I’ve found years’ worth of inspiration in the dichotomy expressed by Adobe founders John Warnock & Chuck Geschke:
The hands-on nature of the startup was communicated to everyone the company brought onboard. For years, Warnock and Geschke hand-delivered a bottle of champagne or cognac and a dozen roses to a new hire’s house. The employee arrived at work to find hammer, ruler, and screwdriver on a desk, which were to be used for hanging up shelves, pictures, and so on.
“From the start we wanted them to have the mentality that everyone sweeps the floor around here,” says Geschke, adding that while the hand tools may be gone, the ethic persists today.
— Page 27 of Inside the Publishing Revolution – The Adobe Story by Pamela Pfiffner
2 thoughts on ““Everyone sweeps the floor around here” — Wisdom from Adobe’s founders”
I remember learning the ‘everyone sweeps the floors’ ethic when I was hired in 1998, I stayed 12 years. I internalized that ethic and took it to every job I have had since. Chuck and John are the classiest guys with heart, humanity and vision.
I was honored to have been nominated and received an Adobe’s ‘Founder’s Award’ for helping to live the day-to-day ethos of this mindset – I am totally behind the model they provided -‘Great ideas come from everywhere in the company’ is another one that I fully back.