Values Create Value
In the tech industry, you read more blog posts on product features than you do on core values. At Circonus, we see them as inextricably linked – values create value – which is exactly what positions us to deliver results for our customers. Values lead you to real solutions, not just resolutions.
Resolutions and reflections are at the top of our minds in the new year. 2017 was a dynamic year in the monitoring and observability space. Some highlights:
- The USE method arose as the gold standard for host based metrics. We like it so much here at Circonus that we added it as a core feature.
- Terraform enabled providers to implement monitoring as code to automate manual tasks to configure monitoring systems.
- “Time Series Database” became a common phrase in DevOps. We believe the need for high quality telemetry at scale is so important that we released our internal TSDB as IRONdb.
This momentum in our space, and the pioneering role that Circonus plays, make me proud to work in technology. But I recall too many tech-related headlines in 2017 that screamed a lack of basic human or corporate values. This week, as we all vow to exercise more (my favorite) and eat less peanut butter ice cream (also my favorite), it’s worth reflecting that resolutions and corporate gamesmanship are like fad diets, but values are a way of life.
As leaders in a rapidly-evolving sector, Circonus believes our values should guide the path we forge. So we’ve decided to share our values publicly here. Leadership in technology depends on a set of principles that serve as a touchstone at times when it might be easier in the short term to take actions that sacrifice that which our customers, partners, and colleagues have come to expect from us. Without further ado, I present the values that Theo has laid out for us here at Circonus.
Be excellent to each other; everyone; equally. Never participate directly or indirectly in the violation of human rights. Consider others in your actions. Always presume competence and good intention. During disagreements fallback to shared principles and values and work toward a solution from there. Communicate honestly, clearly and consistently, and with respect.
What this means for our work: Ideas are not people. We will criticize ideas, tear them down, and seek to ensure they can withstand operating at scale. We don’t do the same to people though; to operate at the highest level, shared discourse demands respect and trust between individuals.
Trust is basic fabric of good working relationships with our colleagues, with our customers, with our industry, and with our competitors. Trust is reinforced through honesty, openness, and being transparent by default. It is okay to share tactical mistakes and our shortcomings both internally and externally. Never break the law or expose the mistakes or shortcomings of our customers.
What this means for our work: We build trust through open communication with our customers when things don’t go as expected.
Do not break the law. Do not game the system. If we feel the system is broken, we must act to change the system. Winning isn’t winning if we’ve cheated. It is impossible to win alone.
What this means for our work: When we build on the work of others, we cite prior art and give credit where it is due.
We must care as much or more about our customers than they do for themselves. Customer data: keep it secret, keep it safe, keep it intact and accurate. We also recognize that people are not machines and that human contact and personal care should not be sacrificed for the sake of efficiency. Never miss an opportunity to connect with a customer at the human level.
What this means for our work: We have built our systems to implement data safety as a first class feature.
Leave a room cleaner than when you entered. Leave a customer with more value than they’ve invested in us. Leave your colleagues, your customers and competitors lives more enriched and happier after every interaction. Appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of others.
What this means for our work: We aren’t satisfied with being average. We look to implement the best in class technical solution, even when it means waiting a little bit longer for the market to realize it.
Always treat customer organizations as the assembly of humans they are. Treat everyone with kindness; it is the one thing you can always afford to do.
What this means for our work: Kindness at a minimum means helping our customers – even more than they asked, whenever we can. Kindness costs nothing, yet returns so much.
Avoid waste. Consider the world. Conserve and protect what we consume – from the environment to people’s time.
Learn something new every day and encourage responsible risk taking. Experience results in good decision making; experience comes from making poor decisions. Support those around you to help them constructively learn from their mistakes. This is how we build a team with experience. Learn from our failures and celebrate our successes.
What this means for our work: We are always looking to the leading edge of innovation; the value of success is often higher than the cost of failure.
Set high standards for our own excellence. Expect more from ourselves than we do from our customers, our colleagues, and others we come in contact with.
What this means for our work: We seek to push the envelope on ideas and practices. As we said earlier, being average isn’t good enough; we expect ourselves to strive for the 99th percentile.
We hope you will share in these values going into 2018. If these words resonated with you, and you love to build high quality systems and software, come work with us, we are hiring!