In late 2020, we came together as a team to discuss and share with the world our values. We explored why we exist, who we serve, what we want to achieve, and in all of that, what is uniquely Fast about it all.
We started with a cross-functional working session with 15 team members. Then the Marketing team led by Kyle Tibbitts workshopped and refined several ideas with our Co-Founders, Domm Holland (CEO) and Allison Barr Allen (COO). After that, we shared and exchanged more ideas during a session open to the entire team before landing on five values.
Here’s what we stand for:
Focus on people
We exist to eliminate friction for people. We never forget that we're working with and building products for real humans. This guides us on our mission to deliver a world-class customer experience on every browser, device and platform.
Build out loud
We believe that when you’re doing something that’s never been done before, it’s mission critical to be transparent. We build, ship and fix in public – earning trust while we learn from our colleagues, our customers and our community.
Share the energy
We’re bold and optimistic about the future, and our high-energy culture spills into the universe around us. It brightens every interaction we have with our teammates, customers and partners – and moves us all forward, together.
Play the long-game
We’re building a business that will stand the test of time. We make long-term bets that unwaveringly align with our values – even if we won’t always see the payoff in the short-term. We set ourselves up for future success by going after the hardest problems first and learning from our mistakes and wins along the way.
Make it fast
We’re relentless about removing hassle from the customer journey and transforming complex processes into simple, one-click experiences. We’re data-driven, responsive, decisive and move with urgency to unblock each other. Fast isn’t just what we do, it’s how we do it.
Tibbitts, who spearheaded bringing Fast’s values to life, recently spoke about the intention behind the team’s values and how the process played out.
Why did Fast decide to come up with a set of values?
Almost every startup I've ever worked for has had values, and part of why values are important to startups is you're so early that you have an opportunity to define what the culture is about, what you believe in. The nice thing about where Fast was when we initiated the project is we were far enough along where we started to have a sense of who we are but not so far along that we couldn't influence who we want to become.
What was the most difficult or challenging part of coming up with these values?
The hardest challenge was there were so many good ideas and whittling it down to five pillars. There was always that tension to expand beyond the five. I liked the constraint of trying to get it into five and distilling it down.
Just writing down the values and presenting them does not make them part of the culture in any sort of long-standing or sustainable way. That was just step one. Now we're on to step two, step three, step four of this 10,000-step journey of building a great company. And so it's up to each and every one of us to think about how we build the values into how we do work day to day, how we embed them into the culture.
What are some examples of how Fast holds to its values?
We do a great job as a business giving credit and giving kudos to the team. Every all-hands meeting, in terms of tying it to the value, we give team members kudos. Another thing I've noticed occasionally is folks just referencing it in conversation, either on Slack or on a Zoom call. Just being like, “Yes, that's an example of playing the long game.”
Going forward, what are some other opportunities for Fast to lean on its values?
I think there should be an element of performance reviews that's based around the values. Maybe that's not the totality of it, but you can really map a lot of behaviors and things that we want to see in a company to those five values. We can also think about what it means to focus on people in terms of hiring. Maybe that means we want to deliver an exceptional candidate experience for every person that's applying, whether they end up joining the company or not. And since we're still within the first 100 employees, each of us can have a huge impact on that, that will live on for years and years to come.