17 Dec 2015

How LaunchDarkly’s Culture Inspires Its Product

Silicon Valley is known for its innovative work culture that cultivates employee happiness and promotes a harmonious work environment.  That’s all well and good, but does it translate into a great product?

I would argue that many companies promote an exciting ‘super duper awesome’ work environment, but have a hard time channeling that culture into a successful product.   Here, I’d like to discuss how we take this innovative culture and channel it into a successful product by promoting three core tenants.

  • Intellectual Curiosity – A culture of continuous intellectual growth allows everyone on the team to contribute to every aspect of the product, from marketing to design.  You are encouraged to learn, to adapt, and to challenge yourself and your teammates.  “What if’s” are encouraged and “dissent” is channeled through hypotheses and curiosity.  Product direction is shaped by the interplay of curiosity and discourse, even if you are not a domain expert in the subject at hand.
  • Reciprocated Support – Everyone on the team works for each other.  If I work on the weekend, it’s not because I have to or because I have a deadline, it’s because I want to.  Because I feel continuously supported, I reciprocate by trying to make everyone else’s workload easier and provide any benefit I can. We each have each others’ back, and that’s an inspiring feeling to have.
  • Vision Driven Development – While ultimately we are looking to be a successful business, we also truly believe that we are making things better and easier.  I find it very easy to pour my energy into something I truly believe in, rather than just something I feel will make money.

When you have a team that gels so well together, the product creates itself and reflects those values.  When each individual is held to a high standard, the product is held to a high standard.  Being proud of what you create is essential to a successful product.  We are proud of the work we do and we channel that pride to, not only make life better for our customers, but for each other.

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Justin Baker
Lead Product Designer at LaunchDarkly
As a designer who can code, Justin can empathize with a developer's workflow and design intuitive interfaces to address extremely complex functionality. He has built dozens of user interfaces for high-traffic applications — winning the Best of California IT Design award in 2012. He frequently contributes feature flag management and design theory articles to DZone, Tech.co, and DesignerHub. He holds degrees from UC Davis and USC, and is finishing an MS in Information Design at Northwestern. When he's not making developer's lives easier, he enjoys tennis, computer games, and writing.