I find it very interesting to go visit companies and get a taste of their company cultures.
You learn so much from how they go about the simple things like treating visitors, housing their employees, feeding their employees, etc.
I visited Intel and Google this week. Both are great companies with fantastic products, talented employees, and great businesses.
But they have very different cultures and you could see it the minute you walked in the door.
These cultures get defined very early in the development of the companies, when they are venture stage companies. Which means that well before the company cafeterias and corporate campuses, the characteristics of companies are set in stone and they will manifest themselves from then on.
It’s an important thing for an entrepreneur to think about when starting a company. Because you can’t change cultures very easily once they are set in place.