Our Principles

These are the principles we come back to every single day. When we don't know how to make a decision, we always come back to principles.

Think 10x

Chef is a collection of people who want to work alongside some of the most ambitious people in the world in solving the most pressing problems in the world. Always think bigger — think about how can we affect the lives of 1B people?

Customer Obsession

We’re here to serve our customers. Go backwards from the customers and obsess after giving them the best experience possible.

Hiring the very best people, mostly generalists

If enough smart people are in a room together, we'll figure it out. Hire slow rather than to "fill a role."

Meritocracy to find the truth

Simple: the best idea wins. In each meeting, we’ll have discussions to distill the decision we’re making to the fundamental truths of the human condition or physics and then build back up. Always discuss the idea not attack the speaker.

Radical transparency

No passive aggression. If someone isn’t doing something right, tell them. Be brutally honest with feedback and don’t sugar coat anything.

Bias for action

We're a company of executors and doers. Rather than asking your manager for permission to see if an idea is worth doing, execute it and then show her what you made. Your manager is not here to tell yourself what to do. The reason we hire smart people is not to tell them what to do; it's so that they can tell us what to do.


Half finished progress on an idea is as good as no progress. It's about hard results not "effort." Finish what you start. Document it so that nobody else repeats the same thing. Constantly release, test, and deploy little bytes instead of waiting for one large deployment.

Growth mindset / A team of long term thinkers

A company that doesn’t grow, dies. Over 10 years, 1% improvements and actions lead to massive exponential increases. Practice continuous improvement. Remember it takes 10 years to build something great and that’s true to build world changing companies.

Learning and curiosity as individuals

Always ask why, why, why? Break things down to the first principles and then build back up. Never accept dogma and always err on asking more questions than less.


Always ask: "how could I accomplish what I'm trying to with 10x less money?"

Play for the name on the front of the jersey

"Play for the name on the front of the jersey...people will start remembering the name on the back." We all have individualistic desires but by working for the good of the company in the short term, you make yourself significantly better off in the long term. Remember the marshmallow experiment.


Have just enough and no more. Constantly simplify and remove, remove, remove.

Do what's best for Chef

When in doubt of how to make a decision, ask: is this in the true, authentic best interest of Chef? Not of your team or you, but of Chef.

Lead by example / skin in the game

Don't preach something without embodying it yourself. If you want to push your team to take on responsibility without being asked, take out the trash and embody servant leadership.

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