I co-founded a new company over the past month that’s starting to turn into a small team. At Onswipe, we got a lot of the culture right, but there were many many things we just didn’t do until it was later on. When it’s “later on” there are many new people always coming in the door and a ton of other external tasks pulling you in other directions. Before “later on” happens, I like to call the first six months of a startup “day zero” – the time when you’re building your first product, hiring the first team, and getting it ready to launch. That’s the time when you should be setting the values of the company, not “later on”. It sets the tone on a few important things for future hires and the entire team. An example we’ve set is: “Always ask yourself what can I remove from the product.” or “Transparency over meetings.” This sets the cultural tone from day one, which trickles down to everyone else in the company, but also future hires you’ll make. It may seem obvious to you and the founders, but it’s not so obvious to the rest of the team unless it’s in writing for them to see – the earlier the better. Set the values of your company at Day Zero and you’ll have a better culture.