We think of culture as an operating system. What does an operating system do in a computer? It provides a standard way for programs to interact with the resources of the computer, and each other. A strongly designed culture–just like a robust operating system–is a competitive advantage by way of increasing both the speed and scalability of the company.
We deliberately designed our culture to distribute decision-making and prioritize customer-centricity. We call this Single-Threaded Ownership (STO). Under the STO model, a single person is responsible for an initiative, vertical, or business unit’s success or failure. This stands in opposition to a matrix organization staffed with functional heads. Delegating accountability and ownership to our leaders is how we empower them and help them grow, and is how we ensure that Hopper remains a fast-moving and scalable organization as more people join. As part of the STO model, anyone at Hopper can become a leader. We believe that any type of background can succeed as a leader at Hopper if their talents are correctly matched with the opportunity at hand.
Thanks to our Single-Threaded Ownership model, we doubled our revenue during COVID, and then we grew 20x from pre-pandemic highs.
At Hopper, our Leadership Principles underpin everything we do — who we hire, what we value in decision making, and how we determine career advancement. When designing our Leadership Principles, we drew inspiration from some of the world's most successful marketplaces, including Amazon.
Dive Deep. Leaders exhibit this principle by operating at all levels, staying immersed in the details, gathering data and employing first-hand knowledge while staying skeptical of any assumptions. It’s through diving deep that they earn the trust of others and the freedom to take real ownership of their work.
Take Ownership. Leaders are owners. They don't make sacrifices for short-term results and aren't swayed from their long-term thinking. Ownership goes beyond acting on behalf of one team, it means acting on behalf of the entire company, and never saying "that's not my job."
Bias for Action. Leaders move fast. Speed matters. They know that many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. They take risks and, yes, they break things when necessary. Leaders value building and iterating quickly.
Do the Right Thing. There are two parts to this leadership principle. The first is having the judgment to identify the right thing for the business and then doing it, most of the time. It’s important for leaders to be right a lot. The second part is taking a long-term view of what’s right for the business and our customers and acting only with the best intentions. Good judgment + good intentions = great leader.