Monterail grew from a bunch of experts coding in a tiny rented apartment to a go-to software company serving international clients. Over the course of time, we moved to a fancy (and smart!) office, introduced new roles, technologies, and developed processes. Much have changed but, as cliché as it may sound, we are still the same. But what does it mean? Who are we? What’s the purpose of it all?
Even though our core values were for a few years unspoken, we kind of lived and breathed them in our work. They were present in our recruitment process and how we work with clients.
Only this year, basing on daily observations and talks, Szymon and Bartosz, Monterail co-founders, put into words what Monterail has always been about. So, if you want to get to know us better, learn what drives us, what’s the story behind core values and why we even challenged ourselves to define them, read on.
Do we need core values?
Although core values are talked about on and on in business, the idea will never get outdated. Core values mean a set of guiding principles that help to define how the organization and people within it should behave.
So yes, we need them.
Creative Process and Backstory
Although coming up with values is not inventing something from the scratch but rather formalizing what we already know and feel, we failed in the first attempt last year. Why? Trying to involve in the process as many people as possible resulted in getting hundreds of ideas, countless discussions and no result whatsoever.
The key realisation: core values should come from the founders.
Lessons learned, so the next step was much better planned and executed. We organized strategic workshops engaging the founders and heads of all teams—backend, frontend, design, marketing, HR and sales. Further on, Szymon and Bartosz chose the final set of values and clarified what it meant to them.
Here's what we live by every day:
Monterail is a place for builders, creators, and makers. Our job is to provide solutions to other people's problems. When we’re in doubt or we don’t know a solution, we ask and figure things out collectively.
We embrace the ever-changing world and we're willing to adapt and learn. Looking for new, better ways is what truly drives us.
We always commit fully to understand our clients' needs and deliver in a way that makes them say "Wow, I haven't thought of that!".
We are disciplined and keep our promises. What we do today makes an impact on ourselves and others tomorrow; therefore we think twice when we make a decision and consider its consequences thoroughly.
It is our responsibility to grow as individuals and support the growth of the people around us. We know we have to learn new things and share the knowledge in order to promote best practices and encourage quality.
In the end, we are here for our clients and it’s always a top priority to deliver them the best experience and service. There's no place for sloppiness in building great products.
We build on trust—our work, our team, and our relationships with clients and partners. We cherish transparency and honesty. If something cannot be done, if we've made a mistake or if we don't agree, we speak it out loud.
We don't talk behind people's backs. Instead, we provide truthful, sincere feedback no matter if the message is good or bad which allows us to improve as experts and as human beings.
There are no double standards for anyone. We treat ourselves based on the same, clear rules.
No matter how big we are, we stay humble. We are introspective and always pursue a better version of ourselves. We accept we can be wrong and we are not afraid to fail. After all our mistakes are our learning experience.
We are experts in software. But it’s the clients, the users and the outside world that needs it – so we listen closely. It is only then the work meets its purpose. We work for the effects, not to feed our ego.
We’re humble to each other. We’re not pushing for opinions just because they’re ours. We know how to say we’re sorry.
We fear of being hubris. Accomplishments are nice but it’s always day one.
Having defined core values doesn’t automatically mean living them. To make sure, those words are clearly understood and applied to our daily life, we curated a Code of Conduct, informally known as How to Monterail.
It’s a translation of our core values into a descriptive, actionable set of actions and behaviors that we all appreciate in each other and want to cultivate in Monterail. Everyone willing could contribute to preparing this content.
To give you a picture of what kind of behaviors I’m talking about, here’s the example:
The phrase “something can’t be done” usually means that it can’t be done in some particular circumstance (like you can even divide by 0 if you really want to!), so make sure you provide those as well. For example: “it can be done, but it will take us 2 years”, “it can be done but we would need to have way more expertise in X for doing that”
By identifying the essence of our company, we feel more united and focused on what’s the greatest benefit for our clients: delivering meaningful software.