Why Company Culture Has Become More Critical to Company Success

Culture is no longer about being a cool place to work

Joe Procopio
6 min readNov 4, 2019


The way we work is evolving dramatically. And if your company doesn’t evolve with it, it might be headed for extinction.

You’re probably hearing the term “company culture” more often and in broader context. Culture is no longer the domain of progressive West Coast startups and forward-thinking Chief People Officers. At some point over the last five years or so, shit got real.

Company culture has become important. It’s not only a factor is attracting and retaining talent, it’s become a part of the decision matrix for who will invest in you, who will acquire you, and even who will do business with you.

You might be nodding your head, even if you’re not 100% on board with what company culture is. That’s perfectly fine. Because company culture gets misunderstood more often than it gets implemented.

Prologue: The Myth of Company Culture

Until about 10 years ago, I had never heard the term “company culture,” even though it’s been a part of my success for twice as long. As an entrepreneur and a builder of companies, culture has always been a tool I use to make sure I get better people, less expensively, for longer, and with more productivity.

Culture used to be about making my company a cool place to work.

Then it became about making my company a unique place to work.

Now it’s about making my company the best place to work. For everyone.

But like all the other bleeding-edge tools in the business toolkit, when company culture went mainstream, it got misconstrued. Action got replaced by lip service. Programs and plans got replaced by parties and mission statements. Honest intentions got replaced by T-shirts.

When company culture is done wrong, it can look like either the cynical gray soullessness of Mike Judge’s Office Space or the hippie-dipped silliness of Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley. Yeah. Dude kind of nailed it. Twice.

Part 1: What is Company Culture?



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com