Last week we analogized our life to a Russian nesting doll. Our heads are in buildings in a culture. 🧠🏢🌎
Each of the three levels has rules and norms and today we’ll look at the middle section, our buildings.
Every business has its own rules for how it works. Ben Horowitz said these unspoken rules - the culture - is what people do when you don’t tell them what to do. He learned this idea from Michael Ovitz, cofounder of Creative Artists Agency.
When Ben asked Michael what made CAA so successful the answer was anticlimactic, "There's no one thing where you can say, 'My god, you guys called everybody a partner that's really a game changer.' It's a composite."
Good fits are like this. There’s no way to copy one because the construction and then application of each one is unique.
Andrew Ng pointed this out too. When asked about what makes a technology company, he said that it’s acting like a technology company. That’s the fit. It’s a/b testing, bottom up ideas, and moving fast. "What defines the Internet company is whether or not you have architect at your organization to leverage internet capabilities to do the things that the internet allows you to do really well."
When asked to give advice about fitting culture Horowitz now tells people, “the culture has to support the strategy.” And that’s what we’ve seen this week.
Bill Belichick wants to bring in people who play ‘the Patriot way’.
Cinnabon wants to offer an occasional treat.
Guy Spier wants to be “the best Guy Spier” he can be.
Brad Gilbert wants to play his strength against the opponent’s weaknesses.
We can learn from others, but we need to find our fit.