Somewhere along the way, I subscribed to Coudal's Infrequent Mailings*. The email from September 29th listed out three questions they ask before pursuing any new project. Their questions are:
1. Will we be able to make money? We're a business. We have mortgages and tuitions to pay. Plus, if we don't make some cash once in a while, how will we feed our habit of continually screwing around?
2. When we're done, will we be proud of the work we've done? Slaving for months on a project only to not want to show it to anyone when you're finished just plain sucks. No amount of money can make that feel better.
3. Can we learn a little something new along the way? Executing the project has to make us smarter and help satisfy our curiosity, which we think is our greatest asset.
Just like any good brand, an agency's success hinges upon them knowing who they are, what kind of work they want to do and what they stand for. Having some things in place to keep your agency from going after work that will hurt your brand then is a smart busness move given that an agency's brand largely is driven by their work. The smart agencies get this. The rest, well, they just stop at question number one, or maybe don't have any questions at all.
Anyway, nothing new here. Just some random thoughts around Coudal openly sharing the questions they ask before starting any new work.
*For the life of me, I can't find the link to get to this list so if you have it, please leave a note in the comments.
I was also struck by the clarity of Coudal's questions, and found them in an interview with Jim Coudal for the project "Life in Perpetual Beta": http://www.schneiderism.com/life-in-perpetual-beta/
Posted by: John Schneider | November 22, 2008 at 08:48 AM
Good stuff here.
This reminds me a little bit of the "songbook" that Trumpet -- an innovative ad agency in New Orleans -- put together to formalize its identity, core principles, vision, etc. They also use it to inform prospective hires and clients about the organization (that's how I found it).
To me, that amount of transparency is necessary to get and stay on top. It helps people to get to know the agency and believe in the work they produce.
Posted by: Evan Stoudt | November 24, 2008 at 12:18 PM