What is the product you’re building?
Our culture is built on ownership and freedom which breed innovation. We are radically focused on bringing on exceptional employees and creating a meritocratic culture because we trust our employees. We provide them with true ownership and freedom to do what is best for Tatem. If we don’t trust our employees, why would we hire them? And since we do trust them, providing them with the maximum amount of ownership will increase efficiency, attract ever increasing levels of talent, and ensure that the business is innovating at every level of the organization. As Max De Pree, the founder of Herman Miller, famously said, “innovation is the lifeblood of an organization.” We recognize this, and have built our culture around the belief that people can only innovate when they have the freedom to do so. We want ideas to come from anyone at the company, and for the people that have brilliant ideas to be able to pursue them.
What does your team's product development process look like?
We’ve all heard “good is the enemy of great,” but at Tatem, great is the enemy of good. Speed is at the center of everything we do, and moving fast and shipping as soon as it’s “good enough” is how we operate. We aim to make multiple changes to our core production build, each week. Moving fast and breaking things is not a novel cultural value, which means we have to move faster. One of the biggest advantages that startups have vs. large incumbents is the ability to move more quickly as there are less layers of bureaucracy to wade through. At Tatem, we have 0 layers. Our entire business and culture are structured to enable us to move as fast as possible. All of our values work together towards the single goal of enabling us to move (and learn) incredibly fast.
How does your team maintain a high bar for quality?
We’re a high performance culture focused on attracting, retaining, developing, and promoting exceptional talent. Top performers want to be surrounded by other top performers, which leads to a cycle of increasing talent density. One weak link causes the entire organization to make a sacrifice. So, mean, lazy, or kind but average employees are not good fits at Tatem. We immediately let employees go once we realize that they’re not a fit within the company. This ensures that the talent pool remains incredibly high. We also target employees who will contribute their opinion (and even counter other opinions, kindly), which allows us to make the best possible decisions.