The next time you hear about the intense work culture at a Bay Area startup, consider the norm of the Beijing tech scene:
In China, there is a company work culture at startups that's called 9/9/6. It means that regular work hours for most employees are from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. If you thought Silicon Valley has intense work hours, think again.
For founders and top executives, it's often 9/11/6.5. That's probably not very efficient and useful (who's good as a leader when they're always tired and don't know their kids?) but totally common.
Teams get locked up in hotels for weeks before a product launch, where they only work, sleep and work out, to drive 100 percent focus without distractions and make the launch date. And while I don't think long hours are any measure of productivity, I was amazed by the enormous hunger and drive.
Most definitely unpleasant, and probably not very productive on the margin. But a nice reminder that how "hard" you're going is definitely a product of your cultural baseline.