Back when I worked at Trilogy in Austin, it was during the first dot com boom. Trilogy did a lot of things typical to the era: free kitchens with snack bars and soda, open bar parties, keg parties on Friday afternoons and ridiculous company paid trips to Vegas and even the Bahamas.
One thing they did really well was hire for a specific culture. They did this so well, in fact, that it was practically a cult. They displayed many traits that a cult would. Cults try to insulate you from the outside world. Trilogy accomplished this by hiring in spurts, bringing in 150 new grads into “Trilogy University” or TU, a 3 month intensive internal training program. Cults worship a single leader or ideal to a fault. Trilogy idolized “Joe”, the CEO and founder Joe Liemandt. Cults expose new recruits to “thought leaders” of the cult – people who speak and preach the ideals of the cult. Trilogy University classes were grouped into “sections” of 30 people, each section had two section leads that were hand picked from the company to lead and mold the new grads into the Trilogy culture.
The other thing they did well was hire really talented people that tended to make me feel like the dumbest person in the room.
As scary as this may sound, there’s something about the camaraderie and the sheer caliber of people they managed to pull in that made it an interesting and fun place to work. They did a lot of things wrong with that same culture and homogeneity but at least they knew how to have fun and get stuff done at the same time.