Since the first day we started working on our company — even before we could call her that way— I was completely convinced that we were going to require some guidance for creating our business culture. I wasn't quite sure on how to do this, but after a series of back and forth with Fred (my business partner), we decided to create a set of rules for the company —and most importantly, for ourselves.
We decided to compile and call this compilation of rules our Dojo Kun because, just like any dojo, they are there to guide us and helps us become better each day.
Some of these rules are actually quotes from philosophers, engineers, artists and —in general— people that one way or another, inspire us. These are the four rules that govern Adapttech. This is who we are.
1. We don’t fuck around
Weren't you expecting something like this for our rule #1? Looking it in retrospective, we couldn't have come with a better rule to summarize everything we stand for. We even translated it into all the languages of the people that have worked with us: "No nos andamos en mierdas", "Não andamos cá com merdas", "Wir ficken nicht", "On ne déconne pas", "Không phá hoaI"... you get the picture. Of course, this rule, as with all others, it has some corollaries:
- If you are thinking about doing something, you are already late
- The due date is always yesterday
- If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough
- Just do. There is no try
2. Don’t be an asshole
So... Google used to have "don’t be evil" as mantra. We like to think that you need to consider a step back before going "not evil": you need to start by the building blocks of your company —each and every one of your co-workers. So, it's not that don’t be evil from the company out, it’s that don’t be an asshole from inside you.
- Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men
- No one wins alone, and every triumph is collective
- There is no I in the word team
- If you fucked it, unfuck it
Some of these are as old as the world itself, and they might sound a little cliché, but they are as good as they can get. And there is a reason why they are still around: just like the classics, they are timeless.
3. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest minds of all times. There are a million variants of this quote, but I really like the simplest of them all. It kind of pays itself a tribute by being so straight forward. I think it also reminds you our rule #1 in a certain way, doesn't it?
Personally, I find it extremely pleasant that the one that seems to love this rule the most is our design department. Diogo and Marion love it. They like it so much that is an intrinsic part of our beloved branding, and you can tell from every single aspect of what we do.
From our logo to the most complex system we have —which only has two buttons— everything has always been thoroughly thought to be extremely simple. I think this paradox is the one that captures my attention the most: when something is really clean, simple and elegant it seems there was no messing with it. It feels really natural, and I believe that's what true beauty is all about. It all reminds me of something my grandpa used to say: "when you do things right, nobody knows you did them".
- Aim for the third best: the second best comes too late and the best never arrives
- If it's stupid, but it works, then it's not stupid
- If it's not broken, don't fix it
4. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit
Get rules #1, #2 and #3 and repeat. Do things right. Do things right constantly. Make it like breathing: you need to be constantly looking for it, and without it you would die.
I think that passion is when you find yourself wanting something with all your heart. As an incredibly interdisciplinary team, the things we love are pretty different, but we all converge on the look for excellence. We all want our work to be the reflection of our ethics and dedication. We follow through. We deliver. We don’t fuck around.