What do people say about Cataphora’s unique culture?
- John Nesheim, Cornell Lecturer and author of best selling book, High Tech Start Up
“A highly adversity-resistant culture”
- Lise Buyer, Founding Principal of the Class V Group
We are not your average startup. Although we’ve been around for a decade, we choose to maintain a certain set of startup values because they produce unique advantages for us. Here are some of our company’s character traits and the principles we work and live by every day:
We are adversity resistant
The path to business success is rarely smooth. How an organization copes with setbacks functions as a hallmark of its character. Cataphora started life in the aftermath of the Internet bubble. We did not expect an easy ride and we did not get one. However, we learned from the experience and the lessons remain deeply rooted in our company’s DNA. When another economic downturn hit in 2008, we saw many companies fold. Cataphora’s pay-your-own way approach coupled with our previous experience with tough economic times in 2002 prepared us to face these challenges, far better than most other companies.
Our adversity-resistant culture uniquely positions us to achieve great things. We’re particularly proud that, as a pre-IPO startup, we grew our legal business to the point where we were able to successfully divest it – an unprecedented outcome for a bootstrapped Silicon Valley software startup.
Just as we are not afraid of a challenge in the form of economic instability or change as it relates to our business’s strategic direction, we are not afraid of being challenged in our everyday work. In fact, we thrive in a mission-oriented environment with a focus on solving complicated problems for real customers. Customers come to us with difficult questions—often deemed unsolvable by other companies—and we rise to the challenge.
We are innovative and creative
We’re not bound by the typical constraints of a larger, hierarchical organization; we’re able to dream up a creative idea on a Monday, propose it to our colleagues, brainstorm the execution strategy, and get started with early stage implementation steps before the end of the week. Although we’ve been around for a decade, we maintain an agile business model, enabling us to serve our customers better and adapt as necessary. We constantly strive to invent new technologies to help our customers, while simultaneously improving our existing technologies. To date, we have been awarded several US patents.
We empower our employees
While virtually every company claims any single employee can make an impact, voice their opinion and see the results of their work, at Cataphora, this really is the way we work. We believe that empowering our employees to step up to a challenge, whatever it may be, and perform to the best of their ability, is best for them, for Cataphora and, ultimately, for our customers. Since the company trusts and believes in its employees and their capabilities, we all have a high degree of independence when it comes to our work. As noted in a New York Times profile, employees here are exposed to more roles and responsibilities than they would be at most other companies, offering a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth.
We maintain a transparent work environment
At Cataphora, organizational hierarchy never inhibits an employee’s ability to interact with others, whether it is peers, managers or the CEO. To put this in perspective, it is not rare for an entry level employee to work with the CEO on a weekly (or even daily) basis, exchanging ideas about Cataphora’s strategic direction, the company website, or product features. In addition to this aspect of company transparency, we have, since day one, continued to have a weekly “all hands” meeting in which all employees, regardless of their specific role, are informed about the latest happenings at Cataphora.
We believe in employee ownership
Every single employee has a personal ownership stake in the business in the form of stock options. We have found that employee ownership produces a common sense of purpose and commitment among our employees, all of whom are intent on the success of Cataphora and on building its long-term value.