How Stripe works

Operating principles

Stripe’s operating principles guide how we interact with each other and our users, translating our values and beliefs into concrete actions. The principles articulated here detail the everyday behaviors we focus on, our core traits, and what we expect of our leaders—and all are rooted in the core expectation that Stripes operate with high integrity, maturity, and respect for others at all times.

  1. Introduction
  2. How we work
  3. Who we are
  4. And leaders
  5. Wrap up

How we work

Users first. We have a weighty obligation to the businesses built on Stripe and the everyday people they serve. Because we’re so critical to our users’ success, we must keep their needs front and center in all we do.

Move with urgency and focus. A bias for action speeds our learning and delights our users. Focus on what matters most, make fast initial progress, and iterate toward the best outcome.

Be meticulous in your craft. Doing things well is in Stripe’s DNA. We value craftsmanship for its own sake, and are fervently committed to producing surprisingly great work.

Seek feedback. We value intellectual honesty and look for other Stripes with the expertise to refine our ideas, challenge us, and deepen our understanding across the business.

Deliver outstanding results. Stripes are high achievers with a drive to succeed. We take end-to-end accountability for seeing our work through and delivering on our commitments.

Who we are

Curious. We lead with a genuine interest in people, ideas, and the unknown. We work hard to understand other points of view, and prefer investigating to being right.

Resilient. Startups are tumultuous places and the audacity of our goals will mean occasional failure. We view setbacks as opportunities to sharpen our skills.

Humble. Stripes are humble, not arrogant or complacent, and create an inclusive environment for all. We aren’t wedded to how we currently do things—lots about our current practices will turn out to be wrong.

Macro-optimistic. Stripes reject cynicism, knowing that all problems can be solved with the right understanding, and that progress is only inevitable through focused effort. We are believers in the long term.

Exothermic. Stripes generate an energy and warmth that is infectious across teams and throughout the company. We are genuinely excited about our work, and about creating an exceptionally welcoming environment for all Stripes.

And leaders

Obsess over talent. The quality of the Stripes you attract and retain defines your team, so developing an unusually keen talent radar can be your biggest competitive advantage. Be the person who reads and investigates every candidate packet. Push back on managers when you sense they’re making hires who are merely “fine.” Hold an equally high bar for performance! Create a culture of quickly addressing mis-hires, developing critical talent, and finding challenging work for your strongest performers.

Elevate ambitions. Know where your team is headed next year/in 4 years/in 10 years, and develop a compelling vision for that future. Guide your team to redefine what’s possible by expanding what’s reasonable.

Set the pace and energy. Stripe is intense—we have broad ambitions and serious obligations to our users. Sign your team up for bold goals, articulate a plan to achieve them faster than expected, and focus on making this energizing, rewarding, and fulfilling for your teams.

Make decisions; be accountable. It’s not always clear who should make a decision. Effective leaders embrace decision-making in cases of murky ownership, either making the call themselves or collaborating across the necessary teams to drive an outcome. They clearly communicate decisions and hold themselves and their teams accountable for results.

Lead with clarity and context. Translate chaos into a clear, compelling plan. Be deeply informed about what’s happening across Stripe, and create your team’s plans in reference to the broader work.

Solve problems. Be a persistent force for progress. Our leaders must work with their teams and across Stripe to quickly and effectively solve problems—especially when they’re hard.

Wrap up

Finally, while we continue to evolve, some of the guideposts we used to get here remain helpful. Though these aren’t the focus of our core operating principles, we encourage you to also consider your work in reference to some of these “classic” Stripe slogans:

  • We haven’t won yet
  • Efficiency is leverage
  • Be meticulous about the foundations
  • Disagree and commit
  • Really, really, really care
  • Operate from first principles
  • Be politely relentless


In the spirit of thinking rigorously, we’d love your open and honest feedback on this guide. Let us know what you think.

Your feedback has no impact on your application (there are no right or wrong answers!) and what you share with us won’t be reviewed by your recruiter or members of your interview panel.