10 Feb 2015
I was interviewed by a journalist the other day and I noticed I had to explain a lot about our company works. I figured it would be interesting to share some of this.
So what’s different compared to most companies?
1. No office
We don’t have an office. Xavier is in Gent, Jan (Welcome!) is in Brussels, I am in Tokyo. Slack is our virtual office and we use Skype for one-on-one communication and video conferencing.
Obviously we sometimes meet up, both for projects and for fun.
Maybe if we would all live in the same city we would have a shared working space. But for now it does not make sense.
We are a tiny team and we are probably going to be tiny for a while. We want to work with a very limited team of people who have a very good understanding of what they do.
This way there is little overhead and there is no need for management.
3. Everyone decides their own schedule
Everyone decides how they spend their time themselves.
New projects get divided between the team members depending on schedule, the content of the project and a variety of other factors.
We are specialized in interface design. Many small agencies have developers, designers, project managers etc.; we only have designers, and each of us has 6-9 years of experience doing what we do.
So you could ask yourself: why do we work together?
We are all aiming to be better designers. We’re learning all the time and improving our skills. The best way to do this is to work together with other designers.
Working as a team means you can ask a question when you are stuck, or when you want some feedback on your designs.
We also share at an “infrastructure” level. For instance, we have shared Github and Basecamp accounts. We share our custom plugins and Grunt flows to make better HTML prototypes. We have a shared web server for showing our projects to clients.
Next to that there is a lot of shared knowledge regarding common business tasks that can take up a lot of time to do by yourself, for example a good contract. Other examples include a shared sales pipeline, financial forecasts and invoicing method.
And finally, clients get better availability across the team and more continuity.
P.S. Things are busy at Mono. We possibly have some work for a talented UX designer with serious front-end chops, so if you are this person, get in touch.