Beyond Hawaiian-Shirt Friday: Groupon, Hulu Inspire Employee Innovation With Radical Trust

CEOs of two breakthrough, webby businesses show Fast Company how office policies built on frankness, trust, and occasionally awkward closeness engender a culture of success.

Inside the multi-million dollar video streaming giant, Hulu, CEO Jason Kilar has gone to extraordinary lengths to subvert his own power: he has no office, has a makeshift desk partly built from empty boxes, and personally takes each new hire out to lunch to learn what he or she thinks the company can do better. “You will not attract and retain the world’s best builders in a command-and-control environment,” Kilar tells Fast Company.

Last weekend, Hulu and fellow Internet prodigy, Groupon, were honored at the WorldBlu Live conference for their unusually strong commitment to worker empowerment. We sat down with these web successes to understand the driving philosophy, small-team orientation, and straight-up weird employee morale boosters that lie at the foundation of their innovative products.

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