I didn’t start a business so I could hide behind a computer screen. I didn’t do it for the money. I didn’t do it because it looks good on paper.
I started a creative agency so that I — along with my team — can make a lasting impact to you as a client.
Also, to serve as a home for those who work on incredibly satisfying and fulfilling work for clients.
I am an entrepreneur with a twist — I want to make a difference. I want to throw a flat stone into a bed of calm water to create ripples.
I want to shred the typical “agency” approach to business.
I could just do it and be quiet about it, but it doesn’t make any sense if you don’t know what’s on my mind.
So, I shall tell…
Did you know that Twitter could help you lose weight? Not directly, of course, but in a way that you might not have thought about it.
In a 2013 study titled Translational Behavioral Medicine by Gabriel M. Turner- McGrievy and Deborah F. Tate, it was found that the participants who published the progress they’ve been making with their weight loss program reported more loss of weight compared to participants who kept their respective progress with themselves.
In another study by Gail Matthews more than 70% of about 267 participants reported successful goal completion because they sent out weekly updates to their friends on the progress they were making.
It might seem a little narcissistic at first but sharing your goals, income reports, company revenue, or even your to-do lists will make you a lot more “accountable”.
With accountability, motivation, determination, and a certain appetite for pain, you’d almost get into this trance-like setting where your progress and success (in whatever it is that you set out to do) almost seems automatic.
This is also the reason why companies like Buffer are open about the salaries they pay.
Zappos goes as far as to provide absolutely honest insights along with Q & A with specific departments (including sales and customer service).
Patagonia publishes videos as a part of its “Footprint Chronicles” to encourage customers to see the whole process and supply chain details of each product they produce.
Elizabeth Lombardo, Psychologist and author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Steps to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love writes that “accountability” — to either yourself or others — is a huge factor to get things done.
Getting things done, for us entrepreneurs, is like fuel for progress.
It’s what keeps us going even when nothing seems to make sense, when we don’t know what’s at the end of the tunnel, and even when we doubt if we can ever pull it off.
I, however, didn’t just want to floor metal to the pedal and smoke the tires. I wanted to do a lot more than that.
I wanted to share my store with you.
This is why I decided to write about why I started my creative agency, my vision for the company, my mission, and the culture I hope to create to add value to our clients, vendors, employees, and everyone associated with the agency.
With my story, my thoughts, my dreams, my approach to business, and the way I think along with our team here at Fermented Pixels, I hope to be transparent and accountable.
As I guide myself and provide inspiration to others, I want you to walk along with me.
As I grow my business, learn new things as an entrepreneur, and face my challenges head-on, I want to keep my company grounded and stay on track with what I want it to grow into.
By sharing my story, I hope to leave a trail of breadcrumbs that’ll work like milestones or goal posts to track our progress as we grow together to help serve clients while helping ourselves.
Vision: What I want our agency to really grow into?
Successful companies grow on the basis of their values and on what they strive relentlessly for. Sustenance, profitability, and making money are only secondary.
At Fermented Pixels, our vision is to be the best digital agency we can possibly be by delivering products and services that are based on the foundation of honesty, integrity, and radical open-mindedness.
We don’t want to be an agency that’s stuck with a clutch of systems, processes, and “old ways of doing things”.
Change is the only constant, and we want to embrace it.
We want to evolve with the ever-changing technology, new digital innovations, and new ways of doing things.
As we do that for ourselves, we hope to walk that path with our clients too.
Our industry itself is always in a state of flux and so are the industries our clients operate in. As such, we want to establish the kind of agency that’s more like an example to follow — for ourselves, for our clients, our vendors, freelancers, and employees. Even our competition is welcome to follow suit.
In the middle of this tsunami of change, we want to be honest with ourselves, our clients, and everyone associated with us.
Our growth won’t be measured in dollars; it’s going to be measured as a company on the whole and the happiness meter of all the people we work with.
Spend too long trying to be “perfect” and you’ll see opportunities go by (not to mention wasting time and being absolutely inefficient).
Perfection is the enemy of efficiency and productivity.
