In 2004, after a lot of crossed fingers, we launched a company to accomplish one thing: build great communities. There were fax machines. Plural. One guy slept in the spare offices. We wore white gloves to seal envelopes because we wanted to create the best product in the world.
Now, everyone gets to sleep in a bed. In a home. Instead of instant noodles, we sometimes enjoy a great bowl of udon in Little Tokyo. The world’s best global executives trust us to connect them with each other and to great thought leaders from every industry. Their trust means everything to us. It's literally our business. Our members learn from the best, and we sit in the back of the room taking notes.
The world is big. And busy. We're experts at removing the noise.
With inspiration from our friends at Facebook, we host an annual all-hands hackathon in order to generate and work on big ideas, or “break the vase” as David likes to say.
The World 50 Internal Summit is a gathering of experts, leaders and provocateurs that sparks internal conversations about how we can reshape the world around us. Renowned Professor Adam Grant of The Wharton School is just one of many great thinkers who help drive these dialogues.
It's our job to be relevant—to our members and ourselves. We sometimes use jargon like innovation, change management and geopolitical forecasting to discuss unwieldy concepts, but we really just mean that we're friends with some of the smartest people in the world, and they help us understand it better. (They're really pretty smart.)
We're specialists, communicators, producers, artists and researchers—and chefs. Prize-winning chefs. Prize-winning chili cook-off chefs. Come by each fall for a taste.
Our culture drives every action we take. We take it very seriously. Joining our tribe means committing to our principles, at least during the hours we pay you. Our core values (as a playlist) include:
Icona Pop's “I Love It”
We're passionate and enthusiastic about what we do.
Aretha Franklin's “Respect”
We respect our members, ourselves and each other.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' “Make It Better”
We invite change and never rest on our accomplishments. We make vases and then break them.
Adele's “One and Only”
We treat each member like they're the only one.
Sarah Vaughan's “Come Rain or Shine”
We win and lose together.
Weston Burt's “Smile That Smile”
We make it fun and keep it that way.
It's working hard and paying it forward and double-checking and giving back and pushing boundaries and breaking through that define us. Each of us individually. All of us together.
We honor the memory of a former associate taken far too early by cancer. Nicole Rouis embodied our core values, so each year, we award an exemplary associate with personal and professional development leave.
We become Team Nicole for one day a year, running the Winship Win the Fight 5K together to support the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
We keep a low profile. (Don't believe us? See what you can find on your own.) And we like to keep it that way. Let's put it this way: Everything we do is in the service of our members. But we do quite a bit of stuff. And much of it is incredibly cool.
It's pretty self-explanatory. Some mornings, the carb coma wins.
Halloween, game days and other special occasions: when we can put on a different uniform and laugh, we will.
We thank our friends and family with a summer picnic filled with great food and fun for everyone.