At TenX, our core values and culture are extremely important to us as a team. We want to ensure that as we grow these values stay with each and every person in the team and can be embodied in the work that we do and the products that we create for the community and our users. To learn more about how we think about our values and culture, you can watch the video below where we discuss as a team what these values mean to us, our inspirations and what our culture is all about.
Below is a full transcript of the video.
When we were in Austria, we focussed a lot on where do we take the company and what do we stand for.
Today, Julian and I want to share our core values and what we stand for. I would also like for others to contribute as well. One thing we can do is to have small tag lines that both depict areas that we can improve in, and something that is significant to that person.
When I was in San Francisco, I met with the Airbnb co-founder Nate. He was the original CTO but now he is the chief strategy officer. I sat down with him for an hour, and my goal was to understand how Airbnb, despite being in a completely different ecosystem from us, overcame the multiple hurdles, be it regulatory or fundraising. I just wanted to understand what was the essential thing that led to Airbnb’s success. The answer that he gave me was very surprising. He said that for them, in everything that they do, they look at their core values. They always look at what they are about to do, and if it aligns with their core values. When they hire a person, is it aligned with their core values. When they value a person, is it aligned with their core values. I want everyone’s buy-in on these core values. It’s really going to come down to these things, and that is what very successful companies do. I want everyone to share what this means for him or her.
The first core value is TEAM.
We win as a team, you own your role, you take charge of the outcome and you are accountable to the results.
I can tell that everyone takes ownership of their role. Having that freedom and autonomy to create and build, whether it is the community, the product, working with the users and supporting them, all of us kind of just gel and work together as a unit. We know what we need to do, and we get it done in the best way possible and I can see that this is why we have superstars. Being accountable, having that hunger and desire to execute it to the best of our abilities because we are good at what we do is present.
As a team, we stand up for each other, we have each others backs. Maybe someone is on the front line and on the receiving end of conflict, but he knows that there are people who are willing to support him. That’s very important, and I think this stems from something that we already possess, which is respect for everyone here, regardless of what we bring to the table.
I’m possible. If you put those two words together and remove the apostrophe, it’s called impossible. The reason we have this core value is because we hear this so often, that something is “impossible” That’s bullshit. It’s always possible. So always find a way or create a way. Yes, there are certain things that are going to be very difficult, but at the end of the day, we can do so much more. We see this in so many things. We saw this during the token sale, when the developers had to develop the backend. All these things eventually got done, and I think that that is such an important core value and I never want any of us to say that this is impossible. If we ever have to say this then we should change the question and ask ourselves “How is this possible?”
Instead of saying no and ending it there, we should come back with suggestions. We should say “we can do this or we should do that”
Once you believe something is impossible it becomes impossible. One of my favourite quotes is “Whether you believe you can or whether you cannot you will always be right” Your mind is your biggest limitation. By having this open mind, and believing that there is a way, you will eventually find the way.
It’s really dangerous if you have a lot of money. Once you have the capabilities, the resources and time, what do you use it on? That is Paul’s point. That’s why for all of us, and why we have this statement at the bottom. If you are about to do something, and you start to have doubts, just ask yourself this question, “Is it a HELL YEAH!?” Because if it’s not a “HELL YEAH!” it’s a “Yeah, pretty good” it’s a no. You can make such a decision after you go through a lot of facts. You can have a lot of facts on the table and afterwards still make a “HELL YEAH!” decision.
I think that this is going to be very important because we are going to have a lot of possible distractions in the future. If you have perfect standards, it is never good enough. If it’s never good enough, you never try to go for it and push the boundaries. Hence, instead of aiming for perfection, we should have outstanding standards instead. We should never have the expectation of perfection because that leads to a lack of focus and by extension a failure in execution. That’s important because we never want to release a product that is faulty or buggy. We do not want to do anything that is dangerous, and having perfect expectations is dangerous.
There’s a thin line between a product with elements of crappiness to it and a piece of crap.
The fourth one I really want to explain, because we have had a couple of discussions on “raving fans”
What this means to me is that we need to create “raving fans” within our team, that we all should be raving fans of each other. One great example is Richard Branson. He said that “If you put your team first, they will understand the moments that you put the customer first. But if you always put the customer first, at some point you are going to lose your team. If you have outstanding players, you can lose your customer but you will never lose an outstanding team.” That really stuck with me as something that we should always consider. Yes, the customers are the ones that are going to finance our business, but the team is what makes it possible for our customers.
I think that we need to be loved. We have to have these high standards in creating raving fans. If you just kind of like something, it will never result in the tight community that we hope for.
