Things 2017 Taught Us



It was one hell of a year, no doubt. The kind that makes you stop and take stock, maybe more often than usual. (And in some cases, even question your reality.)

Whether we grappled with it … moseyed through it with a whistle on our lips … or broke its spirit and rode it off into the sunset … well, it had a little something to teach us all.

So I reached out to a few clients, partners, and folks we just like, to see what wisdom 2017 laid on them. Here’s what they said …



Yeah, Values Matter

Mickey Deagle, Creative Director, Isolary

We learned to place a lot of weight in our client’s values and principles when deciding whether or not to partner with them. What our clients value is largely an extension of what we as a company value, and the two must be aligned to accomplish meaningful work.

This lesson has served us very well when the client is “our type,” and it has caused us pain when there’s disparity.



The Dream Takes Work

Sam Membrino, Director, SuperGreat Video

2017 was a year of tumult, to put it lightly. It forced everyone to re-examine who they were, what they were doing, and what they stood for. It wasn't enough to watch the debate, you had to be an active participant.

2017 taught us that teamwork really does make the dream work, and that there's no better product than one made lovingly with many hands.



The Significance of Story

Scott Baker, Owner, Ideate & Create

Everyone has one and needs to share it with the world, and they deserve to be heard.

No matter how great, small, impactful or significant, everyone should feel empowered to tell their story — how they relate to the world, in their words, their way.

Until they share it, they never know the impact it will have, on one or one million.



Look Outside Your Office Walls

Dan Bruton, Director, PDX Executive Forums
Host, PDX Executive Podcast

In 2017, I saw a renewed hunger among executives to learn from their peers, taking more meetings with up-and-coming agencies and outside consultancies. With the technology landscape changing so fast in every category (marketing, HR, legal, etc.), people want to get outside of their own office walls to keep up with these changes and move their teams forward.

Where in previous years these executives may have been more guarded, they know to be successful and have their brands remain relevant they need to venture out and meet as many different people in their industry as possible. This is creating enormous opportunity for everyone involved, and I only see this trend increasing in 2018.



Keep Asking Why

Jim Hassert, Director and Co-Owner, Portland Made

I’m searching for intention, purpose and meaning. And then organizing systems, culture, values, and processes behind that, aligned with that, rowing and going toward that.

Each day, no matter how big or small the task: keep looking for the root, keep peeling back the layers, keep digging deeper, keep asking why.



Strategies Can Fail, Missions Endure

Michael Foreman, Creative Director, Medicine Show

Too often we think the bottom line is the bottom line, or some goal we failed to achieve. It’s easy to forget why we do this in the first place. If you’re like the other people here, that’s probably doing something you do well, while helping others. It’s a mission and a sense of purpose.

Strategies are experiments — sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. (Though we’d all rather see more of the former.) You take stock and adjust. At the least, a failed strategy can illuminate a better way, or throw obstacles you didn’t know were there into sharp relief.

Mark those blind alleys on the map. Then walk it back to your mission.

In 2017, we learned this while developing complex web applications, shooting videos, creating campaigns, and running Medicine Show. It was tough. It was brilliant. It was exhilarating, and stressful, and educational. It sold products and ideas we believe in. So we'd say: mission accomplished.


How about you?