Best Place We've Ever Worked

Last Thursday night, our Spare5 team celebrated our inclusion in Seattle Business Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For in Washington list. To make the cut, companies needed favorable scores across survey categories, as well as high employee participation in the survey itself. Responses were anonymous and assessed benefits, communication, corporate culture, executive leadership, hiring/retention, performance standards, responsibility/decision making, rewards/recognition, training/education, and workplace environment.B

Spare5 has won other awards, but this one is special to me personally. We have been intentional about building a great culture. I want Spare5 to be the best place each of our remarkable employees has ever worked. While our product and industry make for a rewarding day-to-day, working alongside colleagues who are sharp, accomplished, ambitious, and just good people ups the happiness factor considerably. At least, I can say as much for myself; I’m delighted the survey indicates everyone else is feeling the good vibes, too.

The award has prompted me to once again reflect on our seven leadership principles:

  • Ambition. We are hungry to build something awesome and enduring. We are proud to work here.

  • Balance. We take care of ourselves and each other. Every individual is responsible for earning each other’s trust, and for trusting others to do the same.

  • Accountability. We each step up when we see something that needs done, and we do what we say we will – without prompt or reminder.

  • Debate and Commit. We have strong opinions, loosely held. We debate, then move forward with unity.

  • How We Roll. We are ruthlessly transparent with ourselves based on data and instinct, so that we can bet smart, move fast and learn continuously.

  • Openness. We welcome ideas from everywhere.

  • Appreciation. We show appreciation and celebrate success.

Defining these principles was one of the first things we did in creating Spare5, and it’s wonderful to confirm that they still guide us today.


The other day our soccer-crazed daughter was down on herself for feeling unenthusiastic about practice. I consoled her that nobody loves their work every day. Leading Spare5 is the best job I’ve ever had, but the nature of anything hard is that there are ups and downs. Given that reality, I’m particularly grateful for the culture our team embodies, and look forward to many more special moments.

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Matthew Bencke

Matt Bencke is an entrepreneur, leader and change agent who drives new business and product strategies based on deep analysis, inspired leadership and focused execution. He has strong successes across technology, strategy, business development, design, e-commerce, marketing and manufacturing. His passion is attracting great talent, fostering a meaningful team culture, and taking performance to new levels. During his tenures at Microsoft, Getty Images and Boeing he has created, advised, led and grown businesses ranging from several millions to billions in size.