Friday, May 20, 2011

Creating Culture at a Commercial Space Company

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood…Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”       -Antoine De Saint-Exupery, Author of The Little Prince

When young entrepreneurs talk to me about starting companies – I encourage them to articulate what they want the culture to look like five years from now. Culture is a sneaky thing…it always gets developed. No company lacks a culture, but many lack good ones!

The Netflix culture is well articulated in the slidedeck below (by Reed Hastings, Netflix's CEO) - fastest 128 slides you will ever read. Well worth every slide! Now aerospace companies won’t be able to leverage all of these ideas – especially Netflix’s policies and procedures on “policies and procedures”, but Netflix has intriguing ideas that many new space entrepreneurs will benefit from:
  • Hiring the best (to minimize the need for written procedures)
  • Keeping only the passionate people (see the opening quote)
  • Take as much time off as you want (if you love what you do, too much vacation won’t be a problem)

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