we’ve always tried to be unique. Whenever a new client/customer comes in, we ask ourselves “why are we uniquely qualified to do this work?”. We always want to be able to answer that question, honestly.
Learn to listen to your instincts. If something seems wrong, it probably is. Conversely, if something seems right, go for it. People try to look for evidence or data to support decisions, but understand there is no data about the future. Over time, you get better at listening to, and trusting those instincts. It takes time but is one of the best tools you have.
We could be a much larger company, but why? We believe that growth and scale is only necessary if the work demands it. Some work needs 100 people on it (most doesn’t). Many companies grow because their ego demands it. Being big comes with some advantages (mainly financial) but for us, we haven’t figured out how to be big.
I used to dismiss things like “corporate values. But about 2 years ago, we sat down and went through an exercise of understanding and writing down our values. It was one of the best things we’ve done. By understanding our core values we look at our decisions and see if they are true to the things we hold dear.
Just because you did something one way yesterday does not mean it’s the right way to do something tomorrow. When we first started, we used to believe that if someone left the company, we wouldn’t hire them back. We were so personally hurt that we would excommunicate them. We realized over time that this was stupid. We’ve welcomed back several alumni and we’re really glad we did. Over time you change and grow, keep your values but be prepared to change your tactics.
There is no magic to this business. If you do good work, you get good work.