While we stand by that maxim, it’s also important for us (and others) to realize that trying to make anything “too perfect” is a faulty approach.
As an agency, we need to get things done. But should we be sticklers to perfection or should we focus on speed?
Following any one path while excluding or ignore the other could be detrimental to our growth. So, the complexity goes like this:
- We are in business. The doors are open. But not everyone can be our client and not everything that looks like an opportunity is one.
- We’ll strive for perfection but not sacrifice time, effort, and opportunities that can severely negate the positive effects of striving for perfection when trying to make a product or to deliver services to our clients.
- It’s critical to keep ourselves completely open to ideas, changes we need to make, or to saddle opportunities as they come along. Free floating ideas (too many of those random ones) could sap us all of productive energy and put us all into a paradox of choice. In the end, we get nowhere with unlimited but worthless ideas.
- We need to keep our minds and hearts open to change. However, we also need to evaluate ideas (or validate them) before implementation to be sure that it’s the right path we are taking (or that we are letting our clients take the right strategic direction when it comes to their projects).
Sounds complex enough? Welcome to our life at Fermented Pixels.
Anything worth doing doesn’t come easy. It’s not a “one-off” thing either. For that reason alone, we don’t hope to do “one-off” projects with clients. Honestly, there are many other agencies that can do fine with such projects.
If that’s what you want, we aren’t a good fit.
This kind of work needs skills, passion, love, care, reiteration, involvement, collaboration, thinking, innovating, discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing.
If we work as “just an agency”, we can’t do justice to our clients as they walk away with nothing more than just a slice of what we can truly deliver for them.
As they walk away with almost nothing, they didn’t get the best of us.
To get things right with our work, we take on multiple roles. One of them is also the role of a pseudo-parent.
As parents, we shape the path our children will take.
We help our children grow. We influence them. They learn from us. We strive to make them see things that we believe as best for them.
We want them to be strong, able, and successful. To make it happen, we also tend to be tough on them, don’t we?
When we work with our clients, we are partners, vendors, friends, mentors, coaches, trainers, and sometimes we even take on the role of parents (we hope we don’t always have to).
At Fermented Pixels, we work as partners with our clients.
We work together (heated arguments included) for the benefit of the client.
Our suggestions and work are all done in their best interest. If they don’t see it yet, we work hard to make them see it.
Or, we’ll provide enough support and inspiration to aid their transition.
Our goal is to form long-term partnerships with clients that’ll last for years to come. That’s the only way to provide value for “forever work in progress” projects involving design, development, and marketing strategy.
But to do that, we have to ensure that keep an open and candid communication protocol. Our values have to align with those of our clients’.
It’s critical that we don’t over promise and under deliver. We need to keep the dialogue between our clients and everyone here at Fermented Pixels open.
That’s why we “under promise and over deliver” — much like the bespectacled, mild-mannered Clark Kent who can suddenly morph into Superman when the need arises.
To deliver that way, almost perfectly every time and to keep clients thrilled with our relationship, we a need a team that understands this.
Our employees and vendors focus strongly on their individual strengths. It’s only when each individual in our team works on what they are good at and that they love to do to get the quality of work that our clients demand. That’s also how each individual in our team flourishes, grows, and adds value.
Teams, however, are made of talented, aspiring, well-meaning people.
Not everyone has the same goals and intrinsic motivation when it comes to work.
In fact, it’s been proven that the traditional “Carrot-and-Stick approach” of trying to use money to motivate people is already an outdated approach as Dan H. Pink proves with his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
While motivations vary, a few things such as work-life balance remain important to all of us.
At FP, we are staunch advocates of work-life balance. We believe that for our team members to produce exemplary work, they’ll need a higher quality of life as well. People need time and to be left alone to unwind, reboot, and recharge.
Stepping away from work when we need to helps us all to get back with a gusto and to produce work that we could be proud of.
As we spend a ginormous portion of our lives working, we want to make sure that our lives have meaning and live life to the fullest — however each person defines that.
Granted that sometimes, work comes calling. It can get demanding too.
