The Osomness Book v0.1

This is who we are

dis-

— prefix 1. indicating reversal: disconnect ; disembark 2. indicating negation, lack, or deprivation: dissimilar ; distrust ; disgrace 3. indicating removal or release: disembowel ; disburden 4. expressing intensive force: dissever

-forma

noun \ˈfȯrm\ 1. A type or kind of something 2. one of several or many different ways in which something is seen, experienced, or produced 3. the shape of something


We stand for different way of doing things

We exist to build products and companies to create meaningful change. We create impact through technology and design.

Preface

This is not exactly an employee handbook. This is about what makes us unique, This is primarily a guide about our reasons to work the way we do.

This book is yours to edit. Once you’ve read it, help us make it better for the noobs. Suggest new sections, or change the existing ones. Add to the Glossary. Or if you’re not all that comfortable editing it, annotate it: make comments and suggestions. We’ll collectively review the changes and fold them into future revisions.

Why we started

All of this started because we believed in a different way of doing things. There is something that drives us and it's asking the right questions, it's about challenging our assumptions and asking what if? It's about finding the best way to do something and learning something you didn't know before. We believe that a desire to figure things out and make them better is in every single one of us and it's what makes the world go around... and ultimately it forces you to think differently... thats why we are here. So we set out to build the company we would love to dedicate our lives to... It's about creating change.

How we work

Welcome to flatland

Hierarchy is great for maintaining predictability and repeatability. It simplifies planning and makes it easier to control a large group of people from the top down, which is why military organizations rely on it so heavily.

But when you’re a company that's gone out of its way to recruit the most intelligent, innovative, talented people on Earth (or Guadalajara for now), telling them to sit at a desk and do what they’re told obliterates 99 percent of their value. We want innovators, and that means maintaining an environment where they’ll flourish.

That’s why we are flat. It’s our way of saying that we don’t have any management, and nobody “reports to” anybody else. We do have founders, but even they aren't your managers.We are accountable to our customers and each other, it's an organic combination between trust and ambition.

Companies are nothing more than collections of people. If those people work together effectively the chance of creating something awesome goes way up. If they don’t, it doesn’t. It’s really that simple.

That said, there are a million different ways to work together, and if we’ve learned anything it’s that goals change, people change, and organizations change. So before anything, expect change, be ready to go with the flow and even lead change yourself.

This company is yours to steer toward opportunities and away from risks. You have the power to green-light projects. You have the power to make things happen.
A flat structure removes every organizational barrier

  • There is no "El Jefe". And even so, we believe that small teams need leaders and that anyone can lead.
  • We love to quickly form small teams to attack big problems.
  • We do not have a vacation policy. You choose when its most appropriate for the team and yourself (just let us know beforehand).
  • It does not matter what time you get to work and it does not matter what time you leave. We rely on objectives rather than hours.
  • You may work from anywhere that you feel you can be most productive. (Even if its your couch)
  • We believe on intentional disorganization, there's not a a predefined way of doing things.
  • You may speak to, call, email or have a meeting with anyone. Even if it’s your first day. Even if you don’t know their name. Even if they have a mustache.
  • We will never implement any sort of expectations around what you wear, but we maintain all rights to mock your pijamas.

For some people this means they need to be in the thick of conversations, standing in front of a whiteboard, or huddled up around a computer screen with another person. For others, it means being plugged into their computer with their headphones on banging out to some Skrillex or, in the case of a few, to the melodic charms of Celine Dion. Sometimes it means that a busy coffee shop or a pajama-wearing work-from-home day is where the magic happens.

Whatever it is, it’s cool.

The consequence of this non-policy policy is that your work must speak for itself. It’s not about face-time, a race to the office in the morning, or a competition to see who can be there the latest… output is what matters. disforma is not a place to hide. It is a place to create, show off and learn from each other.

If you want to coast, we recommend you apply for a job somewhere else

Risks and Failures

What if I screw up?

