The soul of MoonPay: A values statement
Every company needs a set of values to shape its culture and guide it forward. MoonPay’s values will be at the heart of everything we do.
By Ivan Soto-Wright
MoonPay’s mission has been clear from the start: provide the next billion people access to cryptocurrency. Everything we’ve done in our first two years has been directed towards that goal, because we believe wholeheartedly in the future of crypto and its power to democratize finance.
But while we’ve been clear about our mission, we haven’t set out our values. We’ve lived them, but until now we haven’t defined them.
Our values inspire us to do better and become the best we can be. While they’ll help us on our mission, they’re more than just a means to an end—they establish who we are and what we stand for. Our values are our soul, and without them we’d be adrift.
After much consideration, we’ve arrived at the acronym “BLOCK” to define our core values:
B - Be humble
L - Lead with empathy
O - Own it
C - Communicate with clarity
K - Kaizen
They say that pride is concerned with who is right, whereas humility is concerned with what is right. As a company, we’re not going to solve complex problems with individual egos—everything we do is a collaborative process.
For us, the three core elements of humility are:
1. Celebrating wins as team efforts
We celebrate wins by acknowledging the teamwork involved to achieve them.
2. Learning from mistakes
We use mistakes as an opportunity to grow.
3. Embracing feedback
When feedback is given, it’s respectful and with the intent to help our colleagues improve. When it’s received, it’s embraced.
Lead with empathy
When things are unclear, or the potential for conflict arises, we seek to understand each other’s perspective first. Empathy and humility are interlinked—they’re the glue that holds us together and ensures we see ourselves as a team and not just a collection of individuals.
Leading with empathy means:
1. Being empathetic in each interaction
We use empathy as a guide for understanding each other, and we assume positive intent in each interaction.
2. Understanding how actions affect others
We take action that is respectful and in the best interest of our team, users, and partners.
3. Being ready to give and receive help
When someone needs help, we give it willingly. When we need help, we ask.
This value is twofold. Firstly, everyone who works at MoonPay owns a piece of the pie and is empowered to make the company a success. We drive innovation by seeking ways to improve our products, metrics, and culture, regardless of level or title.
But more importantly, every decision is made and executed with accountability. We take intelligent risks and accept responsibility when they don’t work out. If a mistake is made, we own up to it.
To “own it” means to:
1. Act like an owner
Each of us plays a part in making MoonPay a success.
2. Take responsibility
We hold ourselves accountable for every decision we make.
3. Acknowledge mistakes
When things don’t work out, we take responsibility for our mistakes then work out the right corrective action.
Communicate with clarity
Communication is at the core of everything we do. In order for communication to be clear and effective, it must be:
1. Direct, honest, and constructive
Ambiguities and points of disagreement are resolved swiftly and efficiently.
2. Delivered in real time
There should be a maximum of one working day in which something goes unresolved owing to a communication issue.
In order for ideas to be shared openly and without fear of negative consequences, there should be mutual respect and the assumption of good intent.
Kaizen in Japanese literally means “change for better”. With Kaizen, a 1% improvement compounded daily over a year can translate to 3,700% growth. We want to reap big gains through small tweaks.
Kaizen means we’re:
1. Always improving
We seek to get better every day.
2. Inspiring excellence
Through small steps, we ultimately attain the highest possible standard.
3. Finding more efficient ways to do everyday tasks
Even at the most mundane level we’re never satisfied with the status quo. We look for improvements in everything we do and challenge one another to think big and push boundaries.
These values weren’t chosen arbitrarily, but with much deliberation. We wanted something that was both a good fit for our culture as it stands and that we can aspire to as we progress. And we aren’t just paying lip service to the BLOCK values: they’re currently being embedded in our operations, from interview procedures and management training to career progression plans, so that we practice what we preach.
MoonPay has come a long way in a very short time. We’ve matured quickly and continue to grow at a tremendous pace. In such a fast-changing, high growth environment, values are more important than ever. If our mission is like a ship’s rudder, pointing us in the right direction, our values are the ballast keeping us stable. We intend to apply them as best as we can so that, in the spirit of Kaizen, we’ll get better every day.