Great startups use Icebreaker to build an outstanding culture

83% of startup culture is the founder. For the missing 17% great startups use Icebreaker games as a force multiplier. Because great culture starts in a niche, just like a great company.

Bring your startup team together

  • Icebreaker's' short games are cooperative, so people across your company connect without awkward small-talk
  • Make sure your whole team practices working together so they take your company up and to the right
  • Icebreaker pairs team members at random, breaking down the silos standing between your startup and success

So, your startup is growing. Great! But, how do you keep your people connected? As a founder it's tough to see people lose track of their colleagues. The penalty to your customers for that disconnection is high. The risk to your startup is higher still.

"So... how do I fix it?"

"To cut to the chase... use Icebreaker."

"Okay, um... but can you pair people that'd never connect? Maybe Alice from finance, with Mike the data scientist? Mike only joined last week. Alice is working remotely."

"Sure. Just make sure they're all in the #chat-and-games Slack channel."

"Okay. But what do they talk about? Alice loves everything Marvel. Mike's not a big talker, though he did get inspired by some swimmer in the Olympics and took up knitting. Not exactly a big cross-over..."

"No worries. They'll need to talk to get each other through the game. That's ice breaker enough."

"Right. So it's not going to be like a giant conversation?"

"No. The games are short. The point is to get people across the team comfortable in each other's company. Over time those conversations will happen naturally. (Just like this one.)"

Games like Finding Fusilli bring 3 team members together to figure out where on earth they are in Street View. It's a fab way to get newly formed teams firing on all cylinders, honing team-based problem solving, and communication.

Keep the human connection as you scale your startup

  • The faster startups scale the quicker people lose touch - Icebreaker challenges keep the human connection fresh
  • Remind high performing teams that they're working with other humans, as your company scales
  • Make new-starter get-to-know-you conversations less awkward than a list with 2 bullet points

People in fast growing startups often struggle to establish their identity. When teams are growing 20% a year people quickly start to see each other as no more than their job role.

"It happened again. I heard someone talking about the new IT guy. They were talking about Mike. Mike doesn't even work in IT."

"Yeah. It's sad when things start to get that big-corp vibe.

"I dread the day I become 'the founder-guy'... You reckon Icebreaker can fix this?"


"Go on..."

"Okay :) Well. You know how in an office you can overhear a conversation that gives you brief snippets into someone's life? "


"Well. Some of the Icebreaker challenges duplicate that. But they scale it across the whole team."

"I'm not sure I follow..."

"Okay. Here's an example. There's a challenge called Who's my human. People anonymously post pictures of their pets. Then the others guess who the pet's human is. "


"So, with those small peeks into someone's life - they become more than just their avatar. Or their output. They become more... human..."


"It makes your startup a more wholesome place to be. Those I'm-a-human-too reminders make people kinder to each other. It's also quite fun."

Challenges like Who's my human have team members guess who a pet belongs to. It's a fab reminder that people in the team are more than their job title and avatar. It keeps the human connection as you scale.

“Culture is what people do when no one is looking.” - Herb Kelleher

  • Icebreaker steps up when you step out - so you can raise funds, speak to customers, prepare a deck, ...
  • Game sessions are kept under 15 minutes - maximise collaboration and minimise lost productivity
  • Be deliberate about culture but also get all your other jobs done - Icebreaker connects people for games automatically

The better the product-market fit is the faster everything moves. In an ideal world everyone would deeply understand your vision, make sensible decisions and just get on with work.

Sigh "It keeps happening. I lose the thread with one team and they head off in their own direction."

"Yeah. Those silos are tricky - people get stuck in the weeds and lose sight of the bigger picture."

"I bet you're going to tell me Icebreaker can help, right?"

"Of course! Well, we can't magic up a perfect solution - but Icebreaker games can definitely help!"

"How so?"

"Well. The foundation of any good startup is a shared secret. A sense that you're all in it together. Co-conspirators."

"Okay. I've read Zero to One too, so what?"

"Right. So, Icebreaker games bring people together. Across the company. People get familiar with each other and regularly break out of their silos. Those small, frequent connections are the lifelines that tether them to the broader vision."

"Hmm. That seems a little grandiose."

"Maybe... Icebreaker can't completely absolve you of your responsibilities to your people or culture."

"But. Our games can make it easier to put some bits on autopilot. So, you can focus and execute on the important pieces that define your company's future."

Questions startup founders ask

Startup founders love Icebreaker. Why? Well, it helps them make sure company culture doesn't go off the rails as they scale. Icebreaker does this in 3 key ways:

  1. Icebreaker breaks down silos by bringing people together from all parts of the company to play short games (e.g. Finding Fusilli). The experience serves as the foundation of future collaboration and conversation.
  2. The Icebreaker challenges (like Who's my human) re-enforce the human connection, making sure people aren't distilled into just an avatar and their output. Better communication, and less staff turnover.
  3. The broader the communication net, the more consistent your vision and values will be across the organisation.

First up you've got to install Icebreaker in Slack. Once that's done you'll create a dedicated channel for Icebreaker. Anyone in that channel will be invited to participate in a game or challenge once a month.

Both games and challenges take place within Slack or at

Well, it really depends on the activity. The "get to know me as a person" challenges like Who's my human take 3 minutes per session. The games that need teamwork like Finding Fusilli take around 10 minutes per session.

Usually people play a few sessions a month. The activities are intentionally kept simple so they don't cause distraction - they just create good vibes.

Games are co-operative with 3 to 4 people in a group. Teamwork is the order of the day and teams that perform best win based on points 🏆.

Challenges usually involve the whole team. There are usually no points, but we hope that getting to know each other better will be reward enough ❤️

We are focused on building great games and challenges for teams of 16+ people. This is because we've found that's when communication starts to get difficult, and teamwork breaks down.