Appolica's culture book

These are our guiding pricinples. They resonate with who we are and who we aspire to be. We believe they will continue to reflect our true selves in the years to come.

What Appolica is (and isn’t)

Appolica’s culture book is a document, describing who we are, what we care about, and how we work. It's meant to bring everyone in our company onto the same page, guiding our actions and decisions. This book is key in building a strong workplace-culture, helping us all to understand our shared goals and values. With it, we want to strengthen our culture and ensure that everyone is aligned with the company's mission and vision.

How does our slogan reflect Appolica’s identity?

Building what matters is our core principle at Appolica, emphasising our focus on creating solutions that truly make a difference in the startup world. It reflects our commitment to the lean methodology—prioritising efficiency and effectiveness in finding solutions. This approach ensures we invest our time and resources in projects that are not just innovative but also deeply relevant and valuable.

Appolica’s values

Our guiding principles define who we are, how we work, and what we stand for.Rooted in a spirit of innovation, collaboration, and authenticity, our values serve as the foundation of our culture, driving our actions, decisions, and interactions everyday.

Why not you? Be the first.

We don’t need someone to pave the way, we can be the one to do it. We take initiative and seek daily improvements, driven by the belief that we can be the heroes of our own stories.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You actively seek feedback.
✅ You step out of your comfort zone to improve your skills.
✅ You lead the way without hesitation.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You dismiss others’ ideas.
❌ You hesitate to share your own ideas.
❌ You avoid taking risks and hesitate to embrace challenges.
❌ You're afraid of a "no".

Question everything.

We thrive on curiosity, constantly seeking to learn, explore, and expand our horizons in both our personal and professional lives.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You keep searching for answers, you don't settle.
✅ You give something extra.
✅ You always ask questions and encourage others to do the same.
✅ You regularly ask "why" and "how can this be better?”.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You dismiss others’ ideas.
❌ You focus only on your own area of expertise.
❌ You don’t share your findings with others.
❌ You believe in hierarchy and you are intimidated by the idea of it.
❌ You accept processes and solutions at face value without seeking to understand or improve them.

Do more with less.

Efficiency is our mantra. We always look for the most effective solution.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You analyse problems before taking actions.
✅ You research a problem from different angles.
✅ You use data and evidence to inform your decision.
✅ You share hacks and tools that boost productivity.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You jump to conclusions without fully understanding theproblem.
❌ You don’t value team effort.
❌ You procrastinate.
❌ You overcomplicate tasks.

We care about what we do.

Passion is at the core of our work, inspiring us to excel and commit wholeheartedly to what comes at us

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You share your passion with others.
✅ You enjoy your work.
✅ You go the extra mile to deliver exceptional results.
✅ You advocate for ideas you believe in.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You do just enough to get by.
❌ You don't inspire others.
❌ You don’t learn from your mistakes.

You're free to be yourself.

At Appolica, freedom means being authentic, embracing trust and ownership in yourwork, avoiding micromanagement, and enjoying the flexibility to make your work unique. We see responsibility as a privilege and embrace it fully.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You share your ideas.
✅ You take joy in the responsibilities you’re given.
✅ You provide creative and unconventional solutions.
✅ You customise your working style to what suits you best.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You avoid responsibilities.
❌ You abuse your freedom.
❌ You do your job with negligence.
❌ You conform to what you think is expected without contributing with your own ideas.

Your work matters.

Responsibility comes with the power to act. Make decisions with confidence, take action, and own the outcomes.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You take ownership and responsibility.
✅ You support your colleagues.
✅ You are proactive - you identify and address issues before they escalate.
✅ You can make a decision and take action after one.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You make decisions on your own without asking others for opinion.
❌ You’re not committed to your work.
❌ You do everything at the last minute.

We’re great listeners.

Clear, honest communication underpins our success. Listen, share, and buildtogether. We foster a culture where everyone's voice is heard and respected.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You fix communication issues.
✅ You do regular check-ins with your team.
✅ You give and take honest, timely, and constructive feedback.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You ignore others’ opinions.
❌ You resist acknowledging your weak spots.
❌ You (want to) dominate conversations.

Fun is essential.

