If you don’t think it’s a great fit. If you don’t like our approach. If you think we’re too expensive, or hate our faces.

We aren’t for everyone. The world doesn’t need us to sell more $500 shoes, or phones that guess your weight. Nothing wrong with that – we know some people you can call.

We’re more about the folks who think a little differently. Who wake up imagining a strange new world only they can create. And then go make it happen. Building strong, sustainable companies and orgs that benefit everyone involved.

But know this – if we work together, we’ll be as passionate about what you do as you are.

Seriously though … take every opportunity to say no. Unless you just can’t.



We help clients — like small manufacturers, educators, tech and lifestyle brands — find and inspire those who share their values.

Communicating your drive to do things better, or differently. Your mission to help other curious human beings. Sometimes that also means taking a broader view to see what else is possible.

But it always means starting from a strategy that fits. We never suggest a course of action before we’re sure we understand the situation.



You’ve probably heard of ‘design thinking’ or ‘systems thinking’ or ‘agile thinking.’ Call those process philosophies — how different people approach strategy and development.

You could call what we do First Principles thinking.

To us, First Principles are guiding principles that are true and useful no matter the business case or tools at hand.

They’re where we start, and they ground everything we do.

The 21 First Principles:

  1. Your customers are humans. Think like humans.

  2. Build something great first. That starts with the company.

  3. Brand is perception and customer experience.

  4. Connect where your values meet theirs.

  5. If they don’t like the cost, they don’t see the value.

  6. Always start with strategy. Everything is connected.

  7. Strategies are designed, not chosen.

  8. Strategies are experiments. Reality isn’t rote.

  9. Clarity and focus trump method, every time.

  10. Question biases, assumptions and received wisdom.

  11. Look for causes, not symptoms.

  12. Build on leverage points.

  13. Assess the competition. Don’t obsess about them.

  14. Strategies dictate tactics, not the other way around.

  15. Meaningful action is not reactive.

  16. Point all arrows in the same direction.

  17. Shortcuts are shortfalls. Give important work time to work.

  18. Do fewer things, better.

  19. Don’t try to be everywhere. Be where it matters.

  20. Say something clear and compelling. Have a point of view.

  21. Kill what isn’t working. Nothing is precious.


Michael Foreman
creative director

Michael doesn’t like to go on and on about himself. But he's been developing messaging, content and creative strategies for clients for years. First as a copywriter, then as creative director. Most recently as agency manager and CD for Studio1850, the in-house agency at Oregonian Media Group. His past clients have included Columbia Distributing, Barhyte Specialty Foods, Sequential Biofuels, Gallery Furniture, and Regence BCBS.