The most successful people at Grappus, are both
at a broad set of things.
experts within a more narrow discipline.
Complicated hierarchies, stringent processes and traditional managers, that were once key to agencies’ successes are now exactly what’s putting them in the ground. We use design sprints and agile development to cut the fat out of the standard process and launch products faster, so we can learn from real user data, not guesswork.
We’re in a fluid world, where we don’t know what technologies we’ll be using next, or what type of projects we’ll be doing. Grappus is an ongoing experiment and you’re part of it. We embrace this uncertainty.
We haven’t ever brought in outside financing. Since our earliest days this has been incredibly important in providing us freedom to shape the company.
behind our culture.
Brutally CandidSpeak up. Give a shit. Scream if you have to!
Whenever we speak - internally or externally - we should speak plainly and clearly. We make uncommon levels of information available to everyone in the company. We absolutely hate hidden agendas.
Always EmpathisePut yourself in their shoes. Unless they wear crocs. Screw that
Be someone who says 'Sure we can do that for you' when you’re expected to say 'Sorry, we can't.' If a request is reasonable, grant it. But also, saying no is sometimes the right thing! Always empathise with your fellow humans; be it your coworkers, your clients or people who use what you build.
Innately CuriousStay updated. Question everything. Are we already in the Matrix?
We Cultivate our thirst for knowledge and shamelessly clamp ourselves on the code or design guru that sits next to us. We go online, see what’s new and find out shit that no one knows yet. We rub each other’s face in it. We stay connected to what’s happening out there, cause that’s what’s happening in here.
Take OwnershipIdeas over egos, always. Old monk over chardonnay’s, anyday :)
When things go well, we share the credit. When things go bad, we tend to shoulder the responsibility. We have a sense of ownership about everything we do. We don't act out of spite and we don't rush to judgments. We’re proud of our work, we bask in the glory of our achievements, but we soon get back to work on making it even better.
Weirdly UnconventionalTake chances. Never be boring. Let’s break some rules together.
Why do we care so much about being different? Most companies start out exceptional, but as they grow, there’s a dark, powerful force constantly pulling them down towards the conventions. We don't look to the industry for the way forward. Since day one, we've always done things our own way.
Get Shit DoneBe pragmatic, not perfect. Don’t settle. Break down some walls, literally.
If there is a way, we find it. If there really is not a way, we make sure there is no doubt. We resist the temptation to develop the first idea we fall in love with. We figure out what’s realistic, and filter out the ‘busywork’. We’re scrappy, we get our hands dirty and don’t keep waiting for things to be perfect.
Work TogetherTogether, we reach the moon. Divided? You dumb buffoon :D
. Our team is made up of diverse profiles that flow into each other, intersect and unfold into an exceptional DNA that ignites every project we take on.
Top-Notch ExecutionQuality trumps money.
Our team is made up of diverse profiles that flow into each other, intersect and unfold into an exceptional DNA that ignites every project we take on.
Ok, you feel a little stupid. Temporarily of course, but for now you can’t remember the name of the person sitting next to you, or why your password won’t work or where you’re supposed to be next or where the bathroom/coffee/stairwell/anything is but you’re smiling all the time because hey, it’s your first day! You’ve set up most of your accounts, and you got your fingerprint scanned in the fingerprint thingy, and you’ve had lunch with the team and everybody’s cool, and you actually remembered that the door is a pull instead of a push and by the time you leave you realise you just started a really great part of your life because this place is pretty cool. And you’re not stupid at all :)
Getting started at Grappus can be overwhelming. There are a lot of little details, a number of big tasks, you're learning a new job with new coworkers. If you are new to Grappus, welcome. It’s really on you to spot the broken ways. It’s harder for us slowly-boiled frogs who’ve been here for a while. Take advantage of that glorious, shiny ignorance of being new, and question things.
“Be a sponge” and absorb everything. Get to know your company’s culture, working & communication style. Soon you can stop feeling the need to introduce yourself. You can also stop wondering if they’re all whispering about you. They’re not. And maybe it’s time you started showing off some of those quirky habits. Wear the funky shirt and cowboy hat. Bring-in the skull shaped coffee mug. Unveil those glow-in-the-dark headphones. You’re one of us. It’s what makes us all interesting!
Ask a lot of questions. To anyone, really. When you do, you’ll find out what’s going on around the company and your peers will also find out about you. Lots of people at Grappus want and need to know what you care about, what you’re good at, what you’re worried about, what you’ve got experience with, and so on. And the way to get the word out is to start telling people all of those things. So, while you’re getting the lay of the land by learning about projects, you’re also broadcasting your own status to a relevant group of people.
