Earlier this week, as his company was filing its historic IPO, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg published a buzz-worthy letter explaining the company’s “hacker” culture for potential investors.
Though often associated with unlawfully accessing computers, “hacking” has taken an entirely different meaning in recent years. “In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done,” Zuckerberg explained. “Hacker” culture has been in the tech/DIY lexicon for a number of years now thanks in large part to the popular DIY site Lifehacker.com.
“The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration,” Zuckerberg continued. “Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it — often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.”
The spirit of hacker culture, particularly the idea of continuous improvement, resonates closely with Sigma Nu’s vision statement Excelling with Honor. Additionally, embracing the concept that something can always be better fits right in with Regent Durham’s focus on chapter strength.
“We all have an obligation to make sure our chapters operate at the highest level of excellence, delivering our mission, pulling their own weight, and always striving to improve,” Regent Durham said in a recent interview. “[Sigma Nu’s Founders] were not interested in mediocrity or being average.”
So you might say Sigma Nu was practicing the hacker culture before it was cool (that is, rejecting the status quo in favor of continuous improvement).
Even companies outside the tech industry are starting to realize the importance of testing the boundaries of how something should be done as they strive for excellence. And, more to the point, so are many of our collegiate chapters.