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Keepin’ It Real in Organizational Culture


I was recently honored to participate on a panel at the UMSL Digital Conference. The topic revolved around the future of marketing and was moderated by Rick Spiekermann of Nestle-Purina. Rick has a good sense for our style and his specific question to me was something along the lines of this: “You guys (Elasticity) tend to take risks and push the envelope. How do you get your clients to buy in?”

Much like Ali G, the easy answer is that we strive to “keep it real.” When we pitch, we are who we are — bringing the people into the room who will actually work the business, willing to take risks, periodically using off-color language, telling prospective and current clients what they may not want to hear because they need to hear it. In short, we are true to our culture, our beliefs and who we are.

I was reminded of this virtue when a friend posted a job advertisement from Craigslist on my Facebook page that was clearly true to the brand culture of the organization and, more important, spoke to the culture of the prospective hire they wished to lure into their company.

Why is this important? From a financial perspective it can cost between $5,000 – $15,000 to onboard an employee — which is wasted if you bring in an employee who does not fit the culture, thus forcing a separation. More important is the more subtle opportunity costs, and losses, for bringing on an employee who ultimately dislikes the culture as it is not what was “pitched” to them, then leaving and sullying the organizational reputation with others.

So with that I present this refreshing job posting from an anonymous San Diego tech company that I applaud for being true to themselves.

Searching for 2 Fucking Great Developers

If you’re a great fucking developer who wants to make a bunch of money working somewhere awesome then keep reading. We’re a San Diego Tech Company (relocation covered for the right candidates) that’s looking for not one but two awesome developers. So digest this ad, accept your fate, and take one last lap around your office to say goodbye to your friends because you’re about to upgrade.

The Pay: Starting Salary Range: $115,000 – $140,000 / yr + Medical + Dental + Stock Options + Relocation costs up to $2,500

The Job: Our current stack runs on Scala, Java, MongoDB, Redis, Bootstrap, Play Framework, Guice, and AngularJS. If you think you can handle that shit, then it’d be fucking awesome if you also knew SQL. Mostly looks great but you’ve never touched Scala or MongoDB? That happens, so fucking check them out and include a blurb with your job app with why you’re excited to fucking learn and use them.

What You’ll Be Doing: This quarter you’ll be adding kick ass new features to our already massively successful products. Afterwards depending on your ability, interests, and attitude you’ll be working on any number of projects like new products, internal tools, improving our already fucking great scalable architecture, or skunk works machine learning data analysis for new product R&D.

On Leaving Whatever The Fuck You’re Doing Now: Don’t fucking worry about it. They’ll find somebody else and you’ll be off balling with a fresh start. It doesn’t matter if you have a great job, shit job, or you’re marathon’ing through X-Files on Netflix while collecting unemployment. Mulder and Scully will be right where you left them, and your ex-coworkers will stay in touch too but honestly fuck ’em, you’ll have new, better friends.deskflip

The People: I promised new friends didn’t I? We have boys, we have girls, we have kite surfers, we have regular surfers, we have video game fanatics, we have clubbers (night clubs, not seals), we have a Scottish guy, we have a Serbian girl, we have movie nerds, we have board game nerds, we have regular nerds, we have musicians, and we have somebody out this week for Coachella. Look, the fact is we can fill whatever type of friendship void you have.

The Environment: We’re on the top floor of a building right next door to a fucking brewery. We have Arcade games (yes we have Mortal Kombat), Pinball, and free fucking water. The floor we are on is filled exclusively with tech startups and we have a huge monthly Werewolf (http://www.games-wiki.org/wiki/Werewolves_of_Millers_Hollow/) game (beer included) held in our break room comprised of people from all of the companies on the floor, as well as from various other companies downtown.

Company Fucking Meetings: We celebrate our successes and we’ve had a lot of them lately, hence the hiring. In the last year alone we’ve gone on a sailing trip, a downtown scavenger hunt, frisbee golfing, kart racing, and more. Next up? Not sure but it’s always a group decision. . .Laser tag, paintball, movies, or even repeats of things we’ve done and enjoyed are all on the table. How about you fucking suggest something?

Hiring Process:
1) You e-mail us the shit requested in this job ad.
2) We video Skype and figure out if you know what you said you know.
3) You come meet the team for a vibe check.
4) Tell everybody about how great your fucking life just became because you’re super fucking hired.

Good Ideas: Send us some self assessed scores for the job requirements listed above. — Don’t you fucking bullshit us, we’re going to find out during the Skype call so don’t waste your time or ours. I’m fucking serious if you’re thinking about putting a 9/10 for Javascript and you don’t know what a closure is you’re responding to the wrong ad. — Answer honestly, maybe we don’t give as many fucks about Javascript as you think so 6/10 is fine.
E-mail us an excerpt of some code you’ve written that you’re proud of. — Tell us why out of all the shit code you’ve written in your life you decided to send us that. Type something to us. Anything. Tell us something about yourself. — This section will not be graded.

You’re Doing It Wrong: Shit I have to go read through my notes on algorithm efficiency and study up on logic brain teasers. — Nope. I need to update my resume. — Nah, if it’s out of date just put NEEDS updating. I better get my interview clothes dry cleaned. — Slow your roll, after the e-mail screen it’s a Skype video call.

P.S.: Share this shit. Don’t be worried about friends or coworkers stealing your job, there are two fucking jobs open. Maybe even more if we find people that we can’t pass up.

P.P.S.: We do not encourage or display profanity levels above the social norm in the work place. As such, profanity will not be accepted in lieu of skill.

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