Menlo’s Rich Sheridan on Building an Intentionally Joyful Workplace
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much deeper, purposeful thing. It’s a long-term bet. It’s measurable. I want the work done in this room to delight the people for whom it’s intended.”
As for his writing process, Sheridan says he always believed he had a book in him, but moving from theory to practice—working through challenges and accepting the direction of great editors—was a different thing entirely.
“Being away from Menlo for so long and writing about it was kind of surreal,” he says. “I’d come in and say, ‘Ok, this does exist.’ I think the team grew in my absence. I’m not the hero here, which is a good feeling.”
Through his work with Menlo, Sheridan’s love affair with software development is back in full swing, and so he wants his book to inspire the newest generation of tech entrepreneurs. With the intense focus required to start a company, office culture can be an afterthought, and that, to him, is where it gets dangerous.
“It’s tempting to say you’ll get to the culture someday,” he says. “Well, guess what—you’ll never get to it. You’ll be too busy. You have to build it in from the beginning. I’m very cynical about my industry, but I also hold out great hope. Software development is one of the most creative endeavors mankind has ever taken on.”