Covalence

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Make Them Hear You

I’ve been thinking about what to add to the flood of voices we’ve heard about racism and, more specifically, police brutality and the murder of George Floyd. I want to remind our employees, our customers, our partners, and our friends in the industry, that Molecule values justice, and that we stand with America (our country and its people).

There’s really nothing I can say that’s not brutally obvious:

  • America’s original sin was slavery.
  • Many of racism’s roots were there.
  • The Civil War largely killed slavery, but not racism.
  • The Civil Rights Act didn’t kill racism.
  • Pretending color didn’t matter, as my generation did (with the best of intentions), didn’t kill racism.
  • Electing a Black president didn’t kill racism.
  • We have to kill racism in our hearts, in our subconscious minds, in our living rooms, in our families, in private and in public.

We have, apparently, a fair number of ill-trained and/or racist people who hold the power of life and death in their hands, and who are charged with keeping us safe. But instead, they get away with murder — over, and over again. Something is badly broken in America's police forces. It has been 28 years since Rodney King’s beating, and the subsequent riots, opened my eyes to police brutality. From everything I read, we’ve shuffled the chairs around a bit — but in some places, we haven’t changed a whole lot.

There’s a lot — a lot we need to do as a society, to fix this. Justin Amash’s “Ending Qualified Immunity Act”, on its surface, seems to be a great start. Nobody should be above the law; especially laws related to murder. There’s also lots more we can do, from a policy perspective:

  • Making sure to train police and first responders better, so they're less likely to shoot to kill (helping avoid cases like Botham Shem Jean), and so they're better at de-escalation.
  • Paying police, teachers, and our other public servants generously (not minimally, or simply adequately) — so we can get the best, most qualified individuals to do these critical jobs.
  • Making sure we understand that slavery in America lasted 200 years, and was followed by another 100 years of written-into-law racism that ended only 56 years ago. It’s not even close to the time when we can stop paying attention via policies like affirmative action.

But the most important thing we can do, as private citizens, is to speak. Speak to our racist uncles at the Thanksgiving table. Speak to our friends who joke about racist things. Speak to our coworkers and employees about what racism means to you. Speak to the person who wonders if maybe George Floyd encouraged his own death in some way. Speak. Without violence, but loudly — like our common heroes: MLK, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. As E.L. Doctorow and Stephen Flaherty’s fictional character Coalhouse Walker sang in his dying minutes: “Make them hear you.”

Make them f@#%ing hear you, America. Make them hear you.

ValuesPeople

What We Value

Today, we're launching a campaign that's been in the works for some time. I'm super proud of it because it speaks precisely to what we, at Molecule, do. We're calling it "What we Value Runs the World."

Here's what we mean by that:

  • Molecule (our software) values, like, everything. It's handles commodities you've never even heard of, like terephthalic acid – and instruments that are hard to grok, like an option on a cal strip of off-peak power monthlies. We've valued power plants and wind farms, and we are evaluating NGL and battery storage models.
  • What our customers trade represents (and sometimes literally is) the infrastructure of the world. It's how we get electricity to our homes. It's how our automobiles run. It's the least-understood, most important set of assets in our civilization.
  • Our customers mean a lot to us – obviously, we use their input to shape our product. But we also value them and their opinions and needs. They, in turn, run the infrastructure that runs the world. More importantly, we value our customers' time. We want them to go home early, so they don't always have to run the world. (I know this sounds trite, but it's what we believe – and from my perspective, not every company in our industry feels the same way.)
  • We're really proud of our employees, contractors, and the values we share. Our people and our software embody those values – and they help the people, who run the infrastructure, that...you get the idea.

So WWVRTW, as we've taken to calling it, is a quadruple entendre! Our new campaign features real people we know – and highlights all the weird and wonderful things Molecule (our software, our team, and our company) values. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Values

The Amicus Brief

This is a sad week for America.

Last year, Molecule proudly joined over 150 tech companies in filing an amicus brief against the executive order that essentially restricts immigration and travel along religious and ethnic lines. This issue hits at the heart of what Molecule, as a company, stands for and against. Protesting the Order demonstrates our commitment to doing right by our employees and our customers.

When we established our core values, we committed to embodying them and using them to guide our actions and decisions. The executive order flies in the face of several of our values. We don’t want to be one of those organizations that says they have values, but then does nothing with them except putting them on a website and handing out a poster to new employees (please note: our values are on our website, and you can read them here). Our core values mandate that we take action against the executive order.

Our team embraces diversity. This isn’t just a motherhood-and-apple-pie value for us. Diversity strengthens our product and our productivity -- thus strengthening the company’s bottom line. Through diverse experiences and points of view, we improve our UI/UX to make beautiful (and the best) software. It helps us spot creative solutions to difficult challenges.

