Operating Principles

A quick guide to the On Deck Operating Principles.

Much of your fulfillment and success at On Deck will be determined by the extent to which the values of the people and the organization align with your own.

What follows is our best attempt to share an honest description of our culture today: things that we cannot imagine changing at On Deck for the next two-three years.

We hope you find this useful in deciding whether On Deck is the kind of place you’d like to spend your time.

As you read through, ask yourself: is the following true for each principle?
“I believe that striving to do this will make our work better, and ultimately help us succeed”
“I want you to act this way with me when you are working with me"
“When I lose sight of these values, please remind me. I will do the same for you”


On Deck Operating Principles

Mission First

What it means:
Long careers, short titles
Pursue responsibility over status
Invest in each other 

Examples in action:
We choose to not be overly affected by praise or negativity
We’re a close-knit sports team, not a family

Default to trust

What it means:
Intellectual maturity
Assume good intentions
Credit is shared
Disagree and commit

Examples in action:
We don’t see heroes or villains
We forgive the past and change behavior for the future
We embrace paradoxes and tradeoffs
We avoid gossip, judgment, assigning blame, and taking things personally

Radical Ownership

What it means:
End to end ownership within specific role
Also notice opportunities to improve the broader org (feedback, recruiting/referring, support, etc)

Examples in action:
We approach problems with a solutions mindset
We’re high agency - we’re drawn to own something and run with it to completion
Don’t be shy to ask the hard question, or ask people to do things

Growth Mindset

What it means:
Micro-pessimist // Macro-optimist
Invest in personal growth and growth of our team
Hypergrowth mindset to navigate chaos and ambiguity

Examples in action:
We’re laser focused on problems we need to fix at On Deck, but we’re macro optimistic about the company’s future and believe we’re running a great race
We relentlessly seek out opportunities for growth - when we improve ourselves, we improve On Deck

Create Good Days

What it means:
“People won’t remember what you did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel”
We are in the experience business
Relentlessly add value (helping hire, raise money, achieve their goals etc) —We’re also in the service business
Make On Deck a meaningful place to work

Examples in action:
Experience team focusing on metrics that show how engaged and delighted each customer is
Talent marketplaces building out LeanHire platform to help fellows scale their companies

Make the Network as Valuable as Possible

What it means:
Add fellows across programs when opportunity arises
Facilitate value exchange within the network
Laser focused on customer value/outcomes (separate from customer enjoyment)

Examples in action:
OD50 seeking out opportunities for companies within network to hire fellows
Tracking ODF companies future raises, successes, failures as metric for program success
Care about signal to noise

Fight Entropy

What it means:
A network that doesn’t improve degrades
Move fast because we are building utility to over match any drop in credentials
We haven’t won anything yet and have a lot of work left to do

Examples in action:
We set ambitious goals for # of program launches this year, and we’ll do that again for 2022
We supercharged our product team hiring to focus on building out value-adding features quickly

Careers at On Deck

We have some pretty lofty ambitions. And to get there, we need the most talented folks on the planet to join us in our pursuit.

We’re a fully-distributed team of 60 operating across 14 timezones.

Interested? Check out our careers page to learn more!

Want to work with us?

Our careers

Our Team

We’re like a high-performing sports team: we form meaningful bonds with each other and are here to win together. Our team is highly entrepreneurial, with many members having experience as founders.

In the last year, we grew from 6 to 60 teammates. If you want a job that pushes you to do your very best and continually learn, On Deck might be the place for you.

Say hello!

Meet our team