Back when we started MILL5 I was asked “What are you doing?” “Are you starting a consulting company?” “Are you starting a product company?” “What are you trying to do?” “Why are you doing this?”
Back then [prior to MILL5] I would have told you that I was tired of unfulfilled promises, being overworked, and being generally taken advantage of. I was in a situation where I loved what I did, but I always felt like I was being limited in some way. I knew there was something better awaiting me.
For many years, I had been trying to start a company with my longtime friend, Shri Bhupathi. Shri and I had made several attempts over 14 years to work together only to have our day jobs get in the way. In late 2015, it became apparent that we had an opportunity to start MILL5. That is when we finally jumped at the chance to work with one another again. This time it was going to be on our terms.
Our goal was simple. Build a company that we would be happy to work at. We would build this new company based on a set of core principles.
Principle #1 – Hire good people and treat them like family
Every company says they want to hire good people. We are no exception. However, once we hire someone, we invest a lot of effort to ensure that they are treated like family.
You spend one-third or more of your work day with people other than your own family. You may even spend more time with your work colleagues than your own family. That is why it is important to us that each and every employee is treated well.
Principle #2 – Hire passionate people
If you are passionate about what you do, then you will always being having fun. This is such a simple concept, but so true. Your job is no longer work if you are doing what you love to do.
Principle #3 – Hire constant learners
Learning is engrained in our culture. People that are improving themselves by constantly learning new things are often on the forefront of technology. We believe this is the cornerstone of innovation for both our customers and for the products that we build.
Principle #4 – Hire unselfish people
We have seen the negative impact that a bad hire has on a company. Candidates need to be able to put others first. Successful candidates should clearly demonstrate that their priorities are company, team, self — in that order. This helps us weed out the “whiners, empire builders, and self-servers.”
Principle #5 – Empower people through better leadership
True leadership comes when you empower others. We believe in servant leadership which puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.
Principle #6 – Don’t promise something you cannot deliver on
We have seen the negative impact of promises which are not met. That is why it is important to us that we deliver on promises that we make. It is also why we don’t make promises that we believe we cannot deliver on.
Principle #7 – Recognize and reward greatness
We do not believe in rewarding mediocrity. Showing up and doing your job is a requirement when you come to work. It is what happens when you, your team, or the company goes above and beyond and achieves greatness. This is when we want to recognize and reward people.
These principles have helped us build an amazing company in a very short period of time. In the next post we will cover what we have done to embody these principles.