When we have these strong core values, mission and vision, the important thing is how we get there. It takes our customers, it takes our team, and it takes our investors. Create fun and weirdness. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Theres one word here that I really want to point out. We specifically chose “create” and not “have fun” I think we are doing quite well on the other six, but we are lacking in this. Everyone, including me. I really want every one of us to create more fun and create a bit more weirdness. I think that it will inspire a lot of thinking and by extension creativeness which I feel is very important.
This is one that is very important to me, and it’s the counterbalance to the other core values. Yes, we focus a lot on high standards and excellence, being really good at what you do, and this core value, “Stay Humble” is the perfect counterbalance to that. Always recognise that even if you are the expert, listen to the input of other people because that may have an alternative perspective.
So what has changed, now that you have raised $80 million?
Well, Nothing. We just got back to work, and I think that is something that we cannot forget.
That last one is the counterbalance to all the other core values. The last one allows you to always raise your voice. I really want that. I am going to criticise you heavily if you are scared to raise your opinion. I think we all should be able to expect this from each other. Your opinion might not be expected, but that is ok. The worst thing that I hear from people is “Well, actually I knew it all along”
That’s so unfair, that you are being the coward, that you refuse to share your opinion just because you want to be the person that always knows better.
Basically, think of three branding words that can encapsulate what TenX is.
TenX should be cutting edge, super secure and elegant. We specifically chose these three phrases because it reflects what we do. It is important this is not limited to just our product, but also extended to our partners, strategies and more.
I feel that it has to be able to apply to the user. There is no point in developing a rocket that no one knows how to use. Yes, I know where you are coming from with “cutting edge” but I feel that it has to reflect the usability and how users stand to benefit.
Of course we have to maintain that it is user-friendly, and we will continue to educate our users.
At the same time, we have to push the boundaries and continue to disrupt the industry.
Especially in the space that we are in, finance and cryptocurrencies. The community really values that. We need to be able to distinguish ourselves from the bad actors in the community, We represent this safe haven, a company that people can trust, despite working towards decentralisation which we are at the forefront of.
Elegant, I like that as well because that represents the user experience that we envision, that it is smooth to easy to use, akin to apps that are now part of our everyday lives such as Uber and Deliveroo.
How do we get to the point that TenX is perceived as a world-class product? How do we get to the point where TenX is the forerunner of the industry? Yes, we do that by creating raving fans, but it’s really the product itself, the obsession to build something fantastic that people will love and want to use every day.
In terms of the mission, it is to bring the entire financial system to your fingertips. The way we see this, the only way we think that this is possible, is by leveraging decentralised technology like the blockchain. This is our mission and I want everybody’s input on that. The endpoint that we want to reach is to become a decentralised marketplace. COMIT will have all these different access points that will provide access to a variety of services. Through TenX, everyone will be able to have access to this.
If you look at the current state of TenX, it is just a fragment of the end goal. We want to provide access to real estate, stocks, and everything else. This is not something that will be achieved in three years. It might take fifteen, even twenty years.
What are we actually doing, is to bring this marketplace to everyone. We want to make it such that all they have to do is just open an app. Obviously, we are currently at the very first stage, which is our current tagline on our website, to make cryptocurrency spendable. At some point, that tagline will become “bringing cryptocurrencies to the masses”
Next year, we will start facilitating the exchange of fiat to cryptocurrencies. We are also going to be working on services that reduces the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
To answer your question about where do we position ourselves, we stand for decentralisation. Take Skype for example. Skype disrupted phone calls, but their business was about being able to connect the internet to landlines. They function as the bridge that needed to be built before we, to continue the analogy, remove the need for phones entirely.
Today, we are building those bridges. This is just a step in the right direction. If you go back to our mission, it’s to have those services available. Today, we have to be accessible to our users, and the majority of our users still use fiat, not cryptocurrencies. Eventually, I believe that the whole world will use cryptocurrencies, but that is in the far future.
What is your take on competition though, I mean, just in general. We don’t want to be distracted by our competition but at the same time, you cannot ignore your competition.
You can! You can ignore them because you will not learn anything from our competition. We can learn from our own customers when they give us feedback. I think one thing that we cannot underestimate, is that we have one of the most powerful market researching tools, which is our community. This is something that none of our competitors really have. We have such an active community of more than 12,000 people, that whatever question we post, we get instant, honest feedback. This is priceless.
There are people who focus on their competitors, then there are people like who know next to nothing about their competitors. There is nothing wrong or right about this, but I feel that ultimately, the problem is when someone does not dare to speak up. Personally, I am not worried at all about our competitors. Most of these companies do not reflect the true success of the company. The competition that we should really be worried about is someone we do not think about yet.
We want to see every company growing and succeeding. We will happily focus on our own milestones and products.
Everything clear from you guys?
It has been a bit of our fault, I think we should be doing this more often and we really should do this at least twice a month, where we just sit down and have an hour or something.
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TenX Core Values and Culture Discussion — Full Transcript was originally published in TenX on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.