“The backbone of our company is an entrepreneurial drive”
Utah, February 1st, 2018
Web design, development, branding, marketing, mobile, graphic design, custom software and user experience. Those are only some of the tasks carried out every day by ThoughtLab, a United States-based digital agency that seeks to think outside the jar on every project.
The agency has a dynamic team of professionals from all over the world and encourages open minds and a problem-solving approach, seeking to find results on everything they do. It already has three branches in New York, San Francisco and Salt Lake City and it’s still growing.
In an interview with TIA, ThoughtLab’s Marketing Director Brandon Wright gives an insight on the daily work at the agency and its creativity culture. At the same time, Wright goes through the hiring process at the agency and the key aspects of teamwork.
How could you describe the creativity culture at the agency?
We’re all weirdos in our own right. We’re silicon savvy Michelangelo among the tech ceilings of the world. We’re a bike loving, street food crazy group of misfits that are ready to jump in with all 50 arms, 51 legs, and take your cocktail napkin notion from dream to reality.
How is that culture cultivated and maintained?
It doesn’t take much for weirdos to keep acting strange.
What are the skills someone should have to be part of your agency?
The backbone of our company is an entrepreneurial drive, and healthy distrust of bureaucracy. If you can’t roll up your sleeves, yank on your bootstraps, and answer your own questions, you won’t last long.
Could you describe your hiring process?
Our hiring process moves at the pace of molasses. We maintain high standards for all of our employees and will source them from around the globe if needed. Typically, after sorting through resumes we will send applicants a test related to their potential position. Roughly 90% of our applicants don’t make it past this test, but those that do are then interviewed by all the team leads before being sent an offer letter.
How do you motivate team members to achieve more?
We set both long and short-term goals for individuals and as a team. We’ll follow up on these goals in our bi weekly team meetings. We also periodically hold alternative team building exercises such as Dungeons and Dragons, and go kart racing.
How important is teamwork at the agency and how do you encourage it?
Teamwork is critical in every project we do. We go beyond encouraging collaboration and require it. No one person works alone on a project, multiple team members are assigned to every project and typically speak daily about their tasks.
What is the communication style within the team? Do you use any apps or tools?
We maintain an open office environment which encourages collaboration and communication. We also hold short team wide standup meetings every morning so we can all get on the same page. Implementing Slack and ditching IM has made a huge improvement to our office communication.
What piece of advice would you give a recent grad looking to work in digital industry?
Find yourself a good mentor who will help you learn and provide constructive criticism of your work. Don’t bother showing your work to your mom, she’ll love what you make. Getting real feedback from professionals in your discipline is the best way to improve.
At the same time, don’t crumble when your work isn’t perceived well. Dust yourself off, shuffle some pixels around, and try again!