Winning Culture: Creating an Award-Winning Company
Our employees are at the center of our culture. We believe this to be so deeply important that we designed our core values that way, and you can see it in the acronym: TRUST with “U” at the center. That’s what makes this a special announcement. I am proud, honored, and humbled that Clumio has been recognized as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area by Silicon Valley Business Journal. This award is a reflection of how much our employees love the culture at Clumio – a culture that they developed and continue to nourish.
A company is all about its people. To that effect, we have been intentional with every decision about people since we started this journey in 2017. The advice I received from one of my most trusted advisors has always been at the front of my mind. “Leadership is creating an environment where people can independently apply their intellect, judgment, and energy to advance the vision and goals of the organization and achieve a personal sense of accomplishment in their work.” With a bold vision to disrupt the $10B backup market with a cloud-native data protection platform, we need a passionate and courageous team who is invested in our mission.
We know that when folks feel trusted and empowered, they can carry the flag. That’s why we share our board meeting slides with the entire company, after every board meeting. Basically we want everyone to know what we are sharing with the board and what we are hearing back. We also invite our people to come and present to the board. This is not only a unique experience, it is also something that empowers our people as they get a chance to present their own work. I also share the founding of the company and the presentation we used to raise our Series A financing. This is a unique experience for almost everyone because they get to hear the story of the company when it started and how we first got funded. The “Why” behind everything that was done to get the first money is valuable for every budding entrepreneur, something that I wished I had when I started my first company.
The other thing we focus on is hiring really smart people, but also people who are humble and down to earth. And once you have laid the right foundation, you can be comfortable that this continues as we scale. We also do not believe in hierarchies. Politics in companies happens because people start saying “I am more powerful than you because I know something that you don’t.” We kill this information hoarding, by sharing everything with everyone transparently, using tools like Slack. This has been extremely powerful for us, and we know that a strong culture is not only important to our employees but also critical to continue adding top talent. We know that folks have a lot of choices. If you’re interviewing with Clumio then you are self-selecting to be a part of a startup and all that comes with joining a high-growth startup. And if we choose you and you choose us, then we trust you from day one because we believe trust is like a bank, and we need to deposit first before we can make a withdrawal. We will do all that we can to be transparent and supportive so that you can bring your best self for your team and Clumio.
All of our Bay Area employees were asked to participate in a survey for the award, and I was elated to see that across all categories, the average response was 96 out of a possible 100 points. With categories including team dynamics and trust in leadership, we know that our commitment to people and transparency is being well-received. And with “challenging” and “exciting” being the most frequently used words in the survey when describing their work, I am reassured that our employees feel a sense of pride in their work – and are having fun!
We set out to take the complexity and risk out of backup by taking full advantage of the cloud. By building our platform the right way, we are able to promise and deliver an experience that enterprises have not seen before. And in these unprecedented times, our model of predictable costs, the ability to scale on-demand, and security from beginning to end is exactly what is needed. I’m proud of what we have built in the last two years, but in many ways we’re just getting started on executing our vision. This recognition shows that our employees are not only proud of our culture but also the right owners to continue developing it – and the real winners of this award.
I will end with this. I guarantee you that if you want to make a difference in technology and maybe even someday do your own startup, there is no predictable way to do this but to join the “right” startup and learn and grow with that startup. Silicon Valley thrives on this. And there is a reason why no one has been able to emulate Silicon Valley yet. We aspire to be that startup where people come to contribute, learn and grow, and someday not only help Clumio be very successful but also go do great things including start their own “Clumio” in the future that will grow the next generation of entrepreneurs. This is how we’ll keep Silicon Valley the epicenter of innovation and continue to create great companies!