As humans, we are insatiably curious. Prior to the inception of the Internet and the rise of the search engine, we had a limited array of solutions when a question arose. But, as the Internet grew, organizing, sorting, securing and mining vast amounts of data quickly became a challenge.
That’s the problem Elastic Founder and CEO Shay Banon found when he started building a search engine for his wife’s recipes. While she attended cooking school at Le Cordon Bleu, Banon worked from their flat in London to building a search engine to manage her growing collection.
Banon open sourced the second iteration of his search engine and quickly drew users along with the attention of others in the field. Fast forward two decades and many partnerships later, and Elastic is being used by thousands of organizations worldwide, including Cisco, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, The Mayo Clinic, NASA, The New York Times, Wikipedia, and Verizon. Here are a few secrets to their success.
Distributed teams. From their experience in open source projects, Banon and his partners knew that great code and amazing ideas can come from anyone, anywhere. So, they embraced a de-centralized workforce and leveraged the power of distribution.
Strength in diversity. The team sought minds of every shape imaginable. Why? Because forming a consensus between similar minds is easy, but it’s also prone to bias and false conclusions. Forming a consensus between a wide variety of minds? Not nearly as easy, but when it’s reached, the solution is more likely to stand the test of time.
Supporting resiliency. Distributed systems are only powerful if they’re resilient. Organizational resiliency requires recognizing that it’s not the tools that make distribution work, it’s the people. Successful collaboration takes more than technology. It takes warm welcomes to let new hires know all cultures are accepted. It takes flexible scheduling to help people work around time zone differences. It means always assuming the best intention of your peers.
Elastic’s Comparably scores reflect the work the company has put into its culture. The company ranks in the top 5% eNPS (employee net promoter score), top 10% for diversity, and top 25% for gender. Kudos to Elastic for managing exponential growth by leveraging distribution, diversity, and resiliency. You can read more about the company’s culture here.