How we work
Work is a bad word to explain what we do. If what you are doing seems like work, you’re either in the wrong industry or you’re not doing it right. Your time here should feel less like digging a ditch and more like a challenging game of chess. We’re all moving this place forward. We like to take risks. We like to try new things. We like to work in a world free of judgement and let laughter become our driver. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. No matter the gravity of the situation, we’ll make sure to find the humor in it. A hearty laugh is worth ten cups of coffee!
We don’t generate unused reports, we cancel unproductive meetings, we remove unnecessary rules & restrictions, we identify and automate all manual processes. We’ve identified that the fastest way to kill a collaborative environment is through politics, sects, packs, niches, groups, exclusion and things that build walls between people. And since we are all about collaboration, you can see why walls and separation would be a problem.
We ask that you don’t throw pens, Be selfish, Talk shit, Duck responsibility, Play the busy card, Leave others hanging, Make excuses, Disappear, Make promises you can’t keep. Say it can’t be done. We get shit done. We don’t talk about it, or have a meeting about it, or email each other about it if we’re not going to do it. Brilliant thinking not executed, is literally worthless. You are in the game here. There are no sidelines.
#1 - Nobody’s gonna hold your handAt Grappus, you’re given an incredible amount of freedom and autonomy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but don’t rely on others to hold your hand. It’s up to you to figure out how to approach a problem. If you want to update, change, or fix something, go for it. Seriously. Every awesome thing you see is like that because someone like you decided to do it.
#2 - We aren’t big on hierarchyYou may have a boss, but you shouldn’t get bossed around. There’s no secret decision-making cabal and nobody “reports to” anybody else. We do have the founders, but even they aren’t your managers. This company is yours to steer. The folks who speak up regardless of their experience level, not the bossy ones, are the ones who thrive.
#3 - Work with everyone.Get to know everyone. Our flat structure calls for it by necessity. We share and learn from each other, daily. We all snatch the pebble from each other’s hand. Let’s not forget that we’re digital natives here, and many of us are stuck nose-deep in code or are simply quiet folks. Being a leader may feel unnatural at first. But we expect everyone to step up and own part of the project. This has nothing to do with seniority. The idea of a student becoming teacher and teacher becoming student is one of the greatest aspects of what we do.
#4 - Speak Up.The best ideas come from the most unexpected places. We’re always striving to create a liberating environment where great ideas gush forth freely from each and every person. So don’t keep your thoughts trapped inside your head. Share them and see where they lead. Even more importantly, listen to the people around you – whether it’s a client, colleague or the delivery guy. The idea is out there, waiting to be spotted. Stay alert.
#5 - We’re casual, by designWe’re a loose organisation, without a lot of rules. Many agencies will say how fun and casual they are, then hand out a thick binder with all sorts of things you’re forbidden to do. That’s not us. It’s important to know though, that the casualness should not be mistakenly interpreted as a permission to approach your job with less than 100% focus and effort. It’s the total opposite. We prefer a casual environment because it removes bullshit, and makes our work better.
#6 - Play is important. Very.There’s no reason to pretend you’re busy. You don’t need to hide the video you’re watching if someone walks by your desk. No one is monitoring the websites you look at. We aren’t going to report you for taking a long lunch. Just do great work. This is a place to feel vibrant and happy, if something is missing, talk about it.
#7 - Talk like a human.Avoid buzzwords at all costs. Instead of saying “leverage,” say “use.”. Instead of saying “action item,” say “to do” Try not to over-formalize communication. No need to send an email to the person sitting in front of you.
#8 - Aesthetics are critical.Our code should be clean. Our designs should be flawless. Our presentations should be elegant. Details are everything. Find one and make it awesome. Every project we make should be a 100 percent unique, from the team to the discovery process to the design.
#9 - Respect the clientAlways work with our clients, not for them, and definitely not against them. They need us and we need them. Let’s take our clients beyond their comfort zone. Just like we pay our dentist, our clients pay us to do the things they can’t do by themselves. Let’s do them well.
#10 - Avoid meetingsSome meetings are important. Not all of them. A two-hour meeting with six people doesn’t waste two hours. It wastes twelve hours. We get paid to make stuff, not to talk about making stuff. We like meetings that are short & crisp. If you’re in a meeting that’s dragging, just yell out ‘potato’
#11 - NoiseWe hate cubicles. But it can get too noisy at times. If you need some quiet time, don’t feel guilty about finding a hideout or popping on those cool ass headphones.
