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DROdio’s CEO Manifesto

These are the commitments I make to every new hire that joins our tribe.

Want To Join Us?We recently raised a $28MM Series B, and we’re hiring for many positions. Get a peek behind the curtain of life at Armory.

As CEO of Armory, I have four top priorities:

1) Craft and communicate why Armory exists:

Armory Unlocks Innovation by Making Software Delivery Continuous, Scalable and Safe. This is why I come to work every day.

Want to dig in more? Armory is commercializing an open source project developed by Netflix & Google (called Spinnaker) that helps Global 2,000 enterprises ship software with safety and velocity.

The average low-performing enterprise ships software 12x per year. Netflix, on the other hand, ships software 7,000 per day (not per year). We call that the “Innovation Gap.” The average lifespan of enterprises on the S&P500 has shrunk from 61 to 24 years (and is expected to further shrink to 12 years). Half the S&P 500 will be replaced in the next decade. Enterprises must digitally transform to Thrive (not just Survive). Armory is bringing Spinnaker into Global 2,000 enterprises to help them unlock innovation through software delivery. (You can learn more about Armory here, and read our Company Manifesto.)

2) Hire and retain exceptional talent: We do not compromise on our people. We prioritize our people through our actions, not just our words, and we are focused on creating a Roundabout– not a Stoplight– culture. It is my job to surround myself and each of you with people that are smarter than the people already here. The smartest person in the room is the one who ensures s/he has smarter people around them.

Each of you has full access to me. I am here to help ensure your success. You will never be told by a manager “you cannot talk to DROdio; you have to go through me first.”

We will always work to increase the caliber of our tribe, and that means not being shy about quickly moving non-performers out of the company. We will be transparent about how well each of us is performing so there are no surprises. [1] That goes for me just as much as any of you.

3) Ensure there’s enough money in the bank: Cash is the oxygen that enables us to execute, and it’s my job to make sure you don’t need to worry about it. [2] Here’s your main responsibility in this area: When you spend the company’s money, do it in a way that generates maximum possible impact (try for at least a 10x ROI) for each dollar you spend. It’s that simple. A one-sentence expense policy.

4) Communicate and enforce our Core Values: Armory has three core values that all of us deeply believe in:

We are obsessed with customer success.

  • We are continually customer-driven
  • Our customers (not us) define the value we’re providing them
  • Customer needs drive how we prioritize features

We are data and empathy-driven.

  • We make decisions with data (and we prioritize getting that data)
  • We can disagree & discuss, and then we commit (aka we “get on the bus” together).

Business runs on relationships. And relationships run on emotions. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy drives our internal and external interactions:

  • With each other (we work to ensure the success of those around us)
  • With our tribe [3] (we understand and prioritize those that support us)
  • With candidates (we prioritize the candidate experience)
  • With prospects (we work to understand the pain they are feeling that we can solve for)
  • With customers (we work to turn our customers into heroes within their organizations)

We have a culture of experimentation.

  • We are creating a Roundabout (not a Stoplight) culture.
  • Before we hire for a new role, we try doing it ourselves to really understand what’s needed for it to be successful.
  • We retrospect on our (and the company’s) success and failures.
  • We treat our culture like our product — we experiment with it, and we use the resulting data to guide us and optimize it.  This means that at any point in time we may be trying strange or unconventional things.  Some of those things could make you uncomfortable — like our salary transparency experiment.  The most important thing is that you be willing to experiment through any discomfort, and share your feelings openly as we retrospect so we can use those as data points to optimize our outcomes.

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[1]: We are a continuous learning organization.  A manager’s #1 job is to ensure the success of his or her team.

[2]: More broadly, my job when we’re in startup mode goes beyond fundraising: To ensure each of you can succeed at your jobs without having to think about anything that distracts you from doing so.

[3]: Startups are, by definition, impossible — otherwise someone would’ve already done it. It takes a tribe, not just employees, to overcome the impossible nature of a startup. We– and the families that support us– are a tribe. The important people in each of our lives are the ones that enable us to succeed and we celebrate their contribution to our tribe. Our events are family-friendly. We offer a companion airplane ticket when we send you to conferences.  We offer unlimited PTO because we focus on your output, not your inputs. We continue to vest your stock options when you go back to school and return to our tribe afterwards. Once you’ve been at Armory for three years, we give you 10 years to exercise your options (instead of the standard 90 days) to recognize the effort you’ve put into building value with us.