As our team has grown and the problems we’re solving have changed, we’ve modified and refined our objectives, key results, processes and focus. While our team, problems, goals and tactics may change, we never change what we value in our approach to building great products. Shipping, Pragmatism, Ingenuity and Predictability are the principles underlying and informing our designs, implementations and processes, and here’s how we think about each of them.
As a team, we are universally motivated not just by great design in a vacuum, but by delivering value to our members through sustainable product development. When we talk about sustainable product development, we mean designing and building products that are flexible and extensible where they need to be, but not over-complicated by imagined and non-existent use-cases. We are committed to faster and faster rates of delivery through iterative implementations and better technical components, not late nights and arbitrary deadlines.
Some people would say we’re flip-floppers, but we reserve the right to change our minds when new evidence is presented. The best argument, implementation or design on any given day is the one we’ll favor at Axial, not the one coming from the person with the highest rank, title or most pull. We value practical consideration and self-restraint backed by solid communication over rockstars, samurais and ninjas.
We’ll use a framework, tool, language or approach as soon as it becomes obvious that it’s well supported, stable, low maintenance and the right tool for the job.
More and more frequently you’ll hear the argument that you should build everything from open source components and 3rd party APIs. We certainly use our fair share of open source software and partner with a few API providers to handle solved problems, but we also believe that engineers are in the innovation business not the integration business.
To build a great and truly new product, you cannot rely solely on the standard toolset, you must innovate. We won’t shy away from building our own matching and recommendations algorithms, or fuel-injecting our SaaS growth through distributed licensing and group management.
We are dedicated to the pursuit of true predictability. True predictability doesn’t mean moving too fast and burning out, it doesn’t mean saying it’ll be done in 1 day and working 24 hours straight to get it over the line. True predictability means consistency day-in and day-out, week-in and week-out leading to predictable value added to our members by iteratively delivering high-impact products over the long haul.
Predictable inputs yield predictable outputs. We’re dedicated to building a routine for attacking our work every day, great self-consistency in estimates, collaborative prioritization based on estimated value and effort and observation based forecasting rather than top-down deadlines.