#12 - Late nights & weekends Our space belongs to all of us. You’re welcome to work till whenever, or come by on the weekend. Just be responsible. Lock the doors. Turn off the lights. Take care of the environment, k?
#13 - Long hoursWhile people occasionally choose to push themselves to work some extra hours at times when something big is going out the door, for the most part working overtime for extended periods indicates a fundamental failure in planning or communication. If this happens, it’s a sign that something needs to be re-evaluated and corrected. If you find yourself working long hours, or just generally feel like that balance is out of whack, be sure to raise the issue.
#14 - Get your ass upIt’s unhealthy to stay seated in the same position for eight hours. It’s also terrible for productivity. You aren’t chained to your desk. Move around. Grab some coffee. Meditate. Yell at a co-worker and run away. Call your parents. Make a sandwich. Draw on the walls. Climb a tree. Hit the gym. Get a haircut. Sing a song. Do your laundry. Go birdwatching. Dance. Write a poem. Learn to juggle. Draw a picture.
#15 - Its okay if you screw up. REALLY.Nobody has ever been fired at Grappus for making a mistake. It wouldn’t make sense for us to operate that way. Providing the freedom to fail is an important trait of the company— we couldn’t expect so much of individuals if we also penalized people for errors.
Why you’ll love it here:
- We have no fixed work timings or leave policy, you can take unlimited leaves and start your day whenever you want. (Just make sure others in your team don’t suffer)
- We don’t track these hours you put in or ask you to fill time sheets. We don’t believe in micromanaging, if you’re struggling, ask for help. If someone else is, offer some support.
- We never mind if people make mistakes or screw up in any way, and offer full encouragement to help people learn fast by failing fast.
- We always encourage people to be completely candid, raise alarms, or log complaints anonymously in our feedback tool, no matter how harsh.
- We are a ‘Work from Anywhere’ company, since passionate, driven people can work from anywhere they want; their homes, or cafes, or mountains, or beaches, anywhere.
- We have a 15-day notice period. We want to build a place where people work willingly and passionately.
Why does it concern me?Hiring is the most important thing in the company, well, in the universe! Nothing else comes close. It’s more important than breathing. So when you’re working on hiring—participating in an interview loop or innovating in the general area of recruiting—everything else you could be doing is stupid and should be ignored!
How do we choose the right people to hire?People who can deconstruct problems on the fly, and talk to others as they do so, simultaneously being inventive, iterative, creative, talkative, and reactive. These things actually matter far more than deep domain-specific knowledge or highly developed skills in narrow areas. This is why we’ll often pass on candidates who, narrowly defined, are the “best” at their chosen discipline.
A great workplace is stunning colleagues, great workplace is not day‐care, espresso, health benefits, sushi lunches, nice offices, or big compensations.
Leaving the Company
First:Don't leave! Our company is designed to be a great place to work and the kind of company where people are happy to spend their entire careers. Please reconsider and stay forever :)
BUT, if you are thinking of leaving:Please give us as much notice as possible. Tell us when you apply to graduate school, not after you get in. Tell us that there's a job you're thinking of interviewing for, not after you accept an offer to start in two weeks time. Come talk to us as soon as you are thinking about leaving. Maybe there's something we can do!
And even if there isn't, we won't hold it against you. Although we can't make you work a day more than you want to, we don't consider two weeks notice sufficient and need time to plan and replace your almost irreplaceable self. Please help us out by letting us know well (months preferably) in advance. We would also like for you to participate in an exit interview with HR as part of your offboarding process.
It's also worth mentioning that joining Grappus can be all-consuming. We've seen it happen. You dig Grappus, so you feel pressure to contribute, maybe overwhelmingly so.
Chill. Settle in. Nobody expects you to know everything all at once, or actually ever. Because everyone here is learning, all the time. That’s one of the things that makes this place so great. It's never perfect, because perfect isn’t perfect. Perfect means stopping. And stopping sucks. So Chill. We hired you for a reason. There’s no need to prove yourself or worry about “fitting in.” We’re super picky. You’re here. You made it. You get it. Let your work do the convincing. Did we mention that you need to chill? Do your best work, collaborate with your team, write, read, learn, and then turn off your computer and go shoot some darts. We'll all be better for it.
Also, we believe in your life outside the office. We don’t expect you to keep grinding until your eyes bleed! We want you to go home and indulge and invest in your interests outside of work.
Grappus will be a different company a few years from now because you are going to change it for the better. We can’t wait to see where you take us. The products, features, and experiences that you decide to create for humans, are the things that will define us.