Since we founded NextView in 2010, one unusual thing that we have always had on our site has been some representation of our Ethos. These are a handful of phrases that reflect some of our core beliefs about how we wanted to operate as a firm and interface with founders and the startup community at large. Some firms have something similar and call it “Operating Principles,” “Values,” or something similar. I think these are great, as I’ve blogged before about how important culture is to any organization.
One of the benefits of starting a firm from scratch five years ago is that we could be intentional about setting our ethos, rather than inheriting something that already existed. This is something David, Lee, and I talked about at length when we started, and we actually took a retreat in the woods very early on to hash out these exact words and the meaning behind them. We have tried to keep our ethos ingrained into our regular vocabulary and use them every day. This is something I found effective in other organizations and discussed this in an old post about cultural catch phrases.
Our ethos is mostly about how we aspire to behave. By definition, we will fail to live up to these ideas in many cases. But just as investors try to figure out what makes an entrepreneur tick, we thought it was important to show the same to entrepreneurs. And hopefully, entrepreneurs will keep us honest when we don’t live up to our stated ethos.
Over the years, we have written a number of blog posts going into each concept in a bit more detail. You can check them out here:
I hope you find these helpful. Thanks for taking the time to check them out – they are very important to us.