Culture > Strategy
As a small digital agency startup, we realized two things very early on:
This business is as much about people and relationships as it is about websites and logos.
Our work is way better when we’re having fun.
When we first started out, our company decided to create an official and fairly strategic “marketing budget.” And by company, I mean 4 dudes who started hanging out and working together. And by marketing budget, I mean we spent some money on Facebook ads and Google Adwords.
We were capable of stellar work, but just needed to align ourselves with the right type of client. Fast forward three years — we’ve found the right clients and are literally too busy for our own good. Thankful, grateful and humbled — but really, really busy.
Problem solved… but what should we do with the money allocated toward our marketing budget? Good question. It could have (perhaps, should have) gone to the bottom line — but on a whim, we decided to buy a Segway instead.
Then we bought a confetti cannon.
Then we went to a Royals game.
Then we got one of those ridiculous dinosaur costumes.
And on and on and on.
At the time we did it because we could and it sounded like fun. But what we’ve come to realize is that the approach has really breathed some serious life into our culture and relationships. It’s fun to be at the office. We’ve somehow made work fun.
We’ve learned a lot of interesting things over the years, but felt compelled to share this unexpected lesson for several reasons:
It’s good to work hard, but even better to work from a clear sense of priority.
Having fun should undoubtedly be on your priority list. Not necessarily front and center, but it can directly affect your quality of work and should at least make the list.
The relationships within your workplace have a direct and lasting impact on the work that leaves your workplace.
We know how to get down to business, but we genuinely have fun with ourselves and our clients. When you hit a client with a confetti cannon or let them ride the office Segway, it changes things (it can also affect your insurance policy, but that’s ok).
This only works if you employ reasonable and responsible human beings.
Not everyone can handle this approach.
In closing, go get a Segway and a confetti canon.
But seriously, find a way to have some fun and take work just a little less seriously, ok?