Great Ideas, Company Culture and Demographics!


My partner Scott Rafer dropping some startup science during an interview at e27 in Singapore, worth reading the entire post.

Lookery looks really great, maintaining steadfastly on permission marketing and not taking users for granted, very similar to Google’s Don’t be Evil mantra. I like that! Would you like to share how’s the culture like at Lookery?

Company cultures reflect the founders. David Cancel and I have each been working on startups for a long time and have learned some painful lessons that we try not to repeat. Generally, our mistakes have come from excess complexity and unrealistic expectations. Oren Michels of Mashery is the same way. We all think alike. Oren and I met David because he was Mashery’s first customer.

  1. We’re big fans of simplicity and volume. Do one small thing — and do it a huge number of times. This leads directly to… If it can’t be done with cloud computing, don’t do it.
  2. We don’t have secrets or tell lies, because both too expensive to keep track of. We can’t justify the time, effort, or capital.
  3. Small companies should be virtual. We’re six people in three cities who have only all been in a room together once. When the economy improves, we’ll have twice-yearly get togethers. Otherwise, each of us tends to see one or two other employees one day a week or less.
  4. Ideas are free; execution provides the only value.
  5. Automate only after you know the automation is justified. Manual processes are fine until then.
  6. Only raise money if you know EXACTLY how it will improve the business to the benefit of the current shareholders.
  7. Etc.

Also, for smart, productive people, family life is critically important and stress is a terrible motivator. Half the company are work-at-home parents. We make schedule accommodations for childcare all the time and are very used to screaming three year olds “participating” in our staff calls.

via Sniffing out Great Ideas, Company Culture and Demographics! – Interview with Lookery CEO Scott Rafer » e27 – Discovering Web Innovation in Asia.