If you follow and are the slightest interested in what’s up at Spotify, you most likely know we like to think of ourselves as a band. Ok, sure, we don’t look a lot like that group you put together in high school that could only play one Led Zeppelin song, but we still think the comparison fits. Like a band, we’re dependent on each other to create the best audio experience. Like a band, we need to be in sync. And like any successful band, we have a set of rules – a band manifesto – that keeps us focused on where we want to go and guides how we get there.
Our band manifesto explains our mission, our beliefs, our culture, our values, and everything else in between. Pretty much the only thing it won’t teach you is how to play a new Led Zeppelin song, that’s just something our talent is going to have to learn on their own, or with their colleagues (in one of the music lessons we offer our band members).
Spotify is a purpose-driven company and has been from the start. By inviting our employees to decide and define our values and beliefs they guide us in our strategies as well as our everyday decisions. Our mission is simple:
To unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creators the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.
How do we get there? By believing in our talented people, giving them the support and autonomy they need to create. (And lots of cold brew.)
If you join the band, there are five values with which you’ll quickly become familiar as they form the foundation of Spotify culture. If these values align with your own, if they sound like the kind of people you want to be surrounded by, then we hope you come and help us inspire people to listen to the world around them. Because, listening is everything.
Our values are informed and influenced by every member of the Spotify band. For us, these are more than just words on a page, these principles guide each decision we make, serving as the path we’ll follow to achieve our goals and mission.
These values help us build trust with our users, creators, advertisers, partners, and even amongst ourselves. They ensure that we are the same company that stands for the same things no matter our audience.
We move fast and take big risks. We cultivate curiosity. We’re unafraid to fail, knowing that each mistake contains a valuable lesson and gets us one step closer towards creativity and innovation.
We have no time for internal politics. We lead with transparency and engage with open minds. Creating something new requires trust so candid feedback delivered with good intent is at the heart of everything we do.
We revel in what we do. We genuinely care about our shared Spotify mission, pushing ourselves to become masters of the part we play. We energize and inspire others around us, knowing that excitement drives innovation.
We recognize that we’re all in this together. Everyone is an integral part of the work we do with an equal opportunity to participate, we share ideas and best practices across business units and in spite of traditional hierarchies.
With all that said, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We connect with each other. We celebrate successes. And just like a real band, we like to jam.
Growing pains do not make us unique. And in chaos, there is innovation, but also confusion. This hypergrowth of ours has made it more important than ever to go from toddler stage and become a teenager and push into young adult as an organization, faster than any individual. The chaos we found ourselves in was to be expected and it brought a lot of good. Let’s face, chaos is a required taste and not for everyone. Still, to be able to navigate and thrive in this fast-moving echo system of ours, we needed some sort of order, our order without losing what is core to us. So here we are, welcome to controlled chaos! A challenging and complex organization with plenty of day-to-day polarities, but with never-ending opportunities to grow as long as you stay passionately curious. You just need to trust our growth process.
You can read more about how we roll in The Band Manifesto.