Caught Secretly Doing the Right Thing

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The above security camera photo shows members of the Quizlet team hustling patio furniture inside to protect it from a severe windstorm on April 6th. They didn’t know they were on camera – they were just doing the right thing. Our building landlord publicly thanked Quizlet for rescuing the furniture, which might otherwise have blown away, though it wasn’t their job to do so.

I was proud to see this, especially on a week where the CEO of United Airlines so painfully¬†did the wrong thing and modeled bad judgment for his company and the whole world. We worked hard in the first several years of building Quizlet to build a culture of¬†doing the right thing, even (and especially) when it was inconvenient. Matt Glotzbach, Quizlet’s new CEO, is continuing to do this.

Doing the right thing is a long-term game: companies like Uber that emphasize ruthlessness and cutting corners often grow faster. Even companies like Volkswagen, which had a good reputation for decades, end up doing the wrong thing on a large scale, to get ahead.

I don’t know what values will predominate in Silicon Valley over the next decade, or in education technology specifically, or in the rest of the capitalist corporate globalized world.

But it was definitely fun to see these pictures of people I hired caught red handed doing the right thing!

Here’s more stills from the security camera footage:

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