Keeping Culture Fresh at Simple Habit

“We’re proud that we try to reflect the world around us.”

About six months ago, I received a message on LinkedIn from Yunha Kim, the founder of Simple Habit, asking if I was interested in working with her to grow a high functioning startup in the mindfulness space.  At the time, I was happy at Google and had built my career with high-profile teams at Fortune 500 companies. I wasn’t looking for a new job and especially wasn’t looking to join a seed-stage startup! So, why did I respond to her message, and how did I end up leading People Operations at Simple Habit?

The opportunity to shape culture.  


I was intrigued by the opportunity to build a team from the ground up, creating best practices on everything from recruiting to a fulfilling and respectful work space.  When I said yes, my goal was to reflect the uniquely diverse population that is San Francisco.

Today, we’re proud that we try to reflect the world around us.  Our team is 50% female and 50% minority. We come from diverse religious, economic, regional, and philosophical backgrounds.  Our perspectives are unique and we challenge each other often in our assumptions on everything from product (why an onboarding flow might not work well for a particular demographic to what content we add to our library) to what time we schedule our team events.

We offer fresh juice at happy hours in addition to wine and beer.  We’re working to expand benefits that make things easier for employees at different life stages.  We alternate team events between afternoon and evening so that folks with different home schedules can attend at least every other month.  We offer a mental/physical wellness benefit to empower each team member prioritize their health based on his or her needs. These may seem like small things, but they keep us cognizant of the truth that one’s own experience does not make a world view.  

Image uploaded from iOS (1)

Of course we have principles to guide us, values that help us achieve the most we can for our team and our user base.  However, they are not the definition of our team. We see culture as an ever-evolving, living embodiment of the sum of our combined perspectives.

Leading the culture initiative at Simple Habit is one the most rewarding parts of my job.  There are days when it’s tough and I learn a particularly difficult lesson, but those days are all part of growing pains.  It’s worth it to see the team flourish and thrive, as we learn together.

Oh yeah, the principles we live by?  They’re important and close to our hearts, and they will evolve as we continue to grow and learn:

  • Excellence
  • Curiosity
  • Passion
  • Integrity
  • Leadership

Want to make an impact? Open roles at

Image uploaded from iOS

Crystal Drachenberg leads People Operations & Culture at Simple Habit

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