Aha Handbook
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Team Expectations
What is expected from everyone.
Great expectations create great capabilities.

Be Honest

  • We are built on trust — always be honest with your team and with yourself
  • We do not tolerate dishonesty

  • Truth — an accurate understanding of reality — is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes

Act with integrity

  • Practice and demand integrity from your team
  • Do not let anything stand in the way of integrity, truth, and transparency
  • Be polite, professional, and respectful, but firm

Be radically transparent

  • Practice and demand extreme candor from others
  • Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional 
environments
  • Building trust-based on honesty and openness is the key to collaborating effectively

Listen actively

  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Speak up — have the backbone to disagree and commit

  • Communicate logically with structured and concise precision
  • You are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when you disagree, even when 
doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting 

  • We encourage disagreement and dissenting opinions — if you are unhappy with a 
decision, speak up

Ask thoughtful questions

  • Ask for help more often than you think, more often than you fear

Seek and give feedback

  • Proactively seek and give feedback
  • Do not water down constructive 
criticism; feedback is a dialogue
  • Be clear and exact when giving and receiving feedback;

Always be prepared

  • Be actively engaged and ready
  • Failing to prepare means preparing to fail
  • Always be prepared to answer: “What are you working on and why?”

Exercise common sense

  • Common sense is not so common
  • Apply sound judgment to your words and actions 


Be extremely open-minded to new ideas, opinions, and approaches

  • No egos allowed
  • Examine your strongest convictions with humility
  • But know when to say “No.”

Think 3 steps ahead

  • Analyze critically, meticulously, methodically, and creatively

Simplify & prioritize

  • Work smart by prioritizing your time spent on daily/weekly/monthly tasks
  • Focus on your most important thing (MIT)
  • Plan your work, work your plan

Be proactive

  • As much as talent counts, effort counts twice
  • Take productive action and deliver results

Take ownership

  • Lean forward and turn towards the problems you see
  • Act on behalf of the entire company — never say “that’s not my job”
  • Remember that this is your company — your decisions will shape our success

Be decisive

  • Responding to change is more crucial than following a plan
  • Make informed and calculated decisions, on behalf of the group and lead
  • Speed matters in business
: All else being equal, the fastest company in any market will win
  • Avoid analysis paralysis
  • Our choices show who we are more than our abilities


Execute to deliver results

  • Done is better than perfect
  • Break a big project/goal into its fundamental tasks
  • A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week
  • Focus on delivering effective results timely with the right quality

Learn and improve constantly

  • Ask yourself: “What could we have done better?” 

  • Know that you don’t know a lot
  • Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
  • To improve is to change; to perfect is to change often
  • If you aren’t willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are willing to learn, no one can stop you

Fail, learn, and move forward

  • Reflect and be vocally self-critical
  • Part of the innovation process is to learn from mistakes
  • When you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
  • It is OK to make mistakes — but it is unacceptable not to identify/recognize it, admit it, analyze it, and learn from it.

Have a clear purpose

  • Begin with the end in mind; start with why
  • If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t

Learn from disagreements

  • Evaluate if an issue calls for debate, discussion, or teaching

Take calculated risks — do not let fear stop you

  • Seizing an opportunity requires risk
  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty
  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it looks like work

Start. Don’t stop.

  • When it comes to being successful, grit and passion matter more than sheer ability
  • Reality + Dreams + Determination = A Successful Life
  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment

Set specific expectations and goals

  • Set goals that have direct impact, for yourself and the team — and hold yourself and 
the team accountable
  • Ask yourself: what do you expect if you were the customer? 

  • Think long term — do not sacrifice long-term value for short-term results

Bring solutions to the table, not problems

  • Come to the team with a “Here is what I propose” attitude 

  • Always have a recommendation — don’t ask for input without having your own 
opinion 
 
* Always bring and defend your point of view assertively

Understand that people and culture is all the matters

  • People are the most important asset, then products, then profit
  • Customer comes first: start with the customer and work backwards. What can you do to earn and keep customer trust? 

  • Treat each customer as our only customer
  • Employees come second — we take care of our people 

  • Investors and shareholders will be taken care of when we focus on the customer 
and our team 


Measure your performance periodically and objectively

  • Compare your results against your objectives
  • Ask yourself: “Am I learning and contributing?”, “What do I have offer?”, and “Am I proud of my work?”. If not, do something about it 


Lead by example

  • Be effective and efficient
  • Act how you want others to act
  • Insist on the highest standards from yourself and our team

Make good first impressions

  • Be prepared to overwhelm others with knowledge, expertise, analysis, and diligence
  • Make others think they never have to check on you again because this person knows 
what he or she is doing and he or she is going to make me look good

Adhere to the company mission and preserve our company culture

  • The company vision guides a start-up, and the culture and the mission drive start-ups 

  • The hallmark of the best start-ups is mission-driven employees 

  • Culture is a shared way of doing something with passion — it creates the foundation 
for all future innovation. If you break the culture, you break the machine that creates your products. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous.

We are lean, frugal, and cost-conscious

  • We do not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers.
  • Frugality breeds 
resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention 

  • There are no extra points for headcount, budget size, or fixed expense 


The more you practice, the luckier you get

  • “Hard work is critical; a good team is essential; brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may determine the outcome.”

Have fun

  • Ask yourself constantly: “Why I show up to work every day?”
  • “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”
  • Your work is going to fill a large part of your life; the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work; the only way to do great work is to love what you do
  • What we do matters to people other than ourselves
  • We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give
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On this page
Be Honest
Act with integrity
Be radically transparent
Listen actively
Speak up — have the backbone to disagree and commit
Ask thoughtful questions
Seek and give feedback
Always be prepared
Exercise common sense
Be extremely open-minded to new ideas, opinions, and approaches
Think 3 steps ahead
Simplify & prioritize
Be proactive
Take ownership
Be decisive
Execute to deliver results
Learn and improve constantly
Fail, learn, and move forward
Have a clear purpose
Learn from disagreements
Take calculated risks — do not let fear stop you
Start. Don’t stop.
Set specific expectations and goals
Bring solutions to the table, not problems
Understand that people and culture is all the matters
Measure your performance periodically and objectively
Lead by example
Make good first impressions
Adhere to the company mission and preserve our company culture
We are lean, frugal, and cost-conscious
The more you practice, the luckier you get
Have fun