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The Five Values That Power Six Feet Up

January 9, 2013


Six Feet Up is growing and we are fortunate to find ourselves looking for new Sixies to join the team again. As I prepare to welcome new recruits, I find myself reflecting on what makes the magic of working at Six Feet Up. The challenge is to share our traditions in a way that is true to what we have built and to condense it into a short and effective message.

Over the years, we have developed a distinctive culture based on a unique set of 5 essential values, some drawn from the book Drive by Daniel Pink:

AUTONOMY: Autonomy is about acting with choice and working with others. As Sixies, we are free to choose how we want to accomplish our tasks. We are free to work with whom we want to if we need help. Except for scheduled work, we can choose when we want to work. And once a quarter, we pick what to work on for ShipIt Day.

MASTERY: We see our capabilities as infinitely improvable. We are forever flirting with total mastery, forever getting closer but never quite reaching the impossible goal of perfection. Finding the "flow" is everyday's aspiration.

TEAMWORK: While we sometimes get mad at each other while on our quest for perfection, we know in our hearts that we are part of a big family. We work, we eat, we drink, we play, we plan, we celebrate, we drive, we go on vacation together. We dress alike at conferences. We are "Sixies".

PURPOSE: We realize work is just work without a sense of contributing to a cause larger than ourselves. Open source is our cause. We repeatedly insist that free software should be "free as in speech, not as in beer". We make software a matter of expression, not property.[1]

WORK-LIFE BALANCE: Today's technologies have made it possible to work pretty much whenever we want, wherever we want. So we work from the doctor's office, the gas station, a Caribbean island, a hotel in Paris. We bring our baby, our 4th grader, our mom, our dog, our cat, our pig to work. This flexibility makes it possible to attend our daughter's recital at 4 pm on a Wednesday, take our dog for a haircut on a Monday morning or be with our grandmother at the hospital while she recovers. Human-friendly is the Six Feet Up way.

Does this culture appeal to you? Check out our job openings to see if we have a position for you.

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