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Our founding principles

When I first scribbled down the idea for Notepad (in a Notepad) I spent some time thinking about our intentions for the studio. Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing these in quite a few talks and talking about how useful they’ve been in helping clients and employees to understand what Notepad stands for, and where we’re headed.

I’m publishing them here so we don’t veer off track as we grow. In the spirit of accountability, I plan to revisit this list once a year and publicly share whether we’ve stayed true to our intentions, or if we’ve changed course. My intention right now is of course to stick to all of these forever, but if we do change anything, I hope we have a bloody good reason.

  1. Build brands that move the world forward and make an actual difference.
  2. Don’t be afraid to over share your ideas and always fight for them.
  3. If we don’t recognise each other in the hallway it’s time to open a new studio.
  4. Do great work, and then better it next time.
  5. Report on our success every month and double down on the stuff that works.
  6. Learn from every one of our failures. Try new stuff. Embrace mistakes.
  7. Respect other people’s ideas and remember they might still be working stuff out. No idea is fully formed.
  8. Spend at least one day a week bringing our own ventures to life.
  9. Make the complex, simple (always).
  10. It’s hard work trying to change the world. Don’t expect this to be an easy ride (but enjoy it).
  11. Get the basics right and the rest will happen.
  12. Don’t be afraid to challenge each other and our clients. Agitation is important. It’s how good ideas happen.
  13. Don’t expect everyone to love what we do. Stand by your convictions.
  14. When our brands succeed, everyone benefits financially (no matter how big we get).
  15. Make time for yourself to learn, grow and relax.
  16. Have fun and be positive. We’re lucky to do this work.
  17. Respect people and the planet (obviously).
  18. Embrace new technology and new ways of doing things.
  19. Work remotely if it makes you happy (but get the work done).
  20. Two brains are better than one. Collaborate whenever possible.
  21. Listen to people’s feedback and use it to your advantage.
  22. Use our profits to bring our ideas to life and improve our services.
  23. Watch every penny and stay out of debt.
  24. Never settle for average.
  25. Tell our story to anyone that will listen (good stories travel fast).

Well, here goes nothing. See you in a year 🙂


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