This is not exactly an employee handbook. This is about what makes us unique, This is primarily a guide about our reasons to work the way we do.
This book is yours to edit. Once you’ve read it, help us make it better for the noobs. Suggest new sections, or change the existing ones. Add to the Glossary. Or if you’re not all that comfortable editing it, annotate it: make comments and suggestions. We’ll collectively review the changes and fold them into future revisions.
Hierarchy is great for maintaining predictability and repeatability. It simplifies planning and makes it easier to control a large group of people from the top down, which is why military organizations rely on it so heavily.
But when you’re a company that's gone out of its way to recruit the most intelligent, innovative, talented people on Earth, telling them to sit at a desk and do what they’re told obliterates 99 percent of their value. We want innovators, and that means maintaining an environment where they’ll flourish.
That’s why we are flat. It’s our way of saying that we don’t have any management, and nobody “reports to” anybody else. We do have founders, but even they aren't your managers.We are accountable to our customers and each other, it's an organic combination between trust and ambition.
Companies are nothing more than collections of people. If those people work together effectively the chance of creating something awesome goes way up. If they don’t, it doesn’t. It’s really that simple.
That said, there are a million different ways to work together, and if we’ve learned anything it’s that goals change, people change, and organizations change. So before anything, expect change, be ready to go with the flow and even lead change yourself.
This company is yours to steer toward opportunities and away from risks. You have the power to green-light projects. You have the power to make things happen.
A flat structure removes every organizational barrier
For some people this means they need to be in the thick of conversations, standing in front of a whiteboard, or huddled up around a computer screen with another person. For others, it means being plugged into their computer with their headphones on banging out to some Skrillex or, in the case of a few, to the melodic charms of Celine Dion. Sometimes it means that a busy coffee shop or a pajama-wearing work-from-home day is where the magic happens.
Whatever it is, it’s cool.
The consequence of this non-policy policy is that your work must speak for itself. It’s not about face-time, a race to the office in the morning, or a competition to see who can be there the latest… output is what matters. disforma is not a place to hide. It is a place to create, show off and learn from each other.
If you want to coast, we recommend you apply for a job somewhere else
Nobody has ever been fired here for making a mistake. It wouldn’t make sense for us to operate that way. Providing the freedom to fail is an important trait of the company we couldn’t expect so much of individuals if we also penalized people for errors. Even expensive mistakes, or ones which result in a very public failure, are genuinely looked at as opportunities to learn. We can always repair the mistake or make up for it.
Screwing up is a great way to find out that your assumptions were wrong or that your model of the world was a little bit off. As long as you update your model and move forward with a better picture, you’re doing it right. Look for ways to test your beliefs. Never be afraid to run an experiment or to collect more data.
It helps to make predictions and anticipate nasty outcomes. Ask yourself “what would I expect to see if I’m right?” Ask yourself “what would I expect to see if I’m wrong?” Then ask yourself “what do I see?” If something totally unexpected happens, try to figure out why.
There are still some bad ways to fail. Repeating the same mistake over and over is one. Not listening to customers or peers before or after a failure is another. Never ignore the evidence; particularly when it says you’re wrong
Given the importance of great communication and its rampant level of abuse, we’ve assembled this simple guide. We hope it will be helpful in your day to day work.
The following styles and formats for communication are listed in which they should be employed when dealing with co-workers.
The more you care about an issue, the more important it is that you make number one or two the starting place for communication.
The result is improved communication, and that makes all of us work better together and happier.
Wether it's someone new, or a well known friend, we would love to exchange thoughts. We believe that collaboration can change perspectives and improve ideas, this is why we have so many guests; they might be our next big project or rockstar recruit.
So take your time to get to know them, worst case scenario, you'll end up with a lot of friends.
It is a place that great work happens and a place that can prevent you from doing great work all at the same time. Use it as if it is truly yours… an extension of your house. Or maybe better, an extension of your parent's house. It’s a place where you can feel ultimately comfortable but must take responsibility for your presence and your usage. Treat it like your own, because it is your own.
As much as anything, our office is a social space for our team to spend time together, eat together, have small and large group conversations and inspire each other.
We will be a different company a few years from now because you are going to change it for the better. We can’t wait to see where you take us. The products, features, and experiences that you decide to create for customers are the things that will define us.
Whether it’s a new app, a new feature, a way to save customers money, a painting that teaches us what’s beautiful, something that protects us from legal threats, a new typeface, an idea for how to be healthier while we work, a new social project to change people's life, a spectacular animation, a new kind of test that lets us be smarter or a toy that makes four-year-olds laugh, or (more likely) something nobody’s thought of yet.
We can’t wait to see what kind of future you choose to build here.