Our corporate mission is to provide access to knowledge for everyone, efficiently and at low cost through the internet. We will donate a portion of the profit to academic communities, schools, churches, and non-profit organizations that contribute to this mission.
The foundation of this corporation is based on the following principles:
1) We try to abide by the golden rule in everything that we do: treat others the way you would like to be treated.
2) We take our work seriously but we do not take ourselves seriously. We can make fun of each other occasionally without causing harm because we are after all just a bunch of imperfect people trying to help each other "get it right" (and we do not always get it right on the first try).
3) We communicate with each other frequently, and use that communication to create a shared vision of a shared mission. We then make the pursuit of this mission our number one professional goal. We believe that the pursuit of a worthy goal in a collaborative fashion is such an efficient and enjoyable way to work that it will always result in more total progress than if each of the members worked alone. We believe that a collaborative approach will also result in more personal rewards for each of the members of the group than they would achieve if they worked alone.
4) We believe in a horizontal structure such that most of the time we are working WITH each other instead of FOR someone. We realize that in certain settings, someone needs to lead the group in a given activity but that it is healthy for that leadership to change hands frequently. Each member of the group needs to be able to lead well but they also need to be able to participate effectively and enthusiastically when they are not the leader.
5) We have an abundance mentality instead of a scarcity mentality. We believe in creating more for everyone instead of fighting over a fixed or shrinking pie.
6) We always try to put AT LEAST as much into the collaboration as we take out -- on every channel -- financial, creative, and administrative. We try to carry our own weight and have enough horsepower left over that we can carry others as well when necessary.
7) We understand that there is tangible value in the name of our corporation and that this value stems from: a) the shared accomplishments of the corporate board, executives, employees and shareholders.
8) We believe in the development of new employees. As we grow and gain strength, we share this strength with the younger members of our group so that they can become strong independent contributors.
9) We treat every member in our corporation as colleagues and peers. We are not threatened by their success or progress, but rather view their accomplishments as the desirable result of our teaching and guidance. We facilitate our younger colleagues’ growth by sharing resources and lessons that in many cases were not available to us at a similar point in our careers.
10) We maintain a perspective of privilege instead of one of entitlement. We realize that without the people who taught us and helped us get started and advised us -- that we would not have the privilege of working in an academic setting, pursuing new knowledge and imparting it to others. We would not have the opportunity to make a huge difference for other people by what we do. The taxpayers don't owe us anything. We need to earn our spot in the lab, in the classroom, in the clinic, and in the corporation everyday, by honestly striving to be the best at what we do. We should ask ourselves from time to time whether someone else would hire us for our currently salary (or more) tomorrow. That answer should always be an emphatic "yes". If the answer ever becomes "no", it is retirement time. And when we do retire or move to another institution, we feel that we should leave this institution better off than it was before we came.
11) We believe that samples, photographs, and data that are collected under the auspices of an academic institution are an institutional resource and not personal property.
12) Although we greatly value the individuals who make up our group, we believe that in most cases, an idea, a paper, a grant, or profits can be significantly improved by sharing it with one or more other people. That is, two or more scientists are generally smarter than either one alone. We realize that the main thing that a member of the group wants is to have an important role in the group. Thus, if we are working on a problem and we encounter something that someone else in the group is expert in, we seek their help not only because it will take us to the answer faster, but also because it allows the other person the opportunity to contribute their expertise and to be recognized for this contribution.
13) We are optimistic. We believe in each other and in ourselves. We intend to succeed -- not necessarily every day -- but definitely in the long run.