What’s the most important thing for you in building a company culture?
There are many things to consider here, but I think one thing is pushing responsibility to the individual. We’re working in a highly cross-functional and collaborative way, with as little hierarchy as possible. The aim of the organization/process is getting out of the way as much as possible for people to actually get the job done, whether it’s a coder or a business developer.
We expect every employee at SoundCloud to take a lot of initiative and ownership in their areas - we want our employees to be “entrepreneurial” in that sense. We have next to no process in product development; every team sets up their own workflows and ways of communicating with teams and stakeholders. We expect product managers to act as CEOs of their area, so they not only carry product vision, but it’s their responsibility to also deliver that vision to the rest of their teams, and make sure they own it collectively.
We have a very flat organization with very little top-down style management. We have cross-functional task forces and workgroups for things like office improvements and hackdays, and anybody can create a workgroup on their own initiative. We aim to empower our employees rather than to control them.
from an interview with Soundcloud Co-Founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss