As I was interning this summer at Uber, I learned a lot about the importance of cultural values and how they shape your company. If you have read the news at all lately, you'd know it is an important time for Uber. They have to make lots of really big decisions - ones that will likely determine the long term impact and success of the company.
Culture is one of the core pillars of this change - as they have accrued a lot of "cultural debt" - scaling quickly without putting in proper controls and boundaries about culture. As a result, there have been many consequences. But I believe, wholly, that things are changing for the better.
But importantly, I learned a core "business" principle during my time at Uber. And that was this simple notion:
"let builders build"
What this means, to me, is that the best ideas should always win. We should not discriminate facts based on other qualities. The best ideas/evidence should win every time.
In an environment that believes in that principle, anyone can step forward, work hard, and build something magical.
The problem is that in many cultures and environments, builders are discouraged from building. Artists are obstructed from producing. And so on.
This is inefficient.
Things get in the way.
You have to take a class.
You have to pass a test.
You have to look a certain way. Or talk a certain way.
All of these factors prevent people from building.
Frictions that stop people from building prevent magic. And we want as much magic as possible, right?