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Anthropology of Mid-Sized Startups (ribbonfarm.com)
109 points by jasim on Aug 8, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

I doubt that the phrase "masculinity vs. femininity" means the same thing to modern eyes that it did to Hofstede. It would probably be better to call this dimension something else, although I'm not sure that the alternative "quantity of life vs. quality of life" label is helpful either.

Somewhat related: Some who advocate for workplace diversity are suspicious that "culture fit" is often a dog whistle meaning something like "young white brogrammers". I believe that suspicion is justified. At the same time, this post reminds me that company culture isn't always only that. It's rewarding to look at any organization through the eyes of an anthropologist. The idea that mid-size startups are actually closer to religions than tribes, for example, is something I find especially interesting.

If you're in London and enjoy talking about topics like this, consider joining the London Ribbonfarm Readers meetup group http://www.meetup.com/London-Ribbonfarm-Readers/

It's weird how the term "tribe" is now used to describe just about any set of people that has at least one thing or interest in common, even just temporarily...

Kevin Simler, the post author, also blogs at http://www.meltingasphalt.com/.

some more observations:

- The branch of industry is important: Games/media are more likely to fire quickly than a shop that does networking gear.

- Background of founders may be very important; if you are on the same wavelength or not with the management team, that's very important while working for a startup.

- most important: the way that conflicts are resolved/kinds of crisis 'management'. To what extend is the company going into dirty politics mode once that things get tough? i guess the problem here is that things like integrity/honesty are impossible to classify; not tangible enough.

Interesting if someone has thought about good questions that could help to get a better picture with regards to the integrity thing while doing interviews; during interviews everyone looks so reasonable ... go figure how things will turn out in the end...

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