Guiding Principles at SoundRocket: A Self-Assessment

by | May 22, 2016 | Social Science Business

Most people and organizations have self-assessed at some point.  By using a formal inventory or just simply a chat with a trusted customer or friend – we are driven to search for who we are. Some may have a mission statement or a set of guiding principles by which they do business, but it’s much more likely they have not delved so deep.  Still,  organizations that carry product self-assess whenever they perform inventory – learning what they have on hand, and possibly clearing out unsalable goods.

To some this process comes easier than others.  While I have often self-assessed, I have generally been shy about sharing those results.  What good does that do?  I sometimes question my motives when I do not share what I learn.

In the past nearly 12 years now, I have had a lot of opportunities to evaluate the organization that we know today as SoundRocket.  This small business has a certain character to it.  As a small business owner & entrepreneur, I have found that this character is often intermingled with my own – the good and the bad. We needed a set of guiding principles.

Over the past couple of years, through this process of inventorying what it is that we do as an organization, I have narrowed in on several guiding principles – which I present here as SoundRocket’s Guiding Principles.  Every single one of our guiding principles has emerged from a lesson we have learned – and I am certain that these principles will evolve as we coninue to learn.

These guiding principles lead us today, but because we are human, we are not perfect in their application.  They are a guide to practice.  As we do in the scientific method, we continue the cycle of learning and remain open to evaluating our practice, as well as the principles themselves.

I would love to hear your feedback on these guiding principles – send me your thoughts at!

I hope to have an opportunity to elaborate on each of these further in future posts.


Our individual well-being depends upon unity within our workplace and with our collaborators. We believe value is added through unification of experience, expertise, perspective, and resources. 

Authority Comes in Groups

Individuals stand alone – while groups, collaborating in unity towards a common purpose, have ultimate authority at SoundRocket.

Be Inclusive

We practice inclusivity in everything we do.  We build rooms and doors, not walls.

Autonomy Through Collaboration

Autonomy drives collective science – and should never be allowed to keep anyone from the same pursuit.  Where one group collides with another, we practice unity towards a larger common purpose of both.

Our Purpose is Our Only Purpose

We are guided always by a primary purpose – to propel social science forward for the greater good.  We structure our work around our purpose.

Maintain Unbiased Objectivity

We remain unbiased research professionals and do not endorse, finance, or lend our name to outside organizations, political causes, social movements, or other efforts outside of our primary purpose.

Financial Objectivity

We will not restrict an open and free application of the scientific method by accepting support from anyone who requires anything less.

Support the Experts

Our collaborators are the experts.  We support the experts.

Organize to Our Purpose

Our organization is tied to our purpose.  We abhor bureaucracy without evidence-based rationale.  We engage the scientific method in everything we do.

We Have No Opinions on Outside Issues

We do not engage in exchange of opinions outside of our primary purpose.  

Attraction, Not Promotion

We earn our authority and success through action.  We let our collaborators be our voice.


Our work requires collaborations and are never the result of our individual successes. We succeed quietly.  We become the invisible but steady foundation for our collaborators. 

About the Author

Scott D. Crawford

Scott D. Crawford is the Founder and Chief Vision Officer at SoundRocket. He is also often found practicing being a husband, father, entrepreneur, forever-learner, survey methodologist, science writer & advocate, and podcast lover. While he doesn’t believe in reincarnation, he’s certain he was a Great Dane (of the canine type) in a previous life.