Scaling the Startup Culture with Zappos Insights’ Jonathan Wolske

Last Monday afternoon I spent some time on the UBCO campus with Jon Wolske.

Jon is what is referred to as a Culture Evangelist by the good people of Zappos Insights.  Essentially his job is to help people understand how the culture at Zappos made them an enormous success, and how other businesses can benefit from better understanding the role of culture in the workplace.

It wasn’t exactly the talk I was expecting when I registered for Scaling the Startup Culture, but I was very glad I went.

I thought Jon was going to go into more detail about how startup culture related to Zappos’ assent to the internet shopping juggernaut. Instead Jon spoke about company culture, and how the culture of a business has a profound effect on the end experience of the target market.

Within the context of a startup, most of us are so busy keeping our noses to the grind stone that we don’t stop to think about the culture we’re creating in our up-and-coming business.  Culture is just something that happens rather than something that’s planned.

But what if the conversation about culture became part of the startup conversation?  What if having the answer to ‘who are we’ became as much as priority as being able to answer, ‘what we do’.  How much would that help define our product and dictate how we pivot when the time comes?

I came out of the talk with Jonathan Wolske with more questions than answers last Monday.  Which was just what I needed.

Thank you to Angelique Duff of Bright Spark Media for the picture.

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