Evolving Our Core Values for the First Time in 6 Years

Discover Nylas’ journey in building a strong company culture focused on trust, playfulness, nurturing, and an unstoppable drive.

New Nylas Core Values

At Nylas, culture has been a big focus from the very beginning. When I started Nylas in 2013, a part of my motivation was to create a company that felt like home. Where all sorts of people could do the best work of their lives. As a queer woman in tech, that wasn’t something I could take for granted just anywhere. I’d been lucky enough to find welcoming allies in my first job and wanted to carry that forward.

When you first set out with a very small group of people, and if you have enough of a shared background–you can get away without writing too much down. But eventually, you need to put pen to paper and talk about what matters. The first time we did this at Nylas was in 2017, after a big pivot away from our mail client Nylas Mail, when we needed to come together as a team, re-group, and re-strategize. We were only about 15 people at the time. Writing down our values and company handbook helped cement who we were and created a foundation we grew from over the next half-decade.

Values are not static. They’re partly aspirational, but they also represent the essence of the people who make up a business. Because that’s all a company is–a group of people working together to build something useful for others. And a growing company is always changing. Values codify what that group of people holds dear.

So much has happened in the last few years. A global pandemic changed the world overnight and lasted for years. Tech went up up and up… and then it went down. We hired all over because of necessity, and then we went all in on full remote. It was time to come together again and revisit and re-cement who we were.

And so we did. In February, we ran our very first all-company annual kickoff at scale. All 120 Nylanauts gathered in Las Vegas, and as a part of the programming, we had everyone do a personal mission, vision, and values exercise to clarify what mattered to them. (Shout out to our advisor Joe Musselman of Broom Ventures, for helping us design this exercise).

After having every individual complete the exercise, we collated everyone’s results and also created a word cloud to help us pull out themes and common words. Myself, Gleb, and the rest of our executive team worked together to distill the fewest possible values that represented the team today. I’m proud of the results. They feel right. They feel us.


We always have each other’s back. We disagree well and commit even better. We openly share the good and the bad so we do the right thing. We do what we say we’ll do. Our bonds are strong enough to give and receive criticism. We listen well and seek to understand before reacting.


We are delighted by problems and solving them together. We approach hard topics with a sense of adventure. We believe curiosity is the engine of change. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Work is better if you enjoy what you’re doing.


We empower our users by focusing on value. We invest in our people by giving them opportunities to grow. We help others feel safe to speak their minds. We celebrate mistakes because they let us learn.


We ruthlessly prioritize and execute with speed and quality. We always act with a shared goal in mind. We break the rules but respect the goals. We believe the best ideas win. We ask, “What do we do next” instead of, “Why did this happen.” We choose long-term growth over short-term comfort.

As we embark on this new chapter at Nylas, armed with our refreshed values to help us unlock humanity’s potential to work together, we look forward to what the future holds. Trustworthy, Playful, Nurturing, and Unstoppable – these words are not mere descriptors but the guiding principles that will shape our path. Onward and upward, Nylanauts!


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