Nobody has ever been fired here for making a mistake. It wouldn’t make sense for us to operate that way we couldn’t expect so much of individuals if we also penalized people for errors. Even expensive mistakes, or ones which result in a very public failure, are genuinely looked at as opportunities to learn. We can always repair the mistake or make up for it.

Screwing up is a great way to find out that your assumptions were wrong or that your model of the world was a little bit off. As long as you update your model and move forward with a better picture, you’re doing it right. Look for ways to test your beliefs. Never be afraid to run an experiment or to collect more data.

It helps to make predictions and anticipate nasty outcomes. Ask yourself “what would I expect to see if I’m right?” Ask yourself “what would I expect to see if I’m wrong?” Then ask yourself “what do I see?” If something totally unexpected happens, try to figure out why.

There are still some bad ways to fail. Repeating the same mistake over and over is one. Not listening to customers or peers before or after a failure is another. Never ignore the evidence; particularly when it says you’re wrong

Communication

Given the importance of great communication and its rampant level of abuse, we’ve assembled this simple guide. We hope it will be helpful in your day to day work.

The following styles and formats for communication are listed in which they should be employed when dealing with co-workers.

  1. In-person, face-to-face, full eye-contact communication. This might sound crazy, but we believe that if it were possible to restrict all communication to this channel the world would almost certainly be a happier place. As long as we don't have unnecessary meetings.
  2. In case there is something in your mind you want to share with someone else, its always cool to ask someone if the want to go grab a beer, or get some ice cream. Whatever it is, if it will make you feel better, go for it.
  3. If there is something we should all know, let us know.
  4. If you can't chat with us full eye-contact, use any possible way of communication, email, face time or skype.

The more you care about an issue, the more important it is that you make number one or two the starting place for communication.

The result is improved communication, and that makes all of us work better together and happier.

Visits

We have a few visitors from time to time.

Wether it's someone new, or a well known friend, we would love to exchange thoughts. We believe that collaboration can change perspectives and improve ideas, this is why we have so many guests; they might be our next big project or rockstar recruit.

  1. They will come by and we might have lunch together or share a casual meeting, maybe get some drinks
  2. They might share our workspace to meet you for a day.
  3. And if it all goes well, they will bring some snacks :).
  4. We believe that networking is about giving. if we pay it forward it will eventually boomerang back.

So take your time to get to know them, worst case scenario, you'll end up with a lot of friends.

Our Workspace

We have a workspace in Guadalajara.

It is a place that great work happens and a place that can prevent you from doing great work all at the same time. Use it as if it is truly yours… an extension of your house. Or maybe better, an extension of your parent's house. It’s a place where you can feel ultimately comfortable but must take responsibility for your presence and your usage. Treat it like your own, because it is your own.

As much as anything, our office is a social space for our team to spend time together, eat together, have small and large group conversations and inspire each other.

  • Our office exists to help us move fast and be happier.
  • It’s a place where whiteboards get used and disagreements end in clear decisions.
  • It’s a place to witness the incredible power of an idea moving from a whiteboard to reality right in front of your eyes.
  • Work happens anywhere, collaboration happens here, in the office we call home.

Duty calls

Where will you take us?

We will be a different company a few years from now because you are going to change it for the better. We can’t wait to see where you take us. The products, features, and experiences that you decide to create for customers are the things that will define us.

Whether it’s a new app, a new feature, a way to save customers money, a painting that teaches us what’s beautiful, something that protects us from legal threats, a new typeface, an idea for how to be healthier while we work, a new social project to change people's life, a spectacular animation, a new kind of test that lets us be smarter or a toy that makes four-year-olds laugh, or (more likely) something nobody’s thought of yet.

We can’t wait to see what kind of future you choose to build here.

Various fragments of this text have been blatantly copied from somewhere else. Like Valves Employee Handbook, Zaarly's, Zapos', etc.

Good artists copy, great artists steal.