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You really need to build a company that values that right down to its core. It has to be embedded so deep into the hiring process that you only select for people who share that value, and it has to be easy to let go of people who don’t fit.

Otherwise, it only takes one person to short-circuit that value to set the ball rolling on a shift towards lower standards.

You need to run a super tight ship, which I think is not as hard as it sounds until you put VC, investment, and shareholders into the mix. You at least need to be super diligent about those people you bring in who are not accountable to you, but you are accountable to them.

Basecamp is an amazing example of a company that has succeeded without compromising itself a jot. They do all kinds of things that we might consider unthinkable because they won’t budge on their values. Probably the one company I’d drop everything to work for if I had a chance at getting through their hiring process.

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