We hire the best Molecules and strive to be world-class. We want to employ the absolute best, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, nation of origin, and several other factors. The executive order will restrict our ability to create the best software and deliver the best solutions to our customers.

Amazingly talented individuals make up the Molecule team, and our customers are incredibly smart. Our team is composed of people born in the US and in other countries. Some of us are immigrants, children of immigrants, and grandchildren of immigrants. Some of us are married to immigrants. The same is true for our customers. We defend their freedom to work to create the life they want.

Our employees, customers, and community should know that we will stand up for them. We remain committed to defending everyone’s right to “sit at the table” -- except those who flout the law and those who promote hate and fear.

Fighting immigration policy that discriminates along religious, ethnic, and other arbitrary lines is the f-ing right thing to do. Molecule is committed to doing the right thing, regardless of politics or popularity. We will continue to stand up for what’s right, for decency, and for tolerance.

Values

American Freedom is a Free Internet for America

Today is a sort of grassroots Internet "Day of Action" related to Net Neutrality.

There has been lots of ink (including my own) spilled about the wonky details of the concept. There has also been a lot of fearmongering about what might happen if, despite massive public outcry, Ajit Pai at the FCC weakens Title II protections for the Internet.

Here's the thing: it's not fearmongering. It's all true.

In America, if you're part of the 83% of the population lucky enough to have decent internet, you likely have the choice of one or two carriers, each of them among the most reviled companies in the country. These companies provide terrible customer service, jack up prices, charge you exorbitant fees, sneak charges into your monthly bill, and even try to prevent cities from creating competition. They maintain their oligopoly power through coordinated lobbying efforts.

Now, the FCC wants to hand these companies more power, essentially saying that they should promise an open internet in their Terms of Service (the agreement you click through to sign up for internet service) rather than have their behavior monitored and regulated, as it currently is. The idea is, presumably, that "unshackling" these well-meaning companies will somehow result in lower prices to the consumer.

Regardless of party affiliation, there's something clearly wrong with that assumption, for these particular companies. This whole mess smacks of the same Things That Are Wrong With America, that I hear from people on both sides of the political spectrum complain about:

  • "Crony Capitalism"
  • Government in the pocket of Lobbyists
  • Some Executive Trampling on my Rights, and
  • "Comcast only lowered my price when I told them I would drop my service."

The open Internet conversation is a small version of the broader debate we're having as a nation, and that is important.

Now to go wait on my AT&T technician.

Values

We Are Molecule

At Molecule, we definitely Do Things a Certain Way. As our team has grown, we’ve thought at length about what that means.

Why bother? Well, we want our team members to be independent and share their awesomeness with us (why would we have hired them otherwise?), so we have more awesomeness to share with our customers. At the same time, we want to give our customers a consistent, fantastic experience every time they interact with our team or our product.

I believe that if everyone at Molecule has a shared framework for decision-making, then we can make similar choices independently. Given that, the results of a decision made by anyone on our team (regardless of implementation) should ultimately reflect what we as a company strive to do. That’s what matters.

Without further ado, and after much debate, refinement, and more debate, we’re proud to share our Values with you. They are also available here.

We are Molecule.

  • We own Molecule in big and small ways.
  • We want the best for Molecule and for each other.
  • We succeed as a team and fail as a team.
  • We make a meaningful impact on the enterprise software industry.

We do what’s best for the customer.

  • We provide the best approach to meet customer needs.
  • We strive to have secure, pragmatic and informed solutions.
  • We challenge the status quo by starting with first principles.
  • We want customers to achieve the maximum with minimal effort.
  • We challenge our solutions and are not afraid to toss them out the window.

We strive to be world-class.

  • We hire the best Molecules.
  • We work hard and smart, and continually learn.
  • We try hard things, ask questions, and teach others.
  • We do not fear mistakes - but we fail quickly and learn from them.
  • We reach for the unreachable.
  • We fight for what we believe is right.
  • We accept constructive criticism gracefully - from anyone, to anyone.
  • We set clear goals and use data to evaluate the best course of action.

We embrace diversity of race, gender, creed, culture, ability, orientation, and technology.

  • We use welcoming and inclusive language.
  • We respect differing viewpoints and experiences.
  • We focus on what is best for the community.
  • We show empathy and compassion towards other community members.

We love technology.

  • We believe technology can help humanity do great things.
  • We learn from seeing how others use technology in new and wonderful ways.
  • We are comfortable with, and excited about, technology.
  • We make and use the best and most beautiful technology.
  • We embrace bleeding-edge tech.
  • We love open source and contribute to the open source community.

We give back to the world.

  • We share what we learn with the community.
  • We help other entrepreneurs and new companies.
  • We contribute to our physical and our online communities.
  • We leave our communities better than we found them.

Values