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Mindful : October 2014
The Indiegogo Brand Indiegogo is helping to democratize the way ideas get funded and for people all over the world to join forces to make ideas happen. Mission To empower everyone to change the world one idea at a time. Values Fearlessness “We want to trump an industry, change something that’s never been changed, and we are not afraid. Even though the industry is super old and super curmudgeonly it doesn’t scare us.” Authenticity “We want to bring our whole selves to work, and we want to help people bring their whole selves to their lives. Every Indiegogo campaign is about being authentic—being honest about what your intentions are and why they are.” Collab oration “We want to work together— not be solo shows. We want to work with other people where two plus two equals ten—the more our customers involve other people the more successful they become. Collaboration is a value for Indiegogo as well as our customers.” Empowerment “We want to empower people who want to help themselves.” “I think our values are different—the more we succeed in proving that empowerment is more powerful than domination, we can show the world that empowerment will eventually dominate domination.” What we’re really focused on is finding a way to connect our customers with each other so they can share what’s worked a nd what hasn’t worked for them. There isn’t a 1-2 -3, step-by-step manual—every ca mpaig n is different— you ca n’t just provide a checklist and say, do these five things a nd you’ll be successful. I want to continue to remind every employee in our company of what we’re trying to achieve here. Which is democ- ratizing finance, democratizing access to capital, and in so doing, a llowing people to be their whole selves—ensuring that what mat ters to our customers becomes universal so that the world can benefit from their goals. My role is something I’ve only focused on in ad hoc fashion but now we’ve grown to a size where I think we need to be more intentional, and ensure we instill a healthy culture. You ca n’t run culture, you ca n only influence it, but the culture at Indiegogo is the beliefs, the va lues, and the behaviors that our people exhibit every single day. And those beliefs, values, and behaviors need to be aligned with what the compa ny needs to succeed, and so I’m working on ma king sure that those three things are clear and our people embody them and we have the systems in place that reinforce them, so that everybody feels that they ca n bring their whole selves to work a nd thrive. The more they thrive, the more the com- pany thrives, and the more the company thrives, the more customers thrive, a nd then it all upward spirals from there. How do you align your external values with your internal culture? Our values are very clea r: Fearlessness, authenticity, collaboration, and empow- erment—what we refer to as FACE. Those are the four main reasons why we came together to sta rt Indiegogo. Our values have informed every person we hire, a ll of our strategies, and why we’re an open, not a curated platform. When we started to hire people sev- eral years ago, we knew that we needed to get clear with who we were first. We knew that we wanted diversity of expe- rience, diversity of skill sets, diversity of backgrounds, diversity of personalities, but what we didn’t want was diversity on values. Values are essentially the beliefs and behaviors we exhibit every day naturally, organically, and authentically. Our values became the filter to help us decide who we brought onto the team, as well as a filter for absolutely everything else that we did. Our mission reflects FACE and our product reflects FACE, it’s all about empowerment. The more our customers reflect FACE, the more successful they will be. I believe that if we really do our jobs and own this culture of empower- ment, of fea rlessness, authenticity, and collaboration, we might be able to effect other cultures outside our walls. The culture of business to date, has been one of zero sum game. It’s finite in nature, it’s very “if I win you lose.” Competition has been one of the dom- inant themes of business culture and I think our values are very different. I think the more we succeed in proving that empowerment is more powerful than domination, we can show the world that empowerment will eventually dominate domination. That’s where we’re headed. (next page: Matthew Stinchcomb of Etsy) October 2014 mindful 39 business