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Yesterday, Erik sent the entire team a link to this blog post by AirBnb’s Brian Chesky, entitled “Don’t F*ck Up the Culture.”

It’s brilliant, and doubly so because of the context in which Erik circulated it around VNN.

We’ve hired 18 people over the last 45 days, doubling the size of our team not only in Grand Rapids but across the country.  It’s a time of incredible momentum (multiple sales & traffic records), but also incredible change and risk, as each new team member brings with her the opportunity to either extend, or derail, the culture that we’ve built.

Scaling software requires scaling servers, optimizing code and adding infrastructure.  Scaling people requires scaling culture.  The stakes are higher than running a high-traffic app on GoDaddy.

Everyone at VNN expects themselves, and everyone around them, to Move the Needle.  This is our greatest strength.  And to achieve our potential, above all we must not compromise the expectations we have for ourselves and one another.  We must be intentional about our culture in everything we do, and very selective on who we allow to join us, even amidst incredible pressure to hit goals, and fill positions according to plan.

We owe our success thus far to an intentionally crafted culture of independence, teamwork, accountability and entrepreneurship, from every role within VNN.  And as Erik illustrated, it is our shared responsibility, in everything we do, to not f*ck it up.

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