Day 12: Culture, the PasswordBox Way

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Yesterday afternoon we had a visit from 4 core members of the PasswordBox team. They came to chat with the current Cohort about team culture, how you instill it and how you can maintain it through growth and acquisition by Intel Security. On the panel were Marc-Antoine Ross (Co-Founder & Director of Data Engineering), Greg Whiteside (Employee #1 & Director Engineering), Olivier Beaulieu (Employe #8 & Technical Team Lead) and Ian Jeffrey (Employee #32 & VP Product Marketing). 

Some of the key topics covered were:

1) Hiring
– Always hang-out with a potential employee before hiring them.  Would you want to have a beer with them on a Friday night after a long week of work? 
– Always hire people who are smarter than you. If you feel dumb in the interview, that’s a good sign!
– PasswordBox has instilled a culture of attracting great people to the company and spending time with them before hiring them.
– Everyone should have options. 

2) Transparency
– PasswordBox has a culture of transparency. This is key in building a strong culture. Every employee is always aware of everything going on, from potential investors to potential acquirers and deals on the table. 
– Set a weekly time to meet with the entire company, Monday works great because everyone is pumped up for the week. At PasswordBox they do all hands lunches every Monday where Dan gives the updates on the company and every team goes over what they’re working on. 

3) Firing
– If after one week you aren’t convinced about someone, you should let them go. After 1 week it gets harder and harder to fire someone.
– The biggest mistake is trying to keep someone who you know isn’t a good fit

Here are some of the tidbits shared with the Cohort:

“Invest in the culture of people, not in the space you work in”
“Dan comes in every morning and fist bumps every single employee, he did it when we were 3, 8 and now we’re 50+ and he still does it.”
“Culture creates retention.”
“When does culture start? It starts day 1, when you meet someone and want to work together and build something. From there, it grows organically.”
“Every morning when I show up to work, my colleagues are genuinely happy to see me and greet me with high-fives, it’s like one huge family.”
“We’re 50+ employees and I honestly can’t imagine PasswordBox without any of them. They’re all part of who we are. That’s when you know you have a strong culture.”

 

Emma Williams
emmajjwilliams@gmail.com
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