Saddle Up: How Your Startup Can Implement Ranch-Style Culture

(Originally posted on

By Dusty Wunderlich

The term “ranch-style culture” might call to mind the nostalgia of Western films, folk songs, and tumbleweeds. It’s an image that doesn’t seem to gel well with the fast-paced world of innovation and startups. But the wisdom of these rough riders offers more value to entrepreneurs than you might expect.

At my company, we draw a lot of our culture from our rural ranching roots in northern Nevada. Most of our executive team grew up in rural Nevada and California, where ranching is still very prevalent.

Running a startup or growth company is very much like being on a ranch: This group of people must be self-sustaining. The group relies on collective ingenuity, hard work, and integrity to get the job done. In the Wild West, resources are often limited, and help for ranchers isn’t just a phone call away. These rugged wranglers must rely on each other for help fixing a broken-down truck or caring for an injured animal.

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