Metaview's Operating Principles

Siadhal Magos
Siadhal Magos
1 Oct 2022 • 4 min read

Our operating principles enable us to be aligned on how we build product, delight customers, and identify who is likely to do the best work of their lives at Metaview.

Metaview’s mission is to Power People Decisions with the Truth. By the time we’re finished, there’ll be no more bad hiring decisions. That’s big. It’s an amazing mission, partly because it’s practically impossible to ever fully achieve. That means we’re going to be at this for a long time.

Given this is going to be our life’s work, two things are really important: (1) we are primed, as a team, to make maximum impact together, and (2) we feel fulfilled and have fun along the way. Without (1) we won’t be moving fast enough, and without (2) we’ll never stick it out. Life’s too short to compromise on (1) or (2).

But different people operate more effectively in different environments. And different people find fulfilment in different places. So it’s required that we are clear on, and ambitious about, the environment that we are creating at Metaview. We believe that’s the only way to build the world-class team needed to achieve (1), (2), and make progress in our mission. It’s not, and shouldn’t be, for everyone. Is it for you?

The principles

1: Own it end-to-end. From inputs to outcome ↔

On its own, code is worthless inventory.

On its own, a design file is worthless inventory.

On its own, a go-to-market strategy is worthless inventory.

On its own, a new feature is worthless inventory.

Your responsibilities do not stop at the edge of your skill-set. You ship end-to-end and only stop when the customer has felt the benefit.

For example:

  1. When we ship changes, we record a loom for the customers that we know it’ll help. We don’t leave it to the customer to figure it out.
  2. When we don’t capture an interview but it’s due to issues with their other tools, we treat that as our problem. It means we often end up knowing more about a customers stack and their problems than they do.

You won't like it if:

You’re more energized by mastery than impact, and prefer to work on tasks than towards goals.

2: Actively transparent 📖 

Our people are our biggest asset, and we’re working hard and embracing short-term pain to make sure that stays the case. But building an amazing team is only one of the elements required for a high-accountability, high-autonomy, decisive organization.

The other element is access to information. Being “happy to share when asked” is not enough. We all work to operationalize transparency actively in how we communicate. Without all the information, how can you trust your amazing teammates to do amazing things?

For example:

  1. We have a Public-unless-private communication philosophy. More on that here.
  2. We run internal demos frequently and periodically. Not “when we’re ready”.

You won't like it if:

You lack discipline and clarity in your communication style, or find sharing something that isn’t done-done with your teammates embarrassing.

3: Work backwards from the customer 🔙

Your ability to make decisions and take actions that serve both our mission and our customers will be determined by your depth of understanding of the two. Our mission is something we control and articulate, but that’s not the case for customer needs. That requires taking the time to learn (and re-learn) what matters to them, and being deliberate about keeping their needs top of mind.

It’s easy to get excited by cool ideas, or things that are “now possible”. But our customers have problems to solve, objectives to hit, and opportunities to seize. Our job is to understand them, then massively help them.

For example:

  1. “What is [the customer] trying to achieve here?” is asked annoyingly frequently.
  2. Spending time listening to customer calls is real, valuable work. It helps us avoid information asymmetry when making important decisions.

You won't like it if:

You care more about technical complexity and elegance, than end-user impact. Or if you’re expecting to apply the same playbook at Metaview as you had at your previous company. Us and our customers are unique snowflakes creating a new category.

4: Optimise for rate-of-learning 🕵

Our ability to impact customers and accelerate growth is downstream of “what we know” and “how we execute based on what we know”.

When “what we know” are things that no-one else knows, we have an advantage in creating value. We treat learnings as the highest-form of currency for delivering future impact, and act accordingly: we run experiments, question thoroughly, and talk to customers over-and-over. We covet earned secrets.

For example:

  1. When we’re looking to discover the appetite for a certain feature or service, it’s rare that the first thing a customer will touch will be something powered by code. It’s almost always something more artisanal: like a deck, or a report, or something mechanical turk’d.
  2. We all share learnings publicly at least once a week at our company meeting.

You won't like it if:

You prefer to execute against a known business formula, rather than clarify the ambiguity required in order to create a new category.

5: Drive to clarity 🚘

We believe upfront and ongoing alignment is a multiplier on our net effectiveness, so we value precise language and driving to clarity. When we sense a lack of alignment on the context or the go-forward plan, we call it out and make resolving that the top priority.

Sometimes it can feel like we’re repeating things, or can feel like we’re ignoring the urgent thing. But a clear understanding of the environment sets a much better foundation for having impact.

For example:

  1. We put a name on everything. Everything has a DRI.
  2. We say this a lot: “For clarity, [person] will [thing that I understood to be the next step], right?”.

You won't like it here if:

You prefer consensus-driven decision making, or — when you see things stalling — think to yourself “well, I’m glad it wasn’t me that messed up”.

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