In the first 10 years of PIRATE (from 2010 to 2020), we never had a culture book. We relied on our guiding principles and a few hours of onboarding. After that, we led by example.
By now (March 2023), around 70 people are part of the PIRATE family. Spread around four companies. And we are growing. It’s about time we provide more structure to what drives us and why we work the way we do.
Working at PIRATE is different from working in many other places. That’s why, especially, people that have been in more traditional settings might have a hard time getting used to the PIRATE way of working. We don’t just need to learn how we work, but also unlearn some written and unwritten rules from our previous working experiences.
In this culture book, we’ll share what’s worth knowing about PIRATE. You will learn about our history, what we stand for, and what we value. By explicitly codifying our beliefs and values, we make them tangible, debatable and editable. After all, PIRATE isn’t something fixed, but a living social construct that is made up of everybody that works at PIRATE.
As every company in the PIRATE family has their own processes, we leave the specifics of “how we work” to each individual business. Nevertheless, we hope that the guiding principles, our values, and beliefs in this book will serve as the north star for everyone at PIRATE.
We know that company value statements are often empty promises. They’re uncorrelated with people’s experiences at work. While the values and guiding principles in this book are partly aspirational, we strive to make this an honest book that truly reflects our DNA.
One of our guiding principles is that decisions are temporary. As we know that context, people and culture may change, we acknowledge that what we describe in this book is the approach that works the best for us at this moment. As soon as we realize that either our context has changed or we have found better ways to do what we do, we will adapt our culture accordingly. Most importantly, we strive to improve. The process of writing helps us clarify, structure, and define our ideas. And we can only improve what we have articulated.
So let’s get started.