You know the old saying you learn more from the bad bosses than the good ones? I certainly have, and I think the same sort of thinking applies to companies—sometimes you need to understand the kind of company you don’t want to be to understand who you need to be.
So let me start by describing the kind of “pure-play” company (often hired to handle all or part of a website redesign project, for example) that Durable doesn’t want to be:
- A design agency
Really good visual design but relatively little strategic perspective and (often despite their claims) even less knowledge of technology.
- A development vendor
Strong on development, some comfort with technical strategy but no design sensitivity whatsoever. These firms primarily work for IT departments or subcontract to design companies.
- A strategic consultant
Good with strategy and research, occasionally comfortable executing on design recommendations, but no technical capability.
Having experience working at companies in each of these categories, I found that when you’re only focused on one part of the process, the result is often not what you envisioned.
Successful digital products are the result of a healthy dialogue between experts in strategy, design, and technology—facilitated by solid project management. That’s hard to achieve because there is a natural tension between priorities, personalities, and politics, and the last thing to expect is harmony. But when done well, it’s immensely gratifying.
We achieve this by making it leadership’s responsibility to ensure the following:
- We are supportive of one another.
- The entire team is taking the broadest possible holistic perspective.
- Each of our practice areas is strong and highly capable.
- The practice areas have an equal voice.
It’s not easy, but there is one thing we can be sure of: we’re being the company we need to be.