Family has always been – and always will be – one of, if not THE most, important priority in my life.When I took over as CEO of Serenova, I set out to make our top goal to build an awesome company that people would love to work for – so much so that it would extend beyond their daily work and into their family lives. That it wouldn’t just be the product of our work that fueled and fulfilled us – but how we worked together that would truly set Serenova apart.

That said, there’s something I’ve learned about family over the years. Diversity is the spice of life, and so different temperaments, interests, and perspectives are a very healthy part of any family. Those differences only work together effectively when applied to a shared set of values and vision for the future.

Moving the company headquarters to Austin and divesting ourselves to become an independent SaaS company were essential first steps in reviving a startup culture focused on fresh talent, innovation, and teamwork.

We also knew that to truly set the stage for the company we would become, we needed to refresh our corporate values, and place them at the center of everything we do – from hiring to vendor selection – as a constant litmus test for whether each decision and action aligns to the standards we set for ourselves. Because while we may be agile and fluid in responding to the market and our customers, it is our unchanging character that will lead us, inevitably, to ever greater achievement.

Culture is tricky, though. You can’t just pick a few clichés, slap some posters together, give everyone breakfast tacos and call it a day. They really DO have to be at the center of everything you do.

Somehow the stars must have aligned when we finalized our values – because they come up in conversations every day, and have quickly become our anchor and touchstone when we need a gut check. Here they are:

  • Humanity First: We’re all human – and we treat everyone (including ourselves) with humility, kindness and respect.
  • Progress Over Perfection: We are flexible and resilient. We embrace change, roll with the punches, and strive to make each day better than the day before.
  • Radical Accountability: We are fanatically transparent, seeking accountability in all that we do. We honor our word, keep our commitments, and seek every opportunity to act in the service of others.
  • Above and Beyond: Everyone is a customer – and simply meeting expectations is never enough. We delight in simplifying the complex and doing more with less, and giving more than we ask for in return.
  • No Finish Line: We are imaginative and tenacious. We are never discouraged, never satisfied and never done. There’s always more we can do, and because we cannot fail if we do not quit, above all, we persist.

In a recent product strategy meeting, one of our execs commented that, “The company is the product.” I think that sums up the thinking behind these values quite nicely. Life isn’t about widgets or modules – it’s about people, relationships, and experiences.  Invest in those things first, and success will follow.

Shine Bright!