Not a Manifesto

So, my big project for the beginning of this year (that’s not really a secret) has been the launch of my own little design and development studio, Craft+Story. I’m not officially launching until May,1 but until then I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what I want it to be and, most importantly, who I want to work with — my clients and my team. Instead of a 3,000 word, Mad Men-esque manifesto, though, I distilled it down to a few core values for the company:

We believe in partnering with clients.

We respect our clients, and we only work with clients who respect what we do. We are partners until the bitter end.

We are problem-solvers.

Our job is not to make something pretty. Our job is not to make a website or create an app. Our job is to solve the client’s problem.

We think deadlines matter.

We don’t create arbitrary deadlines or agree to impossible timelines. We rely on our process and client meetings to set a series of milestones for the project. Then, we hit every one of those deadlines.

We don’t strive to be efficient.

We are not a factory, and we don’t churn out websites like one. We like to work with a small number of clients every year, and we spend our time in discovery and design finding the best (not the fastest or easiest) solution for them.

We aren’t cheap.

Every client gets the same treatment: discovery, planning, design, development, and deployment. We need to understand the problem before we can create a solution. We can’t take shortcuts to finding the perfect solution.

We don’t really care about tools.

We’ve built websites in TYPO3, ExpressionEngine, Wordpress, Magento, and custom web apps. We know all about HTML 5 and CSS3. We even build iPhone apps, and we love it. At the end of the day, though, we are just choosing the best tool for the job at hand, and we don’t get too attached to any of them.

We don’t deliver multiple designs when only one is right.

Our job is to solve a creative problem in the best way possible, and there is usually only one best solution for any one problem. During the design process, we explore all of the possible solutions and whittle them down ruthlessly until only the best survive. The solution (or solutions) that make it through are shown to the client. Everything that doesn’t solve the problem is thrown out.

We hate the hourly rate.

We like to work on whole projects, and we don’t believe that hourly (or daily) rates are the best model for us or the client. Our work is done when we’ve delivered the best solution - not when an arbitrary number of hours has elapsed.

We do offer hourly rates for consulting only, but we’re not cheap.

  1. We're currently signing clients for May and June. If you're interested, email me.