The Ahalogy Manifesto

A guide to making choices at Ahalogy

 

What Is This?

The Ahalogy Employee Playbook codifies what it means to be part of Ahalogy. We chose to put this on paper because we want to encourage ownership, free thinking and collaboration. We call this our Playbook. If we follow what is transcribed here, this will be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.

Picasso once said: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” We believe this in many ways, as evidenced by our playbook’s heavy influences from Netflix, Valve and others. Don’t be surprised if you see something you’ve read before.

 

The Basics

We’re not here to build another app. Our tools help real people achieve dreams and put food on the table. We believe in what we do and see the chance to change the world. No matter your age, sex or experience level, you have an equal and fair voice. You have an incredible amount of freedom — so make smart choices.

Our Mission

Ahalogy exists to make the web more meaningful by making creators more empowered, brands more authentic, and content more beautiful.

Our Vision

To create a multi-billion dollar ecosystem where content creators, brands, and end users all win. Creators are successful entrepreneurs. Brands are more meaningful. End users are delighted by our recommended content.

 

Our Values Get Us There

We are nothing without our values as a foundation. If we have the right values, we can succeed at anything. We should strive to embody our goals every day, and to do an even better job tomorrow.

While it’s important to have values, it’s more important that we act upon them. For us, it doesn’t matter what type of work Ahalogy does. What’s most important is how we do the work, and who we hire that will impact the way we do the work.

Companies frequently define their culture through company values. If you look at some of the core values out there, you will see many of the same key words from company to company. In the end, most people simply want to work in a place where they feel respected, to do good work for their clients and to see their company prosper.

Unfortunately, many companies that try to build their culture through values still fail. Why? Because for many, the values are just words painted on a wall. They are static buzz words trying to cover off on a breadth of topics imposed upon employees on the day they were hired.

At Ahalogy, we feel the values should be based on the below:

  • Action-oriented: Keep us driving forward.
  • Relevant: Applicable no matter what type of work Ahalogy does.
  • Personal: Truly matters to us as individuals.

If our values align to the above, they will guide us in the right direction, help us make smart choices for the good of both the company and the employee, make great hires, and let us expand or change strategically as needed.

 

Value: Ownership

This one is easy: Act like the CEO. You make decisions that weigh all costs and benefits at the company level. We don’t want bosses. Except for one — you. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. If that’s how you roll, this isn’t the place for you. Ahalogy is your company. We value behaviors that demonstrate:

  • Selflessness — You seek to make the pie bigger above increasing your slice of the pie. You have no ego when searching for the right idea. You help others at your own cost if it benefits the company as a whole. You side with the best idea even if the idea is not your own.

  • Judgement — You make wise decisions in the face of ambiguity. You identify root causes and avoid simply solving symptoms. You have a bias towards action and avoid analysis-paralysis.
  • Strategic — You understand what needs to be done and how to put that understanding into action. You place a high monetary value on yours and others’ time. You know what you should be doing and what is better to let others do (internal and external). You smartly determine what must be done well now and what can be done better later.

Yes, our employees are empowered. To us, that’s not just a buzzword. It is a huge amount of both freedom and responsibility. Take that opportunity and run with it.

Manifestations of Ownership include:

  • Seeking out information. A good CEO knows what he/she doesn’t know. You must be a master in your area, then communicate with the other parts.
  • You must have a curiosity to gather information and learn. Be action-oriented
  • Making big decisions as your own CEO requires you to take a step back and look at the big picture. Always know why you are doing something and anticipate how others will be affected
  • CEOs rely on counsel from others. When you are making big decisions, check in with a wide range of people in other functions to gather feedback.

We are all CEOs playing in the Super Bowl as one amazing team. We are good individually, but we are at our best when we function as a team.

 

Value: Innovation

A lot of companies throw out the “I” word. They have to. Without innovation, we repeat our failures and are doomed to mediocrity at best. At Ahalogy, you are encouraged to push boundaries. You make the impossible possible. You create the future. You think beyond simply what our customers and users say they want/need. You thrive on taking calculated risks and learning from your mistakes.

  • Curiosity — You seek to understand our whole business. You seek out new ideas. You constantly question the status-quo inside and outside our business. You strive to connect the dots, inside and outside your role and the company. You have an insatiable thirst for a broad range of knowledge and experiences.

  • Action — You constantly put new ideas into motion. You approach new endeavors as opportunities to learn. You gather data and test your assumptions.
  • Resiliency — You effectively learn from your failures as to not repeat them. You are not deterred by short-term setbacks and continue to strive for new levels of performance.

Manifestations of Innovation include:

  • Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Think big. Think different. Curiosity is a constant state of mind.
  • Be bold. Turn curiosity into action. Try it, throw it out there. Test, fail, fix.
  • Communicate and celebrate success and failures, they are both important learning experiences.

 

Ever tried, ever fail, no matter…try again, fail again and fail better.
— Samuel Beckett
 

Value: Impact

You measure your effectiveness by your impact on the whole, not on your individual input. You consistently deliver strong results so your colleagues can rely on you. You are a trusted value creator in the company.

  • Delivery — It’s not just “shipping”; it’s delivering with excellence. You focus on output over inputs and process. You constantly observe and improve how you and others work, individually and together. You have an overwhelming obsession toward action.

  • Communication — You listen well so you can better understand. You treat others with respect regardless of role or status. You lead thinking and processes through your words and actions.
  • Honesty — You are known for candor and directness. You are quick to admit mistakes. You only say things about fellow employees you will say to them personally. You seek out and receive feedback productively. Above all, you hold yourself accountable for your work.

