I've just read this article on the Venture Capital Dispatch blog about the kind of people that are hired and that succeed at successful, young companies, like Facebook and Zappos. It's fascinating, not just to see what makes the company culture tick, but how to hire intelligently to create success more broadly as a business.
I find this a lot in big startups (ie successful startups) both in the PR industry and client-side. Some strong values at the top, then a common culture that runs through everyone, starting from the type of person they are before they get let through the door.
The blog says that at Facebook, they look for "entrepreneurial hackers - people that want to build something new. Just as people go to McKinsey & Co. because they want to go into business, or IBM Corp. to learn sales, or play for the University of Southern California if they want to go to the NFL, Zuckerberg said he wants Facebook to be the best place to learn how to build an Internet business."
At Zappos they look for people who would like to work at the company for life, and they build the company to be the kind of place that would enable that to happen.
I've asked some successful PR agency bosses what kind of people they hire. It's surprising how many go for 'a certain type' in the same way of the Facebooks and Zappos of this world. And for those looking to build something in a specific vein, interesting insight.