Uber's new CEO had employees write and vote on cultural guidelines for the workplace — and the results should look familiar to anyone that works in the technology industry.
The results were:
- We build globally, we live locally.
- We are customer obsessed.
- We celebrate differences.
- We do the right thing.
- We act like owners.
- We persevere.
- We value ideas over hierarchy.
- We make big bold bets.
Uber was tasked with creating new cultural guidelines after a searing workplace culture report, compiled in part by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his firm, Covington & Burling, after sexual harassment allegations surfaced. The report, supported by Uber's board, recommended Uber replace its previous 14 cultural values, which included "Let builders build," "always be hustlin'", "meritocracy and toe-stepping", and "principled confrontation."
Some of the core principles, like being "obsessed" with the customer and being "bold" carried over to Uber's new guidelines, while others, like "meritocracy," were reformulated.
But while Uber's old manifesto included unique slang like "super-pumpedness," the new version looks a lot like the ones across Silicon Valley. For instance, one of Facebook's core values is "be bold," and "do the right thing" isn't so different than Google's "don't be evil." Being customer-obsessed and treating employees like owners are both tenets in Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo's 1997 shareholder letter. The ride-hailing start-up, which has ambitions to disrupt transportation on a larger scale, also borrows from a saying common in urban planning, "think globally, act locally."
The similarities emphasize Uber's enormous size, which has quickly grown to be more like a publicly traded tech giant than a scrappy start-up. Facebook made a similar change, dropping the slogan "move fast and break things" in 2014 in favor of putting people first. Khosrowshahi, who has been Uber CEO since late August, has said he's preparing the company to go public.
"It's that forward-leaning, fearless approach that has underpinned much of Uber's success and has attracted many employees, including me, to the company," Khosrowshahi wrote in Tuesday's post. "But it's also clear that the culture and approach that got Uber where it is today is not what will get us to the next level."