Zingo statements.

Sifteo’s core values:

  • Nurture creativity.
  • Treat your customer like you would treat your friend.
  • We must think it’s cool.
  • Keep it brief.
  • Build it.
  • Have fun.

When Dave and I first started Sifteo, I winced a bit at the notion of “core values.” Mission statements, core values, banners posted on walls — it’s easy to dismiss these sorts of things as pointless oversimplifications of an organization’s goals, culture and rules. What I would call “nuanced” thinkers tend to scoff at these statements, zeroing in on all the ways in which these statements are not really accurate.

But the thing is, while these statements are definitely oversimplifications, they are insanely useful oversimplifications.  I’ve found that part of working with people and providing direction is the use of SIMPLE. CLEAR. statements. You’re not dumbing things down. You’re giving smart people a clear destination, and a clear set of rules – and letting them chart the course.

I don’t always succeed at boiling things down, but I work hard to do so. Indeed, I would argue that simplification is the goal of any human enterprise, and the goal of any valuable or charitable act. But that’s for another post.

So accept that you are oversimplifying. Accept that the statements are usually cheesy as hell. And get crazy and use them frequently. Examples:

  • A decision made with 75% certainty in a day beats one made with 95% certainty in a week. Every time. 
  • Stress is thought without action.
  • Think in shades of gray. Act in black and white.

You may see a lot of these statements on this blog. Liam Staskawicz, a fellow Sifteon, and I have dubbed these statements ZINGO STATEMENTS.

ZINGO STATEMENTS are awesome.

Because they have zing. and they make you go. ZINGO.

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