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⭐Lindy’s Culture



People & HR
Posted on Friday, June 2, 2023

Lindy’s Culture

Some of these values are strongly worded, voluntarily so. We realize that some of them will be controversial. Our goal isn't to ruffle anybody's feathers. But we also don't want our values to be corporate platitudes ("a commitment to excellence and integrity as a foundation to customer trust…"). We also recognize that they aren't for everyone. That's fine. We don't mean that this is the only way people should work. It's just our way — and we totally understand and respect people who decide it's not for them.
Lindy’s culture is composed of three pillars:
An elite institution (who we are)
Doing the best work of our lives (what we do)
Moving fast (how we do it)
An elite institution.
Fuck yes or no. We only hire people we're extremely excited about. Everyone has a veto right over anyone who'll join their team — no questions asked. If there’s a doubt, there’s no doubt.
Do’s and don’ts
We care about each other. An elite institution is still a place where it's okay to be going through tough times personally, say "I don't know," or "sorry, I screwed up." We assume best intentions, genuinely care about each other's well-being, and have each other's backs in tough times.
Do’s and don’ts
Candor with care. The best way to improve is to receive a lot of feedback, which we give as often and as quickly as possible. But for feedback to be effective, it needs to be paired with care. The point is never to hurt or to vent your anger — always to improve as a team.
Do’s and don’ts
Doing the best work of our lives.
Thinking on paper. "You can't do much carpentry with your bare hands, and you can't do much thinking with your bare brain." – Albert Einstein When confronted with a problem, we decompose it into parts; read the folks who dedicated their lives to it; and "think on paper" about it. Better, we share this thinking so that everyone can benefit and contribute to it.
Do’s and don’ts
UX > EX — User Experience is more important than Employee Experience Customer experience is infinitely more important than maker experience. We keep the user in mind every step of the way, and go the extra mile to remove every last bit of friction from their life. All the better if it's hard — taking hard things off their shoulders is what customers pay us for. One great example is Apple's first generation Magic Mouse. Every other battery-powered gadget has you put batteries in reverse directions, which is confusing. Apple's Magic Mouse has batteries in the same direction — with a wire behind them to connect opposite poles. Imagine the work involved for a seemingly inconsequential detail, hidden behind a plate, under the mouse, opened once a year. One corollary is that we spend a lot of time with users. It hardly seems radical to spend 5% of your time talking with the folks you spend the other 95% building for. And yet, these 5% represent 2-3 hours a week — significantly more than most people spend talking with users. Related readings: UX and the Civilizing Process, Fast Path to a Great UX, A guide to talking with users.
Do’s and don’ts
We care. There is no substitute to caring deeply about your work. We don't do good work because that's good business, because we want a promotion, or because that's what the value doc says. We do good work because we care, like good craftspeople do.
Do’s and don’ts
We leave our politics at the door. We don’t talk politics at work. This is not driven by ideology — on the contrary, this is for very pragmatic reasons. There are only so many minutes in the day, and every minute spent talking politics is a minute not spent building a better product for customers. Talking politics can take a lot of minutes, and it doesn’t even work. You are unlikely to change anyone’s mind, let alone national policies, and you may even hurt your relationships with your teammates if the issue is emotionally loaded. This means no political talk on work tools like Slack, Notion, Google Docs or, well, Teamflow. Now, we hope you will make friends at Lindy, and what you do on personal channels is none of our business. Places like iMessage, Twitter, Facebook are entirely your turf.
Do’s and don’ts
Moving fast:
We move fast… Big companies have thousands of employees, millions of users, and billions of dollars. The one advantage we have is speed, and we shouldn't waste it. It may seem meager, but it's actually huge — big enough for giants to routinely lose against upstarts.
Do’s and don’ts
Example implications
… but we don't take shortcuts. "One can use an eraser on the drafting board, or a sledgehammer on the construction site." – Frank Lloyd Wright We use lots of erasers, and few sledgehammers. We conduct user research and usability testing and write RFCs before we build. That does not mean we take it easy — we follow the road, with all its twists and turns, as fast as we can. But we don't go off-road, as we think it actually slows us down on net.
Do’s and don’ts
We put extraordinary effort to build an extraordinary company. We believe that growth happens at the point of failure. But we also recognize the importance of recovery. In practice, this means alternating periods of intense work with periods of "intense recovery," when we really disconnect. It is a Marathon and not a sprint — we just happen to be world-class marathoners.
Do’s and don’ts
Doers over don'ters / Owner mindset This is your company, and this is your product. You don't need to ask for permission to run experiments — just use your best judgment, informed with what you know about the company's priorities and values.
Do’s and don’ts

Secondary values

Frugality. We're a startup. We buy second-hand when possible, and don't tolerate unnecessary expenses.
Transparency. This is your business, and you're entitled to see everything, especially if you are to have enough context to make your own decisions. This includes our financials.
Be yourself. Life is just more fun that way. That doesn't mean you should be self-indulgent and not try to improve; just that you shouldn't feel like you have to build this great wall between your true self and your work self. Allow yourself to be silly at work if that's your thing; and if your kid makes noise in the background while you're in a meeting, don't be embarrassed, just invite them to say hi! (Plus this way they'll be so shy they won't make noise again.)
Superpumped. Startups are at a bigger risk of running out of morale than running out of money. When good things happen, we notice them, celebrate them, and let ourselves express our excitement about them. And when bad things happen, we take stock of the situation and call it for what it is, no matter how dire. But we never let ourselves fall into despair. "Confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith." Related reading: Shackleton's Way.
Details matter. They're what the product is made of. Even if every detail doesn't get noticed by the user, they'll still infuse your product with a feeling of deep care and craftsmanship. We keep this attention to detail at every step of our development:
When we design, by introducing small delightful interactions.
When we build and think of a nifty way we could make something faster.
Before we ship, when we keep a "friction log" — going through the experience we built over and over again, passing sandpaper over it until everything flows smoothly for the user.
Great artists steal. We feel no shame in stealing good ideas to serve our users. When something works, the only reason we wouldn't copy it would be hubris — "this isn't my idea [hence it's not that good]!" "Copying is beneath me!" This is one of these invisible "optimizing for the maker instead of for the user" moments. Being truly user-obsessed means accepting that users love something, swallowing your pride, and implementing it, regardless of its origin.
Your job isn't done until the job is done. This is stolen from Nike's values, and is a corollary to "we care." When we spot a problem, we never say "someone ought to do something about this," or "that's not my job." Your official title is ancillary to the company's mission — building the best place to work together. Your real job is to do anything it takes to get closer to this.