The culture of TaskRabbit is pretty distinct, in fact — it’s downright enviable. Like many startups, we’ve got ping-pong tables, Nerf guns, and bean bag chairs to spare. We’ve also got an office full of puppies, a TaskRabbit yoga instructor twice a week, and a kegerator. We work in an enormous SOMA loft in a big, open space designed for collaboration. If we want privacy, we grab one of the brainstorming rooms. Oh, and there’s even a bacon platter on Fridays.
Our working environment reflects our cultural values. Collaboration, great humor, puppies… it’s also the foundation of everything we build as a company. That’s why we were thrilled (but not surprised) to read Leah’s latest Huffington Post column on why small business owners should care about company culture. Here’s an excerpt:
It seems like those of us who run a business can’t go five minutes without encountering the term “company culture.” The phrase is always uttered with extreme adoration, yet the very concept seems as nebulous as it is elusive. I could use this column to chime in with my two cents about how to build an awesome culture, but I’d rather use it to tell you why I think investing in culture is worth it in the first place. Frankly, all this culture stuff can be pretty daunting for a busy entrepreneur. Since most startups operate at a break-neck pace, with a concept to prove or a product to launch within a rapidly shortening runway of financing, company culture often gets shoved aside. This is a big, big mistake: Nobody serious about their business should put culture in the corner.
Startups need to focus on building a foundation for their company culture early, and then they need to revisit it often. Every time a hire is made, a feature is launched, a Facebook status is updated, a press interview is given, a round of financing is raised, or a meeting is held, culture should be part of the decision-making process. Startups should think of culture like breathing — pretend your company can’t live without it, and chances are, it can’t.