Transparency is the name of the game. By opening up the financial market, Bloomberg created a niche for itself and shifted how finance went about its business. Walking through Bloomberg’s building, the entire company embodies this core value in everything they are. Clear walls to the point that you can see people on the other side of the building, open spaces above the cubicles, and access to the CEO by walking mere feet.
At a glance, it is a place that reminds you of all the advances in the modern world and the emptiness of the financial collapse that has rippled through the world the past years. A couple of weeks ago my company co-founder was on Bloomberg TV. I first learned about Bloomberg through a case study in the Entrepreneurship Minor. Their first client ever was Merrill Lynch, who invested in the company because they provided detailed information about financial data so that brokers and traders were not the only holders of information. Today they have 29 floors where every transparent office has the name of a city where a Bloomberg hub provides detailed information about the finance industry.
Between Bloomberg and Google, the difference in company culture was palpable in the details. People walk, talk, and dress differently. It may seem obvious, but I think companies hire for certain aspects in people, which contributes to a more singular culture. With all signs pointing to the fact that diversity leads to better ideas, how do you hire the type of person that will both fit in to an organization but that will also bring “enough diversity” to shake up conversations? I don’t know the answer to this question, but in a start up at least I think you have to pay attention to toeing the diversity line alongside the need to simply get things done. While I liked the coffee (it was organic), Bloomberg is a machine where I could never see myself.