Grey Matter Blog

Why do you exist?

A CEO asked me this over a beer last week. Without hesitation, I answered.

”Impossible projects.”

Doer/Maker is a new company, just three months old at this point (actually, three months old next Friday, but who's counting).

When we left traditional agency life to found Doer/Maker, we did so with the belief that there was great work being left undone. Hard work. Important work.

Work that was falling to the end of the to-do list inside organizations because there wasn't bandwidth (or there wasn't the right kind of bandwidth). There wasn't the right kind of talent. The right kind of partner. A bigger agency would spend all the money on fees and overhead. A small one wouldn't have the right resources or team available. The in-house team doesn't have the expertise or the bandwidth.

And so, the impossible projects go undone.

This particular CEO smiled, because we've done impossible projects for him before.

In our past life, when the Doer/Maker team was a team at a bigger agency, this CEO called me one night at 6:30p.m. on a Friday and said "There's a hurricane coming, and I want a polished, broadcast-quality video of our restoration efforts. I need it within one day of the storm ending. And, I'd like a nice book about it too.” While we're at it, if you could just set up round the clock social media coverage for the next 200 hours or so and respond to every single customer who tweets, posts, or sends us a message on social asking about restoration time. Every single one."

I laughed at him. We laughed together. And then we did it.

We made the video. And the book. And their social media coverage was covered on Mashable and won awards for responsiveness.

An impossible project.

In fact, one of the greatest compliments we ever got (from a different client) was when we were in a difficult situation and she said, "You know, when you guys are here sometimes I just feel like the Mission Impossible theme should be playing. Like I don't know how we're going to make it work but I have faith that if you're here, it will."

We do impossible.

On this night, with this particular CEO, he nodded. "I've got a running list of projects that I just need done, with expertise and little management. And I don't have the right team to do it."

"That's our to-do list," I responded. Then started singing the Mission Impossible theme out loud.

So, we’re off and sprinting. Making the impossible possible.

Ashley Nicholls