Those instances are rare and fall outside the bell curve. More often than not, everyone who works at Fermented Pixels can do work that they are proud of, produce results that could enrich their professional and personal selves, and to work smart while enjoying what they do.
So I set out, with our mission
Our mission is to empower your business growth with design, creative assets, and content marketing strategy along with systems and processes to bring about a positive return on your investment.
We are on a mission to help you benefit from what technology has to offer, to ride the wave of change, and to seize opportunities that the brave new world has now sprung up.
A creative design and marketing agency is only successful when it brings true value to our clients. This will only happen over a period of time.
With time, however, things change. In our line of work, it changes even faster than anywhere else. As such, we need a holistic approach and an open mind.
Because this is creative work, our services are subject to perception.
To succeed then, we’ve taken up the task of establishing “creative leadership” with a strategic content marketing initiative that we also help our clients with.
For ourselves and for our clients, we develop marketing initiatives that don’t just get results; our work is purpose-built to inspire, educate, and to teach.
Our content marketing approach applied to our own agency and for each client we work with will help establish our strong points of view. Expertise-driven insights that we bring to the table helps us create thought leadership.
We aim to influence. We want to help our clients influence their respective potential(and existing customers) as well.
Our massive undertaking — through Fermented Pixels — is to establish strong and successful relationships with the brands and companies we work with.
Driven by aspiration to delight our clients, our customer centric approach will only evolve while affecting all of our lives in the process.
Our aspiration is to manage these customer relationships well enough to bring value to everyone involved.
We don’t see clients as mere numbers on an excel spreadsheet; we see every client as a smart, ambitious, and hardworking individual. That is the basis of our relationships with every client we have the honor of working with.
Culture at Fermented Pixels
No free enterprise today can flourish with a top-down approach. For a company to be successful, it needs all ears on the ground. At FP, we are believers of the flat organization.
We want to create a culture that breeds thought diversity, a sense of purpose, warmth, and friendliness.
Fermented Pixel is a “creative” agency so freedom in expressing yourself is not just welcomed; it’s honored.
Standing on pillars of honesty, freedom, integrity, and respect, our teams can express themselves as much as they want to.
Political thoughts, differences of opinion, varying nuances of culture? Our respects to it all.
Given all that, we are committed to high-standards while operating for the benefit of clients. We believe deeply in universal human rights, the rule of the law, and the diversity of teams.
At Fermented Pixels, freedom is a given but mutual respect is expected.
People who work with us can walk with a chip on their shoulder but will treat others as they’d want to be treated.
Our constant push for political neutrality, respect for various cultures, and free-flowing discussions will not get in the way of business operations, self-respect, and a feeling of entitlement.
Fermented Pixels is where creative ideas come to life, precisely in response to solving problems that our clients face.
Despite our inane differences, we push hard to get things done.
What will you do now?
I started Fermented Pixels not just because I wanted to start a business. I threw the doors of the company open because I wanted to make a difference to the society as a whole and to our clients in particular.
I have values and those values will rub off on the company. Our goal is to build a contemporary, strong-willed, efficient, productive, highly-capable, and result-driven agency but not at the cost of working like machines do.
As clients work with us, we want them to get their money’s worth (and more). Employees would feel at home and stay inspired to produce the best of their life’s work here and even remote vendors would “feel” the pulse that’s alive here at Fermented Pixels.
Our predominant values of honesty and integrity are our backbone while our approach to business and the strength of the relationships with our clients are our assets.
As I write this down and you read it now, it’s only a little easier to reflect on what the real purpose of being in business is.
It’s an opportunity for me, our team, and you to reflect on just what’s available for you to grab in this new world of opportunities, the fast-evolving wave of technology, and the brave new era of the modern-day entrepreneurs.
I started this business to make an impact. I am seizing the opportunity to serve you.
Working with you is an honor.
But I don’t work aiming for mediocrity and I know you don’t want that either.
Together, let’s seize this gift of entrepreneurship.
Like Steve Jobs used to say, let’s “Make a dent in the world”.