As we start to build up the team here at Miter, we wanted to take some space to walk prospective candidates through our culture and values. We think it’s important to do it now; companies that wait until they are large enough that they feel the need to address culture explicitly are already working with a culture that has been written implicitly. We also take this extremely seriously: the company we want to build is more important than the product we want to design or the customers we want to serve. A great team can fix a bad strategy while a dysfunctional team will destroy a good one.
It is important to remember that a company is both a legal entity and a collection of people. Today we’ll talk about what Miter owes to its employees in both capacities, and we will do our best to harmonize those two distinct realities while keeping a human face on things. Welcome to the contradictions inherent in the system!
Note: When we say “employees”, we do not refer to legal distinctions such as W-2 vs 1099. We mean people who do meaningful work with Miter and are part of its success. We (Dave and Damian) have both worked at places with color-coded-badge hierarchies… that’s not the culture we are looking to build at Miter.
At Miter, we invest in our people. From a human perspective, Miter’s success and resilience depend on the strength of our employees. From a legal and financial perspective, Miter’s most important asset is its employees. We posit that these two paradigms are not in conflict. Ultimately, we think that time spent as a part of Miter should be time well spent - our goal is to be a place where people can greatly accelerate their careers while contributing to a flourishing company.
Time at Miter should be time well spent. It should be a time of career growth. This won’t look the same for everyone - not everyone wants to be a manager or would be well-suited to the role. However, everyone can make meaningful progress in directions that suit and interest them whether that’s digging into new challenges or continuing to excel in a role that they are already excited about. We support that growth even when it leads someone onto challenges outside of Miter (as it eventually will for all of us).
We strive to provide space for people to live their lives as well. Not everyone is in the same stage of life or has the same goals. We want to provide our employees with ample time to live those lives while contributing to the company. To the degree that you see company policies which are at odds with this goal, please speak up. It’s really easy to get these things wrong.
Ample time to live our lives also encompasses our own health and well-being. This will look different to different people. We think we can best sum it up by saying, “Take care of yourself!” At Miter, you should have the space for it.
Miter is made up of people. Our competitive advantage is our empathy, emotional intelligence, and understanding. Machines are great. But it’s hard to beat humans.
As part of our humanity, we all make mistakes. The most important thing is to learn and grow from them. Miter is a place where we always strive to improve; sometimes that means tripping along the way. We acknowledge that it is much easier to talk about embracing failure than to actually live it. But an organization that has the flexibility to celebrate a hearty "I failed!" is an organization that is built to perform for the long term.
There will be times when someone falls short or doesn’t meet the expectations of their team. It is important to remember that there are multiple players in this misalignment - the person, the team, and the expectations. This is not to excuse low performance; the person and the team both deserve better. It is, instead, an invitation to think more deeply about the cause of the misalignment and to propose longer term solutions. We look to partner rather than assign blame and to focus on the future rather than the past.
We laugh at ourselves. It helps us retain perspective, to see the ways in which what we do is trivial, or ridiculous, or flawed. And, it gets us through the hard times and helps us see each other better.
Interested in making Miter the next stop on your career journey? Drop us a line.