Be nice. It's one of our four core values at the Village and the one we list first. But somewhere along the way our culture (or is it our industry?) has occasionally translated being nice into being a pushover or someone without a competitive edge. On behalf of our Atlanta tech community, I would like to emphatically disagree.Call it our good ole southern roots, but to us, being nice is about generally being a good person. It's about having integrity, being respectful of others, offering mentorship or advice when possible, and supporting the community as a whole. Not a single one of those things translates into not working your ass off, pushing hard for success, maintaining a competitive edge, and having a drive to beat all competition. Being nice means acknowledging that any success in the Atlanta community helps us individually AND collectively. Who wouldn't want to do business with a company that has that mindset?We lead with the value of "be nice" at the Village not because we all want to hold hands and sing kumbaya (that brings back some childhood memories), but because we are all working hard, in close quarters, running in the same direction to similar goals. It means we celebrate successes and failures of our counterparts because we can all acknowledge that we have either been there or will be at some point.So to the startup community, I say– being nice does not translate into weakness but strength, and a confidence in what you have to offer. Drive hard towards your dreams with everything you got, search for that competitive edge, be laser focused, and know that the Village is cheering you on every step of the way. Isn’t that nice of us?