Codat’s operating principles

Codat's operating principles

We believe that we are what we repeatedly do.

As we scale at pace, it’s become more important to bottle up the essence of what makes Codat tick so that we can protect and retain this in the long term.

Codat’s operating principles are a list of the behaviors and beliefs that will help us achieve our mission of making life easier for small businesses. They guide the everyday decisions we make in the business, from how we hire to how we approach problems and view the world.

Today, for the first time, we’re sharing these publicly.

1. Decisions

  • Only big-bet decisions deserve more than ten minutes.
    • Most decisions are reversible and so aren’t worth extensive debate. Big bet decisions are the ones that can’t be rolled back easily.
  • Make decisions that expose bottlenecks.
    • For example, saying yes to processes that aren’t scalable, in order to get the validation we need to build a long-term solution.
  • Don’t be afraid to disagree, but disagree and commit.
    • A diversity of viewpoints helps us get to the right decision faster, but once a decision is made, we all commit wholly to execute on it.

2. Prioritization

  • If nothing has been deprioritized, nothing has been prioritized.
    • There is no shortage of good things to do at Codat so we must be explicit about which ones we aren’t going to undertake.
  • Boring things are almost always undervalued.
    • Don’t overlook the boring stuff. We win because we excel at the things that aren’t always cool, but make a difference.

3. Process

  • Any plan worth its salt doesn’t have a second page.
    • This forces us to focus on the most important point and creates clarity in what we are trying to achieve.
  • That’s how it’s always been done” isn’t a valid reason.
    • All decisions should be justifiable beyond simply pointing to a current process in place.  We are always open to new ways of doing things. 
  • Acronyms are just people trying to look clever.
    • Seek to minimize the use of acronyms wherever possible as they create confusion. Say what you mean, in the clearest way possible.
  • It’s not real until it’s written down. 
    • Writing things down forces clarity of thought and makes information more accessible to everyone in the company.

4. Execution

  • Believe in our ability to do excellent things incredibly quickly. 
    • In the past, we have achieved seemingly impossible things in a short space of time. If we put our minds to it we can do the same again in the future.
  • Ship smaller batches of code into production versus big pushes.
    • Breaking any piece of work (technical or non-technical) into small, manageable chunks allows us to execute, learn, and iterate faster.

5. People

  • Hire people who are better than you.
    • A team of star performers creates the most successful company.
  • Codat doesn’t employ bad eggs.
    • Egotistical or rude behavior will not be tolerated no matter how talented someone is. Being explicit about this means we can always assume that people have the right intentions.
  • Being defensive is just letting yourself down. 
    • It never helps to take things personally, make excuses, or get personally attached to outcomes. Every piece of feedback is an opportunity to learn and improve.

6. Money

  • Everyone flies economy.
    • We don’t spend money unnecessarily on things that don’t contribute to our shared goals. No one gets special treatment.

7. Worldview

  • We are micro-pessimists, but macro-optimists.
    • When we are building something or managing a sales opportunity we look for all the potential pitfalls in order to maximize the result. But when we zoom out, we are incredibly bullish on the value that Codat will create for the ecosystem.
  • There are hundreds of millions of small businesses in the world.
    • We have a huge opportunity and a huge amount of work ahead of us.