Principles of Operation

Our Mission, Our Principles, and Our Values

At Oxide, our mission, principles, and values are not mere corporate bromides; they comprise the emotional, moral, ethical, and spiritual core of our company – they are the soul of Oxide. For more details on why we think it’s important to be explicit about our mission, our principles, and our values (and why the distinctions between them matter), please see the 2017 Monktoberfest talk on Principles of Technology Leadership.

Oxide’s mission:

Kick butt, have fun, don’t cheat, love our customers, change computing forever

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s essentially Scott McNealy’s coda for Sun Microsystems. But we use this mission not because it happens to have been Sun’s but because it is ours: it is a concise expression of why we’re here and how we operate. Taking it apart:

Principles

Principles are fundamental, universal truths that transcend time, geography, culture and context. These principles are not aspirations, they are constraints; we expect them to be the marrow of all Oxide employees and adhered to under all conditions.

Values

Unlike principles, values indicate relative importance: they are objectives rather than constraints, and can come into tension with one another. Indeed, many of these values can become pathological when taken to an illogical extreme; absolute adherence to a particular value should never trump prudence. Moreover, values are not universal: while we would hope that every company would share our principles, we know that not every company will share all of our values – but they are the bedrock of Oxide.

To ensure these values are explicitly considered and internalized, we take an unusual step: we ask Oxide employees to commit these values to memory. To some this might seem outlandish or fusty, but we believe that it serves to emphasize our values – and allows us to turn to them quickly in the course of building our company together.

In part to facilitate their internalization, and in part to make clear that there is no hierarchy or ordering among them, we present these values in alphabetical order.