We are publishers and software developers. Our three core attributes are quality (we always pursue the very best content and design), automation (we develop and use software everywhere we can) and frugality (we strive to be efficient and get more from less).
Our “rule of engagement”: when in doubt about what to do, choose the path that builds the most trust — the trust of our clients, the trust of our authors, the trust of our colleagues. You cannot (and often should not) please everybody, but you can maintain or increase trust.
We dream, but we have the strength to say “no” to most good ideas — we pick our fights, we build on our core strengths, and we stay focused on our mission. There are too many good ideas, but only a very few can be executed well at a time. We pick the one idea that’s likely to have the most effect, and focus our resources on it.
We want our work to be meaningful and make us proud. We are renowned for quality. We strive to leave things better than we found them. Our attitude is, if we see a piece of paper loose on the floor, we pick it up. We take pride even in the hidden parts that no-one outside would see.
We are flexible and nimble; we spin on a dime and adjust to new situations. Jobs can change at any time: you were hired yesterday to do one thing, but may be needed tomorrow to do another. We believe one’s most important skill is the ability to learn new things. We aim to stay curious, stay hungry, learn new things and get better at them. Stagnation is the beginning of decay.
If we all agree on something without debate, it may be that we’re not wrong, but it’s almost certain that we haven’t thought things through. Everyone should ask, “why?”, “how much time should I spend?”, “what should I not do instead?”, “what gets pushed to the backburner?”, “are you sure it’s worth it?” Everyone should understand why they’re doing something and how their work fits in with everyone else’s.
Making a good decision fast is better than making the best decision too late. Also, we know that pleasing everyone ends up serving no-one well. On each task there is one person on point, who solicits input and welcomes debate, but ultimately makes the call, owns the decision, drives the execution, and takes responsibility.