Sometimes I forget that we are an exception in this and not the norm. Other times I’m drastically reminded - whenever a company has a PR disaster that could have easily been avoided by simply being open and honest.
There was an article, after one of our prepaid outages, about how we’d “somehow” turned into it a PR boon by simply being open about what was happening! But it wasn’t some calculated decision, that’s our culture, it always has been and we’ll continue to work hard to ensure we maintain that even with growth. I was telling one of my colleagues, @brenda, just earlier today that I’m really happy we’ve maintained the culture as we’ve grown from less than 50 people to 300 in less than 18 months. For me it is literally the most important thing about us and it starts from the top down - I’ve said as much to Tom before.
The moment we lose sight of that is the moment we’d become just another app in the herd. At which point, perhaps it would come down to simple things like feature comparison, as we would have lost our USP.
Some people don’t see culture as a USP, and that’s fine. We very much do, and for me the interesting thing is that it would incredibly difficult, perhaps impossible, to pivot in that direction if you didn’t start out that way. Either you set that tone from the beginning, or you’ll never have it.
It can’t be replicated, it’s in the DNA of everyone here! I’ve had some involvement in hiring, and it’s interesting - some people can say all the right things, and some people just radiate our values in a very natural way. You can feel who embodies our culture and innately understands it, and those people tend to do very well here (of course, you still have to demonstrate a certain level of ability and experience in the role you’re applying for!!)
In much the same way, I fully expect that, in the next few years, both legacy banks and perhaps other competitors in the space will start to attempt to “say the right things” to their customers and in their marketing, and those efforts will ring hollow to a lot of people. Either you embody it, or you don’t.
I think about this quite a bit (can you tell? ) and especially when we get the odd comment from a detractor saying things like “Monzo fans are like a cult” or “it’s not a religion” etc. It’s so hyperbolic, but the actuality is that we’ve fostered people who are passionate - because we started with the “why” and not the “what” from the onset. Many people, in general, aren’t used to passion, and some people find it jarring. if you look at cultural group insults, like “nerds”, “jocks”, “bookworms”… What are these terms if not simply describing people who are incredibly passionate about tech/science, sports/physical activity, and reading? There’s this toxic cultural idea that we should for some reason suppress and discourage passion and enthusiasm.
I happen to believe that we should encourage passion. I’m proud to work somewhere that encourages it. It’s an ideal I strive to live by
This post was longer than I intended. Guess I just wanted to express a few things