We cultivate a workplace where fun and professionalism coexist. We work hard, we play hard, and we love every minute of it.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You celebrate individual and team successes.
✅ You go out and have fun with us.
✅ You take part in company initiatives.
✅ You bring your good mood to the table.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You complain without offering solutions.
❌ You abuse others.
❌ You avoid communication with colleagues.
❌ You create a tense or overly serious work environment.

We’re stronger together.

We don’t think you’re better off on your own. We push boundaries when they’re a limit.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You take joy in working with others.
✅ You praise your colleagues for their achievements.
✅ You collaborate across departments for better solutions.
✅ You offer help to colleagues proactively.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You ignore problems within your team.
❌ You’re selfish.
❌ You’re unapproachable.
❌ You hesitate to reach out for help or offer assistance.

We’re happy when you are.

We invest in your growth and celebrate your achievements. We believe in your success as much as you do and we want you to be as successful as you possibly can.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You contribute to the company’s success.
✅ You are open about how you want to grow.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You consistently overwork.
❌ You focus solely on individual success.

We value transparency.

Inside our team, we're dedicated to open communication, ensuring everyone is informed, engaged, and empowered to contribute. With our clients, we prioritise clear, honest dialogue—setting realistic expectations and sharing progress openly.

How is this embodied in our daily operations?

Positive behaviours:
✅ You set clear expectations.
✅ You admit your mistakes and learn from them.
✅ You actively share.

Negative behaviours:
❌ You withhold  information.
❌ You avoid difficult conversations.

How do we prioritise spending?

At Appolica, our spending philosophy is straightforward: if a purchase adds value, we’re willing to invest in it; if it doesn’t, no matter how inexpensive, we abstain. We encourage every team member to propose tools, services, or enhancements that streamline our processes and boost productivity and efficiency.

We prioritise initiatives that deliver clear, measurable advantages. They could contribute to our growth by:
• saving time.
• improving outcomes.
• improving productivity.
• enhancing efficiency.
• reducing manual work.
• fostering growth and development across our organisation.
• up-skilling our team.
• bringing happiness.

On the other hand, we actively stay away from spending money on things that do not directly contribute to our strategic goals or enhance our collective wellbeing, such as:

• things that lack clear alignment with our core values and objectives.
• investments in outdated technologies that do not support future growth
• initiatives that do not promote team development or personal growth.
• spending that prioritises short-term gains over long-term sustainability.
• expenditures on tools or services that replicate existing capabilities without adding value.

Decision-making at Appolica

At Appolica, our decision-making is guided by our long-term vision, ensuring every choice aligns with our goals. Here is an example:

If there's a project request that doesn't allow our employees to make their own decisions, help them grow, and develop their skills in a meaningful way, we won't take it on, even if it's profitable. Similarly, if a potential client or founder lacks the right mindset, isn't open to coaching, or lacks ambition, we choose not to work with them.

How do we build our team?

Here are some examples of behaviours and mindsets that resonate with what we believe in:
Charting personal and professional paths independently.
A must-have passion for startups and the startup ecosystem.
Aspiration to become a founder or a CTO of a startup.
Openness to learning new technologies and being a natural problem solver.
A results-focused mindset, valuing the end goal over the approach.

And here are a few examples of behaviours and mindsets that aren’t alignedwith what we’re currently doing and trying to achieve:
Strong focus on a specific technology or tech stack.
Unwillingness to explore and limited area of expertise.
Resistance to trying new things or stepping outside comfort zones.

Final words

Why are we doing this?

We are here to make a significant impact in the startup world, to create solutions that not only innovate but also serve a meaningful purpose. Our dedication to build what matters is a reflection of our commitment to effecting real change, solving the problems that matter most to the companies that we work with and society at large.

Why do we approach our work in this particular manner?

Our work ethic is shaped by efficiency, initiative, curiosity, and simplicity, rooted in the lean methodology principles. This ensures our projects advance our quest for impactful solutions. Every decision and project is an opportunity to embody these principles, maintaining Appolica as a hub for creativity, innovation, and purpose, where we define and achieve success on our terms.

Lessons learnt

We started as a mobile app agency, but soon found our calling with earlystage startups. That's where we feel most excited and useful. Moreover, our culture mirrors that of an early-stage startup – fast, flexible, and forward-thinking.