We pride ourselves as being a reet friendly bunch. After 15+ years, 50 staffers and 500 clients we’ve built a reputation as being a friendly place to work – some call it cool. Ok, not everyone will get on with us or relish our sense of humour but the vast majority do.
It’s borne out by way-above-average client retention rate, the lowest staff turnover in our sector plus a general camaraderie that permeates what we do. So what’s our secret?
It starts, probably, at the beginning when I founded the company with a good friend, Jerry Pank. We built the business to have fun and enjoy ourselves, to do that you need happy clients and happy clients pay on-time and stay with you. The result is a business, not the other way round.
We’ve been a web development business now for over 17 years, often at the leading edge of the digital world and it’s been quite a ride. So what makes it still fun and, more importantly, why are we still here at the leading edge of the market after all these years?
We’re not just content with providing digital solutions, we live digital to the full ourselves. Quickly embracing new technology and innovations such cloud computing, collaborative applications, WordPress services, BYOD, location-independent working and tethering.
We’re really into the digital world and strive to lead by example and innovate early.
Total Staff Empowerment
Everyone can do a little bit of everything and this gives us huge flexibility and variety. Staffers pick and choose the work they want to do and when they want to work. That might seem terrifying from a management point of view but the reverse is absolutely true.
The absence of micro-management and time-sheets and clocking-on/off means people are free to do what they like and this makes them twice or three times more productive. Ok, we have to do some stuff that is grim and grivelly but folks understand that and chew down when it’s needed.
We have had outliers that are (essentially) lazy and avoided doing useful work – they don’t last long in an environment where you choose what you want to do, and that choice is made in the open. They either leave from embarrassment and jump to a structured cubicle life where its easier to hide away.
We do cool stuff
We stay away from some of the grungy parts of the digital world and play in interesting worlds with interesting stuff. It’s fast, though, and that can makes it more fun (or relentless). Some folks are uncomfortable with change so we work hard to help them to adapt.
Collaboration in this space help enormously, as does a strong social bias.
Social bias – AKA, the pub
Despite our international aspirations and global client base, we are still a company of Brits. And that means the pub, and beer and a dry, piss-take sense of humour. Our virtual structure sees us working in a wide variety of locations … and often this is the great british public house. Cheers.
Agile = iteration = always improving = mistakes are ok
Nothing is perfect so whilst we strive to produce the very best, it’s more useful to deliver value than to stress over the final pixel position of web-form. Release early and often, is our mantra and that means accepting mistakes without recriminations, baking-in an agile mindset and moving fast.
Innovate, on the shoulders of giants
We always tried to lead the market, we’ve never been imitators or even been close to the long-tail of product maturity. We gravitate towards forward-thinking companies that are trying to break moulds and be disruptive – this further feeds our drive for innovation.
By Martin Dower, CEO