Concerto’s core values

The scientific process infuses every aspect of our business and culture. In the face of any challenge, we grow by experimenting: We test a potential solution dispassionately and let the results update our understanding of reality. We adapt our behavior and problem-solving strategy accordingly. In this way, we explore new ideas freely, always extracting value from the learning process, ever seeking the true and the optimal.

We work rigorously. Our processes are thorough and thoughtful. Our experiments are well-controlled, our data well-analyzed. Rigor ensures trust: The world trusts Concerto’s people and products because they know we do our work well.

As we interact with each other and the world, we listen intently. We create open spaces to hear ourselves, our coworkers, our advisors, and our customers. If someone is trying to tell us something, we give our full attention. We encourage, challenge, and engage in an effort to understand. We then allow what we heard to inform our actions, the final and most crucial step of true listening.

Ultimately, we act with compassion. Our work is for naught if we do not improve the health of people and the planet. We value the needs and desires of others, and we seek paths of mutual success and flourishing. We work to alleviate and prevent suffering. We believe that the world is a beautiful and abundant place and that our success should create success for others.

The cost of our values

By holding tightly to a set of core values, we make intentional sacrifices.

Because we value growth by experimenting, we sacrifice tranquility, stability, perfection, and simplicity. We are always engaged with the mess of complexity and the pain of stretching beyond our current capacities. We don’t enjoy the performance boost of perfect optimization; by the time something is optimized, we’ve usually outgrown it. We choose to face the disappointment and frustration of real negative results so that we can find real success.

In order to value rigor for any given effort, we sacrifice some speed and limit the number of questions, products, or goals we will entertain at once. We don’t get to sample as many potential opportunities. We choose to give up many answers in order to increase our confidence in a few.

By choosing to listen intently, we sacrifice comfort and the safety of our unchallenged viewpoints. We set down the security of believing that we already know what someone will say. We pick up an emotional toll of paying attention to pain within, among, and around us. We choose to embrace stories and opinions that rattle our world so that we can see a fuller picture of ourselves and each other.

Our commitment to act with compassion means that we sacrifice unfettered progress and the startup dogma of “breaking things.” We will not suck value from employees and customers, “crush the competition”, or drain ecosystems in service of profit and progress. We choose to protect and promote others because we draw on the teachings of ecology: our flourishing is bound up with yours.

Permission-to-play values

Concerto embraces a foundational set of additional values that we believe ought to be evident in any startup. Concerto works to build a world that has never existed before—a tremendous task. Recognizing the possibility of failure, we take courage—a belief that creating the future is more important than fear, and a willingness to act in the face of fear. When we face real failure, we exhibit determination—a relentless grit to do what it takes to bring our vision into reality—and resourcefulness—creatively leveraging every avenue to get the job done. The job of building Concerto’s vision is far too big for one person, so we work as a team. We draw out each person’s strengths, complement each one’s weaknesses, and synergize our viewpoints, always recognizing that Concerto is a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Indeed, Concerto is a human ensemble that, much like the microbial ensembles we build, is at its best when we celebrate our diversity—drawing on the unique backgrounds, cultures, genders, and beliefs of each individual. As a bedrock for the trust and vulnerability it takes to operate as a team, we act with integrity—we do what we say we are going to do. Our integrity extends to all aspects of the company, including our products. We use our technical prowess to translate the cutting edge of technology into products that consumers can trust. These “permission-to-play” values are critical attributes that we expect to see in every member of Concerto’s team.

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