In the latest of our occasional series of interviews with founders and CEOs – distributed each month through the Atomico newsletter, which you can sign up to here – we talk to Ari Mir of Clutter

For our readers who may not be familiar, who is Ari Mir? 

I’m the co-founder and CMO of Clutter. I drive the company’s vision, strategy and growth. I previously co-founded two other venture backed startups: GumGum and Pocket Change. I’ve also held senior product leadership roles at ShopZilla and LowerMyBills. I graduated from the Marshall School of Business at USC. My past experiences have empowered me to mostly help Clutter with: 1. fundraising, 2. team building and 3. strategy.

What are the three most important things a founder should look to interrogate or fix in their business?

A company’s culture can either be the antidote or the poison. Culture is not happy hours, swag or other social bonding exercises. Culture is the culmination of your hiring values and management values. Clearly define these values as early as you can and do not deviate from them.

Give us your best recent practical anecdote of a practical fix that you’ve seen deliver bottom-line business transformation? 

Unit economics is a fairly recent conversation topic within the startup world. Despite it being more of a focus, most entrepreneurs still don’t fully appreciate the importance and do not understand finance well enough to dive deep into their business’s unit economics. If you want to move the bottom-line in a meaningful way you should focus on your variable costs vs fixed costs, which unit economics help you outline.

Who do you think is killing it right now?

These days I find myself spending less and less time thinking about other businesses, but it’s hard to avoid Amazon. The more I understand my own business, Clutter, which shares a lot of operating realities with Amazon, the more I’m blown away by their execution. It’s harder than most people appreciate. Building a logistics company is very different than half a dozen engineers inventing the next Instagram.

What are the biggest problems founders have in 2017?

The “cult of the founder” hit a big wall in 2017. The level of scrutiny towards founders is unlike anything I’ve seen in my fifteen year career. As founders we need to be much more careful about the cultures we create and thoughtful about our personal lives; however unfair we may feel it is for our personal and professional lives to be so closely intertwined.

To read more about Atomico’s investment in Clutter, head over to our announcement blogpost!