Friday, August 10, 2012

Empathy

We've been reviewing the business values we have in the company, and the word empathy keeps on coming back to me.

I define it as mindfully thinking of people first. A company is composed of people and our products are being used by people. At the bottom of everything we do, people are always involved.

Often company policies are thought-up in the name of profit, efficiency and productivity. These policies are well intentioned, and they are good to implement. However without fully understanding why the policies are there, they are often implemented for the wrong reason. It's important to find that balance of people and profits (talking about profits warrants another post).

Having empathy as one of the business value, means we always consider how people will use the policy and how they will be affected by it. People always come first. In the end, the effectiveness of the policy is measured based on how the people adopted it and benefited by it.

It is also the same when building products. If we always keep in mind how people will use it, interact with it and benefit from it, it's not very hard to build a best selling product. In whatever we build, in the end we are offering a solution to people's hard problems.

And that's how i always come back to empathy. By keeping people always in mind, and making sure we're always doing the right thing, doing the good things, i think we come out as a better company.

I know it sounds very righteous to be always doing right and good to people, but if you ask me, and if i look back at what we have done in the company so far, it just makes good business sense. Of course we are not perfect, and there are things we could have done better, and from those we are grateful for we have learned a lot. Nevertheless, the desire to do good to people and put people first is there, it's absolute, and it is a business value that we want to keep.

There's a saying that a company is heavily influenced by the founder's values and culture, and in our case i can say the same. Looking out for people and taking care of them has always been something that gets me motivated and excited to do. I know that this is dangerously close to becoming a me, me, me, oh look how great is me post, and that is not what i want to do here. I'm just trying to connect what we do in business and why we started it in the first place. And it always goes back to those who started it and managed it.

So empathy, it's a very powerful value to have in the company, and one i think will sustain us for the long term.

Thank you very much for reading. Bow.

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