This post is authored by Ashish Thusoo, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Qubole
We are honored to be named one of Entrepreneur’s Top 50 Company Cultures of 2017. This award is a recognition of the tremendous company culture that we have built and continues to nurture at Qubole. Startups are hard as they are the germinators of new ideas, catalysts of change and drivers of tremendous value to their market. As a result of the day-to-day humdrum of product features, market positioning, evangelism, revenue and growth metrics, customer success and support, many times companies forget about the people that make all of this possible. Getting this recognition from Entrepreneur indicates that we have not made that mistake at Qubole and that we give company culture the same level of importance that we give to our customers. For this, we are thankful to the entire Qubole family in building and nurturing this extremely important aspect of who we are – our culture.
This award also impelled us to try to capture this otherwise abstract concept of “our culture” in words. It forced us to describe the characteristics and behaviors that our organization values the most. It also lead to a lot introspection on what are the characteristics and behaviors we should all aspire to, ones which will enable us to overcome any obstacle in our mission to make enterprises data driven.
Disruption is central to Qubole’s journey. We are built on three massive disruptions in enterprise IT – Cloud, SaaS and Big-Data. Disruptors are people who are positively impatient, action oriented and always think of ways and means to change the status quo. They do not sit back and complain if something is not working well. They look at a challenging situation as an opportunity to act and make a change. Being Action Oriented is the most important aspect of the Qubole culture.
Action for a misdirected purpose is in the best case wasteful and in the worst case destructive. An honest, objective and transparent assessment of the challenge at hand is, therefore, equally important. This is easier said than done–one needs to listen to all the voices in the room, evaluate all options and not give in to human pitfalls of ego, attachment and authority. The discipline to Be Honest and Transparent becomes very important in order to not derail the action from achieving the desired results.
There is an old African proverb.
It takes a village to raise a child.
Startups are like children. Moldable and yet challenging. And like the proverb says, they need tremendous Teamwork to be raised into adulthood. Many a times, in the day today pressures of our individual work, it is easy to forget that we are all a part of a team and running towards the same goal. Being a part of a team means having empathy for your team members and remembering to treat them as you would like to be treated yourself. It means being selfless and playing for the team when needed without invoking extraneous considerations. Being part of a team also means not working in a silo but making sure that you are seeking feedback from and giving feedback to the team at large. Over-communication is key in making sure that we operate as a well oiled machine.
The big data market is inherently complex. One of the key values that Qubole brings to our clients is the simplification of this complexity. We achieve this both by imagining a better future as well as applying tremendous technological innovation in getting there. At times it may also mean showing the light to our users on the right way of achieving a desired result. It is, therefore, very important for us to Be an Innovator and Be a Shepherd to our Market. Combining this with being honest and transparent wins us the trust from our market.
Also true is the fact that in order to be a shepherd to our market, everyone one of us has to Have a Deep Empathy for our Users. Empathy means finding and understanding the pain points of our users and acting quickly to address these to their satisfaction. Empathy means an obsession with figuring out how to make the life easier for our prospects and customers.
Finally, Have Fun and enjoy the journey. We are ushering a big disruption in our industry. Be Humble but Take Pride in your work and the journey. The life of a startup is never easy, but having fun along the way in the company of your colleagues makes all the hard work enjoyable.
So what does it mean to be a Quboler? Here are the behaviors and traits that make our company culture.
- Be Action Oriented
- Be Honest and Transparent
- Be a Team Player
- Be an Innovator
- Be a Shepherd to our Market
- Have a Deep Empathy for our Users
- Have Fun
- Be Humble but Take Pride in your Work