I’ve been at Instabug for the past five months and let me tell you about my journey so far and how it made me connect with the core values of the company.
No Bullshit — Scene One
Me: (Panicking before my first interview) Okay, so now I should “study” the website, blog, etc. I’ll start with the website, probably the values. Let’s see how these people do things.
“Commitment as a Founder… Make It Happen… Embrace Openness…” Hmm, very cool utopian values. “Win Users’ Hearts… Work Hard, Play Hard… aaaaaaaand No Bullshit.” No Bullshit?! What’s that?
This value really caught my attention and made me wonder how these guys approach things.
I have no idea why I didn’t bring it up during the two LONG interviews I had, but Omar had that intimidating poker face, like all interviewers. He was very keen to give me space to ask questions, add thoughts, or show curiosity — but I was panicking and forgot all my questions.
So back to “No Bullshit.” Since I joined, I set out on a mission to figure out what this value means and how to actually adopt it within the company.
If you are joining us, you will probably spend your first couple of days reading the Instabug Handbook. Our handbook is basically a set of guidelines about how we function internally to help you understand us and set your expectations for how we do things.
Currently, it’s a 70-page document. And since I’m not really the bookworm type — I get really distracted even when I’m reading a Facebook post that’s a bit long — my mind wanders all the time. However, I actually read the whole thing in around five hours— and yes, that’s a record for me.
It generally answered all of my questions, and I thought to myself, “Yeah, setting expectations about how each and every internal process functions is the best way to avoid bullshit.”
I figured out that the “No Bullshit” value is also all about how we communicate internally and as a team, how we should always speak up, be respectful to others, and simply be direct.
But still, that’s how any person should function! So how do I apply this to my day-to-day responsibilities within the company?
No Bullshit — Scene Two
It’s my first planning meeting with my team during my first week.
Everyone is silent and looking at their laptops, while I’m holding my notebook and anxiously staring. They start speaking in some kind of code, and now it’s my turn. I share my plan, which is based on the KPIs that were shared with me on day one, and… that’s it. Seriously?!
It took us literally seven minutes for three team members and their boss to plan for the following week. Now that’s impressive.
Our weekly planning meeting is meant for each team member to share their own plan for the week, whether they need support from their direct manager or other teams, and also quickly reflect on the previous week and the quarter overall.
I’ve always had planning and time management struggles. However, I recently figured out that bullshit usually sneaks in when our mind, energy, or action is not directed towards the big picture. When we do not have a full understanding of our role, we get completely distracted and end up with ego attachments and procrastination. I believe having a support system of mindful colleagues and boss really helps.
And so here is lesson number one I learned at Instabug:
Quoting our handbook: “Let’s all be straightforward in our conversations and stick to facts.”
Let’s admit it, we all go through times where we think a bit of drama or unnecessary chitchat won’t hurt. Guess what? It does. It is usually the catalyst for adopting egoistic traits and toxic attitudes.
On some level, we all know that being straightforward is the “right thing to do.” Yes, we should not sugarcoat our mistakes or feedback, but do we stick to this all the time in our day-to-day activities?
What I learned
Being surrounded by people who always aspire to be the best version of themselves is a gateway to rocket speed growth. On the other hand, a room full of ego, drama, and toxic competition will definitely lead to destructive self-doubt and bad intentions.
After almost half a year of digesting the Instabug way, I’ve seen those utopian values applied in action. It’s how every team member aspires to behave, how decisions are made, and how I experienced personal growth at Instabug.