Poll Everywhere's guiding principles

Reflecting on the values that guide us – a rare opportunity

As a team, we haven’t been big on mission statements or sweeping pronouncements of our values. We prefer to show rather than tell.

But as Poll Everywhere has grown, our ambition to change presentations has grown. Polling is increasingly being used not just by the most cutting edge professional speakers, but by everyday heroes in business, education, events, and non-profit community groups. They are engaging their participants not just to make a better presentation, but to get something done. To open minds. To change hearts. To make a difference.

We want to help make that happen. Having a clear sense of how we work and why empowers us to move more quickly and with greater cohesion, to serve the goals of our customers. People rarely talk about the operational benefits of articulating shared values, but that was the central motivation for this effort.

So with those fairly pragmatic concerns in mind, we embarked on an effort to articulate our values and define our systems and processes. It’s not a departure from what we are doing. It’s not a sweeping pronouncement. It’s an explicit acknowledgement of what we already knew by virtue of having done it for nine years. (And as you know, during this period of reflection, we did not stop shipping improvements and updates. That would not have been us.)

We identified values that guide the work we do: what we build, how we build it, how we support and counsel our customers, how we innovate, and even how we treat each other in the office. They reflect our history as the world’s first software-based audience response system, and also how we operate today. They underscore our aspirations to change the nature of presentations for everyone. We ship product daily, not just for the daring, rock-star presenter, but for the everyday presenter who understands that real conversation is necessary for growth and change – whether in a classroom, company, or conference.

In the presentations we power, the product we deliver, and the professionals we are, we commit to be considerate, confident, lively, and direct.

Considerate

Poll Everywhere customers are professionals who aspire to be better – better communicators, better educators, better presenters. They are trailblazers, and in some way, big or small, they work to make a difference. We respect these qualities in how we speak with them, and we go out of our way to help them achieve their goals.

Confident

Poll Everywhere customers are almost always using our service in front of a crowd. They stand at the front of the room, risking embarrassment to do something more powerful than the ordinary. We impart confidence to them through our service, our product, and ourselves.

Lively

People use Poll Everywhere to create energy and enthusiasm, to foster interaction, and at times, deliver a revelation. The value becomes real when the chart moves, when it comes to life.

Direct

People use Poll Everywhere to accomplish a larger goal. They are balancing a multitude of other tasks to accomplish that goal, often within tight timeframes with the pressure of a live event looming. Through our product, we provide the most efficient route to make important group decisions, to synthesize information, to elicit honest feedback, and improve learning.

These four values help to guide what we build, why we build it, how we talk about it, and how we support it. They drive everything from the tone of our help articles, to the color of the ‘Create’ button.

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