Manifestations of Impact include:

  • Identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Seek out someone for feedback who provides both balance and a different perspective. If you are a cowboy, seek an artist.
  • With open and honest communication, we can all create better end products — together.
  • Find the right spectrum of delivery. It doesn’t have to be perfect all the time. Know what to look for and measure, how to measure and take a step back. Delivery impacts everyone.
  • Demand clarity at all times. Be honest and open with yourself and others. Constantly ask which needle am I moving and why?
  • Learn how to communicate with others. We all have different styles of work and communication preferences. Think of how others will receive your message.
  • Ask: How am I doing? How are you doing? How are we doing?
 

Value: Fulfillment

This one belongs to everyone. Without the individuals who make up Ahalogy, we are nothing but an idea. Fulfillment is the company gives back to the people who make us great.

  • Drive — Autonomy + Mastery + Purpose = Drive. Ahalogy gives you the freedom to push your own boundaries, along with the resources and environment to constantly grow and exceed your own expectations for yourself.

  • Camaraderie — Ahalogy gives you the chance to take the professional journey of a lifetime — with colleagues who are as much shipmates as they are friends, family, teammates or coworkers. For better or worse, we are in this thing together. Our journey allows for a unique work-life integration that, when done right, makes you genuinely look forward to the work day ahead (most of the time, at least!)
  • Personal — Even as you’re tasked with making the pie bigger (rather than increasing your personal slice of the pie), you’re also given the power to make your slice taste better. That means Ahalogy wants you to go after what is personally meaningful to you. We know this can be different for everyone and encourage each person to put their thumbprint on the company.

Manifestations of Fulfillment are different for everyone. Here are some broad examples:

  • Attending conferences for personal growth. Seeking out new, interesting things to pursue. Learning new things helps every individual evolve.
  • Having a fit/healthy mentality. We work hard. We play hard. Taking care of personal well-being on a mental, physical and emotional level. Know what you need to have peak performance. Some people need the gym, healthy foods, a chance to walk around the office, more sleep or away time from the office. Only you know what you need.
  • Quality of life. We strive for work-life integration. This looks different for every employee and often changes as life shifts.
  • We all can nominate someone for the rock star of the week. Anyone can nominate anyone for doing anything that is above and beyond normal work scope. We want to recognize each other.
  • Randomized small group lunches: We draw names of people that want to participate. Everyone gets to know others and learn about personal and professional things.

What is the company’s role in your fulfillment? We will provide several diverse options that everyone can take part in.

What won’t we do? Force you down a path to fulfillment. This value is personal, so Ahalogy offers optional choices that give you the opportunity to make this journey uniquely yours.

How can we help facilitate?

  • Lunch n’ Learns in the office on various topics, with internal and external presenters. These are driven by employee wants and needs. Chances are if one person is seeking out information, it may be beneficial to many others.
  • All-Company Meetings and All-Company Lunches. We come together as shipmates to talk shop, updates on what we all are working on, and we bond over celebrating our success and failures.
  • Family/Friend Events: Chances to get to know each other, along with significant others, kids, etc. at game nights, holiday events, and happy hours.
Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness.
— Unknown
 

How We Hire and Why We Fire

We will only succeed if everyone on the team is amazing. We don’t have many rules and we allow great people to do great things. But this kind of system only works if we have the best people possible. That means A+ players in every role. To this end, hiring is the single most important thing we do.

Firing is also in line with our values. To allow all employees the freedom to have ownership, drive innovation, create impact and be fulfilled, we can’t afford to tolerate mediocre performance or non-alignment with our values. One bad actor can ruin the amazing environment we have created. To that end, we are quick to identify and remove any individual who puts our amazing culture at risk.

We want to embrace and be honest when Ahalogy isn’t the place for someone. We know Ahalogy isn’t for everyone. Our value of fulfillment is very important. If at any time someone feels they are not professionally or personally fulfilled, they just have to communicate.

Manifestations of how we hire and why we fire:

  • Culture First — Brilliant geniuses that clash with our culture won’t make it. We hire heavily based on how candidates fit within our family.
  • Open Interviews — Candidates are asked to partake in a “couch interview.” For 30 minutes, all employees are encouraged to stop by and meet candidates during the interview, as well as ask them questions to see if they are a fit.
  • Hacking the system will get you fired — Think you found a way to get ahead by manipulating our review process? Give it a shot and we’ll show you the door.
 

Work Hard; Play Hard

This is our family. This is our home. We work hard. We play hard. We respect each other.

We are a startup. And working at a startup is not easy (nor is it for everyone). Often there is a short shelf life and we need to work in sprints. Nobody is going to tell you when to go home. And nobody is going to raise their eyebrow if you walk out at 5:00. But we do not “punch out” at 5:00. We don’t believe in work-life balance; we prefer work-life integration.

We all spend a lot of time here, so make yourself comfortable. We call this our Couch Culture — tearing down the walls and promoting an open, collaborative environment. We want people to have the freedom to work where, when and how they want. Grab a drink and a snack and sit on the couch with your cross functional team and talk. It doesn’t look have to look like a typical meeting to be most important discussion of the day.

 

“The Grind”

What is grind? Well, you know it when you see it. It’s a mindset. It’s more than just being driven and working hard. It’s complex. It’s not measured by just one factor. It’s the all encompassing holy grail of the best of the best. The grind isn’t just personal; it’s a sum of all Ahalogy parts.

  • Self discipline

  • Selflessness
  • Working to get the job done
  • Risk taking
  • Strategic thinking and decision making
  • Action oriented
  • Passion comes through work to inspire others
  • Loyal to our values and it shows in work and relationships
  • Never let the ball touch the ground
 

In The End

If you join Ahalogy with a strong commitment to living our values, and exhibit them every day as you go about your work, you’ll be richly rewarded. Not just in monetary compensation, but also in personal growth and the professional satisfaction that comes with being a vital part of our growing team as we move toward our vision. Together.