April 1, 2012

What are your values?

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April 1st is a day I’ve been thinking about for some time. It’s not the usual, “Hey I need to post an April Fools Day joke” (Which I totally fucking hate). No, today marks a small, but noteworthy milestone for me.  As of 4/1/2012 I am free to compete with my old company and actively recruit employees from BUYSEASONS*. Gone are the shackles* of a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement*. And you know what? Nothing will change. I have no plans to enter the same markets as BUYSEASONS. Nor do I have plans to reach out to any former employees with some lucrative offer of employment. Sorry, no shoe dropping today.


But this post isn’t about my former company — it’s about my current one. More specifically, what that company stands for, and how any company I run must operate. It’s about creating a culture and ingraining a value system into the DNA of an organization. I recently replaced the mission statement for Siide.com, Inc. with three core values. Gone are the fancy sentences and big words. In their place are three simple, yet powerful ideas:

  • Build great products
  • Treat our customers like family
  • Make our employees proud


I’ve always liked Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto. While they’ve had their detractors, their vision has always been clear and easy to understand. While I wanted to follow Google’s lead, I wanted to be even more specific. I felt compelled to directly address the three pillars of my business:  The product, the customers and the employees.  It really comes down to focusing on those three elements. The stuff you make, the people you make it for and the people who make it. Boom — there you have it. I truly believe if we live by these values we will be fine and perhaps even great.

*Liberty Media claims they owe me nothing for the time I worked at BUYSEASONS Between April 1st 2010 through December 2nd 2010.  I on the other hand strongly disagree.


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Jalem is the President of Wantable, Inc. based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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