This version is a new refinement created in Q1 2021.
We believe in “Digital Hospitality” – the idea that websites are spaces visitors inhabit, not billboards they see from a distance. We empathize with each and every visitor and care about every detail of their experience.
We believe the web should be helpful, empathetic, accommodating, and safe. We believe that access to information is a human right.
Our mission is to harness the power of Digital Hospitality to create powerful change for our clients, our website guests, and the world.
How will the world look if we are successful?
Digital Hospitality will improve the daily lives of billions of people by making it easier for them to access the information and resources they need. By implementing, modeling, and promoting the art of Digital Hospitality, Cantilever will lead the way in making the web a better place for users, clients, and creators alike.
- Empathy. In order to practice Digital Hospitality, we need to be able to put ourselves in the virtual shoes of the people who visit the sites we make. We need to have an open mind and avoid preconceived notions of what they’ll want or need, and we need to listen to them. When it comes to our clients, we seek first to deeply understand them and their world. We must be deeply curious and passionate about learning who they are so that we can empathize with them as well.
- Seamlessness. The world of work is too complex. In our industry, both working conditions and customer experience standards are woeful. We cannot deliver Digital Hospitality if we don’t make life easy for our clients and ourselves. We avoid arduous systems or practices and cut through clutter. We write, design, code, and work with a minimalist sensibility.
- Humanity. We work in order to lead the lives we envision – to raise our families, to pursue our interests, to secure our futures. The act of providing for those lives should not intrude on actually enjoying them. We choose how much we work, when we do it, and where from. We expect the company to flex around personal commitments, not the other way around. In return, we expect the best of our people in the time they choose to give to us. We use careful planning and a strong culture to deliver an unparalleled customer experience without infringing on our staff’s autonomy. Our relationships and culture are our most important assets. We treat people with dignity and respect. We are honest to a fault. We will always sacrifice short-term gain if we can build a stronger bond with a client, partner, or team member. We keep it weird. We send snacks.
- Diversity of Everything. A diverse team is a strong team (here’s a study), and we have only ever gotten better by having a wider range of backgrounds, genders, cultures, family situations, locations, and opinions in our ranks. We don’t accept the skewed demographics of the tech industry as a given, but seek to change them, even when inconvenient for us. We require an accepting, open attitude and do not tolerate bigotry.
- Relentless Passion for Improvement. We are obsessed with perfecting the art of “Digital Hospitality.” We’ve never found the absolute right way to do things. All the progress we have made has merely been to enable the next optimization. Anyone in the company can make suggestions for how to make a process better. Managers must be open to suggestions and change, and should greet them with enthusiasm, not annoyance.
- Self-Reliance. We hire smart people and expect them to be smart. Especially as a remote team, Cantilever staff make their own choices – when to ask for help, when to stop and check in with the client, how long to work and when. We value the ability to make these decisions well, and the guts to take responsibility for one’s actions. And when we see something wrong, we should fix it.
- Radical Candor. Part of the reason the agency world can be so toxic is a lack of transparency. Clients are shielded from knowing the full picture. Staff must deflect and deceive internally to get work done without upsetting politics. We detest deception and seek to be transparent in a proactive way (letting clients in on our processes and knowing whatever they want about what we’re doing) and a reactive way (answering questions and responding to problems in a tactful but totally clear manner).
- Reading it Twice. We are a remote company, making communication especially challenging. When we rush communication it’s easy to make mistakes. In the worst case, we can think someone else has made a mistake and we might react to it without realizing the misinterpretation, causing stress and offense. We make extra effort to be clear, open, and frank in our communication.
Mission, Vision, and Values (2020 and prior)