Before starting Tecton, Mike and I were at Uber for several years. Uber had a unique culture. It motivated people to work hard, move fast, and build a business that impacts millions of people at incredible speed. But it also created an environment that was publicly renowned for many things, but not for creating a particularly collaborative and inclusive culture.
This experience taught us how important it is to get culture right from the start and inspired us to be very intentional about ours at Tecton. So when we hired the first 10 Tectonauts, who would determine the course of Tecton’s company culture more than anything else, we hired with a few unshakable fundamentals in mind: a strong desire to help each other, a willingness to go above and beyond for the customer, a belief that finding the truth is more important than winning an argument, and relentless ambition.
And today, 3 years later and with 70 Tectonauts, those fundamentals remain unchanged. What has changed though, is how we now articulate those fundamentals. Our values define who we are, and how we act:
We are one team
Mike and I decided to make it clear that above all we are one team and that we’re in it together. As one team:
We put people first: If we had to reduce our values to just one, it would be this one. Even though we’re a product company, Tecton is absolutely nothing without its people. And therefore, supporting every Tectonaut is our number one priority.
We take winning seriously and have fun along the way: At Tecton, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We joke around and always make time for fun. But one thing we are serious about is creating an industry defining company. And when it comes to that, we’re here to win.
We are open and transparent: The most common surprise for new Tectonauts is how open we are. We believe that fast growing companies are more successful when there are fewer closed doors. The cards are laid out at Tecton. We celebrate wins together, but are also honest and open about failures. This also means that Tectonauts receive and are expected to give feedback early and often.
We are doers
At the end of the day, we are all doers at Tecton: we get together to get stuff done, and move forward. As doers, it’s important for Tectonauts to:
Be an owner and not a renter: No one has ever said “that isn’t my job!” at Tecton. And when we say we’re going to do something, we do it. Every Tectonaut owns a meaningful part of Tecton and that shows in the care and stewardship we bring to our work every day.
Fight for the truth: The truth isn’t always easy to find or accept, but in a fast growing company it’s critical that we’re steadfast in seeking it. We ask more questions than we have answers for. Tectonauts are open minded, value independent thinking, openly disagree and debate ideas.
Break down walls: Building an amazing company requires overcoming extraordinary obstacles. You’re constantly told that it can’t be done. A key to Tecton’s success is our team’s outstanding ability to question constraints and overcome obstacles to accomplish unbelievable things.
We are leaders
Leadership isn’t just expected and demonstrated from managers at Tecton, but from every Tectonaut. A few core pillars drive how we lead:
Think big and work backwards: Tecton’s mission is to bring ML-intelligence to every customer interaction on the planet. To succeed in this mission requires us to work backward from this ultimate goal and to constantly look for opportunities that lead to step-function, rather than incremental change.
Serve the customer: Becoming a Tecton customer is the beginning of a close partnership on the journey to operational ML. We go above and beyond to get to know our customers, to understand their problems end-to-end, and ultimately to help them succeed in getting ML into production to power their product.
No shenanigans: Trust is earned slowly and can be lost in a moment. Trust is critical to how we work with our customers and how we work together as a team. Taking integrity extremely seriously and not allowing any “shenanigans” makes it easy for the team to avoid acting in ways (no matter how convenient) that aren’t in our customers’ or teams’ best interests.
These 9 values are the unique recipe that makes Tecton a special place. We feel lucky and proud to lead a team that embodies these values. As we grow from 70 to 700, and then to 7,000 employees over the years to come, fostering Tecton’s culture will continue to be a top priority. If our values resonate with you and describe an environment that you’d thrive in, we would love to get to know you.
Kevin Stumpf, Co-founder and CTO
Mike Del Balso, Co-founder and CEO