What Are Your Company Values… Situational or Sustainable

February 2, 2010

As an Expansion Stage Venture Capital firm we look for software companies that are growing rapidly quarter over quarter, have products and services that are relevant and differentiated within their markets and have strong founders and management teams to invest growth capital in.

Before we invest capital in any company that meets our business and economic criteria we spend time assessing the companies cultural fit with our firm. Since we are long term investors with an investment horizon that can be 4-8 years or longer and are actively involved with the companies over the investment lifetime, being comfortable with the founders and the management teams’ culture and values are important to us.

I was reading an editorial last week where they were discussing how Dov Seidman the CEO of LRN that helps companies build ethical cultures likes to talk about two kinds of values: “situational values” and “sustainable values”. Leaders, companies or individuals guided by situational values do whatever the situation will allow, no matter the wider interests of their communities. A banker who writes a mortgage for someone he knows can’t make the payments over time is acting on situational values, saying “I’ll be gone when the bill comes due.”

People inspired by sustainable values act just the opposite, saying: “I will never be gone. I will always be here. Therefore, I must behave in ways that sustain – my employees, my customers, my suppliers, my environment, my country and my future generations.”

OpenView looks to find the right companies with the right culture and values that we can team with to build great companies.

All the great companies I know have sustainable values.

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.