Culture First or Find Customers First

David Cummings on Startups

Recently there was a local debate around the importance of corporate culture in the earliest days of seed stage startups. From the debate, there was contention about whether or not a focus on culture at the start was important before the business had many employees and was viable. Put another way, should you spend any time on culture when it could be spent acquiring customers?

My answer: absolutely, culture matters from the beginning. Culture is more than just the founders and people hired. Yes, the people are the most important part, but culture is reflected in the core values, processes, and the way the company chooses to act. The same exact team with different core values, assuming the values are truly cared about, will act differently because the priorities are different.

The culture won’t last long if the startup goes out of business but it also won’t be nearly as…

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