When I joined GoDaddy in January, I talked to hundreds of small teams and individuals about what they hoped I would change, and what they most feared I would change.  They knew me as a “product guy” from my previous roles, so it was no surprise that the near-universal response to the former was “deepen our technological roots and make our products better.”

I was a bit surprised by their most common fear.  They worried that I would change the culture of the company.  The culture was described as bold, scrappy, edgy and fun—we put our shoulder in to break down walls and “get shit done.”  In my eight months here I’ve learned that all of that is true.  But all those descriptors are positives and when discussing culture, I didn’t hear a single negative.  It was as if positive attributes of the culture were above the table and negative ones were below—one owned as “who we are” and the others pushed down as “problems we face.”

All companies—without exception—have a culture that contains both positive and negative attributes.  As humans, I think it’s in our nature to want to parse our positive qualities from the negatives ones, and only emotionally own the good stuff.  And just as with people, disowning the negative attributes of your company culture means that the bad stuff is ignored instead of fixed.

So it turns out that sometimes we put shoulder in to break down walls that should never have been there in the first place.  And sometimes we’re scrappy when some structure would have served us better, but never took the time.

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking under the table at the culture we never discussed before and bring those attributed to the light of day.  I’m not finding any more (or any less) than the other great technology companies I’ve worked for in that past—just one’s unique to us.  On top of the table, they’ve been much easier to tackle, and it’s wonderful to see our culture get better and better every day.

Have you seen the same in your group or company?  I’d love to hear your story.

Photo: Jack Crossing 

18 thoughts on “The Culture We Don’t Talk About

  1. Yes Blake, all well, but GoDaddy are making it impossible for customers who are having problems with servers.

    I have spoken to GoDaddy in regard to their European servers today, and they expressively say my recent 503 errors are their responsibility.

    So… what are they doing to help us instead of allowing sites to stay down for days?

    Surely from a business perspective giving webmasters the ability to recover their sites easier is a must???

    1. As an expansion of the above , I have had five weeks of trying to transfer
      a domain name then just before its expiration, renewing it and both have
      Efforts to transfer and then renew a domain name have been blocked by an
      I have been unable to transfer then renew a domain name for the past
      I have been unable to transfer or renew a domain name for five weeks
      due to an unidentified problem. Not to take time with the details
      other than this is related to false data on ownership related to privacy
      that when corrected to allow the above would default try after try, blocking
      both. Aside from the above, most frustrating is Godaddy’s consumer
      communication system. I have not been able to get one person to work with me
      to solve this, but have had twenty or more people sending close to fifty emails, most of which have not included responses addressing the problem’s hx..
      the history in their response but just make the obvious comments

      1. Sorry for the above mess-the beginnings kept getting errased and
        I kept redoing it

        I have been unable to transfer or renew a domain name for five weeks
        due to an unidentified problem. Not to take time with the details
        other than this is related to false data on ownership related to privacy
        that when corrected to allow the above would default try after try, blocking
        both. Aside from the above, most frustrating is Godaddy’s consumer
        communication system. I have not been able to get one person to work with me
        to solve this, but have had twenty or more people sending close to fifty emails, most of which have not included responses addressing the problem’s hx.

    2. Blake, Your customer care centre in India is pathetic, God bless you if you grow with this kind of pathetic support system.. continues follow up from last 3 days.. still no resolution.. will put this on all possible social platforms.. Cheap services… Cheap class…

  2. Hi Blake,
    I’d be interested to know your take and position on the recent public revelation of the former CEO and founder of GO DADDY hunting and killing elephants.
    In truth I’ve been thinking of switching servers , but was told by a rep that you are the new CEO and that gave me pause.
    I’m most definitely not an activist ( just interested in getting my business off the ground!) , but still, I think this is an issue of global importance and it’s important to me to give my business to companies who feel the same way.

    btw, your customer service is awesome 🙂

    Thank you so much!
    Clarice Honigsberg

  3. I like what you wrote and wish to add, in my humble opinion, core values come first and they provide the necessary framework for real company success. Empowering your employees to manage their own schedules. So if they just happen to have an opportunity to travel with a friend for example, last minute, but a trip of a lifetime, go ahead, as long as their work is done and accounted for and someone else can cover for them while gone. Though this is a no brainer to me, I will say free lunches work in keeping most employees feeling good, happy and valued. lastly, I believe in every company should look for owners and not just hire employees. Of course there are many other areas that work as well, such as listening, being innovative, hire for attitude and most of all, be vulnerable with your staff. Thanks for the opportunity to share my opinion.

  4. Blake, like many we are excited to see where you take and guide the company. I hope you are able to take the great culture and loyalty of the GoDaddy team and improve products and services to benefit the customers. Good luck!

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