Inspired by Amazon, we like to say that we are still at day one.
Not because we have not accomplished much, but because we are continuously evolving. Never content and always eager to learn and prosper as company and as individuals. Since our startup in late 2011, we have had numerous learnings, both good and bad. We will not dwell too much on the bad learnings, but rather acknowledge that they are hard to avoid if your heart and head embrace risk.
Below are 6 key learnings we want to share with you since, and as, a startup.
As three partners with long experience from different design companies, we started our own company because we felt that the full potential of design services was not explored.
We genuinely believe that design can have profound impact on almost any business challenge. The goal in the start was therefore to start a design agency, and to focus more on solving important business challenges. After numerous meeting with senior management of various companies, we concluded that selling ourselves as a design company is not easy.
Mainly because we had to start by explaining that the value we brought in projects was not nice colours and fonts on websites. As a result of this, and the projects we did from day 1, we decided to position ourselves more as a business consultancy - with an interactive edge. Design remains as our process.
We are a strange team at Int.; we thrive when we get challenges that are tough.
Especially challenges that might not have been solved before. Usually meaning that we propose solutions that are one step further than our clients expect. The result is that we do not match with everyone. Clients that seek out the safe and easy solutions might not fit with us. We have learned that the hard way.
However, those who do like to stick their heads out for projects we do, tend to stay with us for a long time.
Working visionary with a holistic mindset and iterative approach. To create proper business impact takes time, patience and stamina. In most cases it takes 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration to win (heard this before?:)). And we really want to win. We are so lucky to have found this partnership in some clients - some large international companies and some smaller ventures.
If you are to be the best at everything, you will never be better than your weakest part.
In addition, we are not strong believers in generalists. Focus and dedication to you what you want to be best at, fits us better. Therefore, we have established a network of partners that we collaborate with on projects. Partners that are much better than us at what they do. Enabling us to bring more value to our clients and projects.
We are especially proud to be a certified partner of Adobe. Both solution and creative partner. This means that we have access to resources in Adobe that we can team up with should there be clients that need Adobe's products to perform. In addition, Adobe can approach us with clients that they have. Especially clients that are not exploiting the potential of the Adobe products they have bought.
Own projects and products
In pitches, we usually hear that we are too thorough, demanding and comprehensive. We can live with that.
It is very hard for us to answer narrow briefs, without looking at the bigger picture. We approach business challenges holistically. This demands that we solve the challenges together with relevant stakeholders in the organisation needs to be part of the solution (HR, IT, Adm, Operations, Sales etc.). Everyone should pull in the same direction to have business impact.
As a result of this challenge, we have experimented with creating our own briefs and then approach potential companies with our concepts. Based on business potential. This is demanding of course, as there might not be immediate funding for our approach. However, we are confident that this approach will create better projects and results for all parts.
Being a business consultancy requires that we know what we are dealing with.
We are experienced business people, but the way things are changing we constantly need to be on top of things. That is why we always have people doing research on selected business topics and potential. Finding new solutions and techniques that our clients can prosper from.
As an example, we are currently investigating the topic of efficiency. A complex problems with routs centuries back, and often driven by technology leaps. We believe we are in one now and are working hard to create a picture of what that means. The results of this will manifest in this blog.
Our biggest assets are by far our employees.
Attracting the right employees has been a key priority, and challenge, in our startup. The culture at Int. is not something that fits all. We must admit that it is a bit nerdy. Not that we are all nerds, but we take great pride in digging into the details of everything we do. If this is the sole reason for our recruitment challenge, might be exaggerated.
The fact that we have had too much to do also has something to do with it. It is time consuming and challenging to create our projects, serve our clients and build the company, at the same time as we are out there scouting for the next international challenge. Hopefully, this website can assist us. If you are a talent, please send us an application at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was some of the learnings we wanted to share with you, and we know that the list will grow day by day. Watch this space.