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The Building Code

The Building Machines Operating Principles


Everyone at Building Machines is a Builder

Ensure Safety

First and foremost, Builders ensure the safety of themselves, their teams, our customers, and our world. They will not proceed with any initiative unless and until the safety of all is ensured.

Customer Obsession

Builders innovate on behalf of our customers by collaborating with them, understanding their true challenges, envisioning a future that meets their needs, bringing that future into existence, and teaching them how to fully leverage it.


Builders operate with clearly defined boundaries of ownership and understand interfaces between teams. They carefully align responsibility, authority, and resources. They are careful to say “that’s not my job, let’s get you more resources” before they jump in and help.


Invent then Simplify

Builders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. Builders identify areas where they add unique value and focus their efforts there while leveraging existing solutions when practical. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.


Hire and Develop the Best

Builders raise the performance bar with every hire, and take on the obligation of coaching, stretching, and developing systems that improve their teams and relentlessly drive the bar ever higher.

Insist on Ever Higher Standards


Builders have relentlessly high standards in everything they do. Many may find these standards unnecessary or unreasonably high, but Builders know standards are contagious, and so continually raise the bar and drive their teams to deliver high-quality products, services, and processes. Builders ensure defects are not sent down the line; problems get fixed so they stay fixed. 


Take Bold, Calculated Bets


Builders think broadly about their potential choices and when the rewards significantly outweigh the risks, or when those risks can be mitigated, they inspire and lead their teams to take bold action.



Invest Wisely


Builders understand that time, money, energy, and focus are all limited, and perpetually seek to achieve their goals using the best trade-off of those resources.

They consider what could be achieved by investing less or by investing more, and choose the investment within budget that has the greatest expected return.


Operate with Candor


Builders are respectful of others, operate with integrity and candor, and make decisions based on what is objectively best for the team, company, and world, not on their subjective or personal opinions. 

Dive Deep


Builders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdotes differ. No task is beneath them.


Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit


Builders respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. They never knowingly let their teammates make a mistake without bringing it to their attention. Builders have conviction and are tenacious. They support their perspective with data-driven arguments, and revisit decisions when new data is discovered. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

Builders leverage constructive disagreement to examine their positions with an outside perspective. They are not afraid to change their views with new data whether that means iteration or starting over from scratch. They recognize that the best solutions are refined over time and the result of bringing together disparate inputs. 


Clarity of Purpose


Builders seek clarity of thought and to understand the underlying reasons why they are pursuing a particular path. They reevaluate those reasons as new information is learned and as conditions change. They are not afraid to change direction when it makes sense to do so, nor are they afraid to confidently stay the course when the rationale remains sound.


Deliver on Commitments


Builders fulfill the promises they make to their teammates and customers, on time and within budget, or, if they can’t, they communicate why things have changed and seek agreement on a new plan.

Reduce Risk First


Builders understand that speculative projects can fail due to a single fatal flaw, and so they focus first on identifying and solving the crux of the problem before spending time and energy on the aspects which are already known to be solvable.

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