detail doesn’t mean getting every single detail right, or spending hours pointlessly polishing. It’s important to notice all the details, focus on the right ones, and ship.
See something, do something.
If you see something off or strange, a bad experience, or a ball that’s about to be dropped, do something. Don’t expect that someone else is on it. Ask your boss, their boss, or in #questions. If no one owns the issue, it’s now your issue: own it if it needs it.
There are many different teams at RevenueCat, but we are all part of one team with a shared mission. Don’t throw problems over fences or get into blame games.
Kaizen is a ten dollar word for continuous improvement. Whenever something goes wrong (a bug, a bad customer experience, etc.) it is on us to do a quick retrospective and make some changes to do a little better the next time.
Kaizen applies to your personal knowledge and skills as well as your role and responsibilities. Every day, try to find little ways to improve what you’re doing and how you are doing it. Invest in yourself because it will be a compounding advantage for you and the company
Giving each other constructive feedback is an essential part of continuous personal improvement. Good feedback is a gift and great feedback can often be the hardest to hear. Always strive to listen and consider feedback, and question your own self perceptions. It’s how we improve.
We are on a very long, very difficult journey. To ensure we can make it the distance, we must take a balanced approach to our work. This applies to the intensity of our work, but also to how we make decisions, communicate, and relate to each other.
Maintain a Controlled Burn
It’s not possible to achieve our ambitious goals without working hard. Working at RevenueCat will stretch you, but it shouldn’t break you. Balance is maintaining that controlled burn. Everyone will experience stress, the key is keeping that stress at a manageable level.
Work is not Your Life
Work is your work. It matters, and it is important, but is not the full story. Don’t let a job become a replacement for friends and family. We are a remote company, and it’s harder to have as deep of a social connection with your teammates as you might in an office. That’s ok. It leaves time for other things. Just make sure you actually make time for those things.
Keep Boundaries and Respect Boundaries
Balance is maintaining a certain right to disconnect. In a world with no office, it can be difficult to understand response time expectations. We can text, email, or Slack anyone at any time. It’s important to keep your own boundaries, have methods of emergency contact, but don’t feel the need to be instantly responsive to all channels. And when seeking responses: be mindful of the true urgency and don’t succumb to “urgency theater” in the name of “Always be Shipping.
Doing a startup is hard enough. Be good to each other every day. Default nice.
When someone does something great, tell them and share it with the team. The #good-feels Slack channel is a great place for this.
Give Negative Feedback Privately
It is important that critical feedback is shared often. However, doing so in public doesn’t help anyone. Share critical feedback in the smallest setting possible (one on one is ideal).
Secrets breed mistrust and mistrust breeds contempt. Apart from a few sensitive topics, discussions about the product, the team, and the company should be held in the open.
Most startups fail. We all know that. We will probably miss a lot of goals. The key is to never stop believing in the mission and that we will win someday, but we haven’t won yet.