These words are written in huge letters on a wall in EZTABLE’s office. It’s there to inspire all of our team members.
So what does it mean? Isn’t a hacker just a hacker? Does EZTABLE really want all of its employees to become computer criminals?
What “hacker” actually means in EZTABLE’s culture is an eagerness to take on challenges and bend the rules. It means that we look at problems from different angles and we will always strive to be better. It’s that kind of mentality.
Let me tell you more about EZTABLE’s hacker mentality.
*What is the hacker mentality
To be honest, it’s hard to sum up EZTABLE’s hacker mentality, so I’ll give you a few examples of what it is and isn’t.
Always accept challenges:
In the Jim Carrey movie “The Truman Show,” Truman has to choose whether or not to continue living in a world that was created for reality TV. It was made just for him and is comfortable and safe. He’s other option is leaving for the real world and facing the unknown. Finally, he announces in a cheerful, steady voice: “Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya: Good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”, turns and leaves the film studio.
That is the hacker mentality.
Think outside the box:
In the movie “3 Idiots,” the stubborn dean of the college takes out a fountain pen that was gifted to him by a professor and proudly starts boosting about its features: “This is an excellent pen, it’s a great invention, you can use in outer space, you can use it in any temperature, at any angle, at any altitude, it writes beautifully.” The main character Rancho listens to all this and asks the dean one question: “Why don’t astronauts just use pencils?”
That is the hacker mentality.
What isn’t the hacker mentality:
Operating on auto-pilot:
“Click” is a 2006 comedy in which the lead character gets a remote control that allows him to control fate. He can do anything he wants to change and manipulate different parts of his life. So he starts to fast-forward through every unpleasant thing: family arguments, hard days at work. He fast-forwards until he gets a promotion. Eventually he’s in “auto-pilot mode” even when he is eating, working, sleeping… and then, all of the sudden, he’s fast-forwarded to the end of his life.
That is not the hacker mentality.
That’s just doing the bare minimum.
It’s normal for everyone to escape into auto-pilot mode from time to time. When someone asks you how work is going, you probably reply, “It’s the same as usual, nothing new.”
When teachers ask if anyone has a question, you probably think, “Actually, I don’t understand a single thing you just said, but as long as you don’t call on me, then no problem!”
When a customer asks you (a restaurant owner) if you have any new dishes, you probably think “As long as customers don’t complain, we’ll just keep serving the same things and maintain the same level of customer service.”
None of that represents the hacker mentality.
Why do we encourage the hacker mentality at EZTABLE? Because it means:
- You aren’t complacent. You aren’t easily satisfied and you will, without being asked, engage in self-evaluation. You never think “As long as I stick to what’s usually done, then I’m OK.”
- You are willing to try new things. Complaining is easy, but it’s always harder to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work.
- You eagerly embrace challenges, even if it means leaving your comfort zone and ignoring conventional wisdom.
The hacker spirit at EZTABLE
I want to share a few anecdotes from EZTABLE that show off the hacker mentality. None of these things are particularly innovative, but we think that they represent what our philosophy is. They are the steps that will help us build a path toward success.
Develop new skills
Last Tuesday we had a SEO optimization knowledge sharing session. We’re always exhausted by the time we finish work each day and, honestly, it’s really tempting to just go home, plop down on our sofas and zone out in front of the TV. But we still organize regular “study groups” because each one of us wants to increase our knowledge and keep growing.
When giving a professional presentation, you can use the same speaking skills every single time or the same presentation template. But at our company, we always test out new methods. We also try to solve new problems presented to us by restaurant managers. For example, we recently introduced a prepay service. We wanted to test it out with restaurants and customers to help them deal with the challenge of reserving seats on busy days.
Develop customer service and operations
Cindy, who helps us send text alerts, recently shared a technique with us. Every time you hit send on a batch of messages, you can save half an hour. Who said that running a good operation means doing the same thing every single day? Why do you have to solve the same problems every day, and use the same solutions?
What about you? Do you like challenging yourself? Or do you prefer to stay in auto-pilot mode? Tell us what you think!