Last year I had the chance to hear early Facebook employee Chamath Palihapitiya speak about a broad range of topics. One of the more interesting subjects he touched on was the concept of dilution of culture. He described quite candidly how he viewed his role as a protector of facebook’s culture and that each new employee was a potential culture-diluter. Sure, most candidates were talented enough, but were they adding to the company culture or more likely to suck the life from it?
A great opportunity came for me in 2004 to join a still young PayPal. It was by no means a startup anymore but the entire engineering organization fit into the same medium sized room at that time. It was then that I first learned how important culture is and how vital it is to maintain it as you scale up. Over the course of 9 years I did my best to help hire many team members that would not only help the business achieve its’ goals but maintain & grow that unique culture.
As I embark on a new chapter in my career here at AKF Partners I’m excited to work with extremely talented people both at AKF and with the organizations we serve. I’m excited to learn about the people & cultures that make these companies so successful and to help them scale.
However, priority #1 is clear enough: don’t dilute, add to it!