I'm back again to talk about the “Continuum's compensation package”, given some feedback I've received.
True, most of points outlined there are much easier when the “whole company” consists of ~10 people. But that was exactly part of my point: I bet that no big company in Chile gives you all of items on that list. However, it doesn't mean that you get them automatically on a small company. Actually, it doesn't happen on most small software company here in Chile.
But the points of the list by themselves aren't that great. What's great is something that happens in the background and which shows in the list (and in many other forms): it's a mini culture. Not a cult (I'd be the first to fly in such case!), but a culture. Our culture is still incipient, but we have a very good quality seed.
And I think that there is our biggest risk. We may lose that culture, or whatever it is that enables us to build that culture.
I've been there. When I left, Imagemaker wasn't the same as it was when we were a small team. True, the “Imagemaker's package” was always below of what Continuum is offering now, but it was close. However, seems like the management never shared the appreciation for the culture that was being build by the teams. For a lack of trust, they fought it. The culture was lost, and the majority of the original team flew.
That won't happen on Continuum, or at least won't happen as long as the founders continue in charge. The culture is created by every person of the organization, but when it is stimulated by the heads of the company it get's much stronger.
Still, I think that keeping and growing a culture has some art in it. It's not a science. So we can't guarantee that it will be cool forever. But programming also has some of art in it, and we are good at programming. I trust we will do well on nurturing our own culture too.