Mark Zuckerberg was 14 when we started AKA in 1998. It’s the same year two yahoos (Larry Page & Eric Schmidt) started a little company called Google. Everything has changed since AKA started providing “Satellite, Internet, and Video Solutions” 15 years ago. We could make this Anniversary post about the dramatic and rapid changes we’ve experienced on the front lines of award-winning campaigns in the last 15 years. We could take you from VHS to Vine videos and share with you our Billions of media impressions and Millions of web video views. We could talk about getting our clients on TV after September 11, 2001, or describe what it was like waiting for videos to stream over dial-up connections. But this post is not about Social Media News Releases, Google+ Hangouts on Air, Facebook, or mobile gamification with digital video. It’s about who we are and why our clients keep coming to us when everything else has changed. Change is good. Change is inevitable. But change is not our only goal. Change is just part of what we do when our clients reach for the stars with their ideas and trust us with those ideas. After all, we’re celebrating! We’re celebrating the lives of our team members – their career accomplishments and their real-life experiences. It’s a great source of pride and joy to say we’ve had six weddings and five children born into AKA employee families. These are the experiences that matter. Real life experiences. They keep us on our toes and remind us why we work. When change is overwhelming and we encounter obstacles or need inspiration, we sometimes go back to a document we’ve had since 1998, Our Guiding Principles (and how we use them). This is a document that has also changed over the years with new inspirations from Zappos Founder and CEO Tony Hsieh, among others. We feel like these guiding principles help us stay true to our nature and earn the trust of our amazing clients. Sharing them here publicly for the first time…
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES (and how we use them)
We begin with the end in mind.
Before we move forward, we consider the end result. We’re looking for the long-term win/win. Shortcuts and short-term gains are not sustainable. Sustainability comes from long-term win/win outcomes and relationships.
We convert clients into fans.
We are not an average company. Average companies do not have clients who are fans.
We are innovative, creative and open-minded.
Our employees have the freedom to be creative because we are challenged every day to create solutions for seemingly impossible problems. We address the impossible with open minds and we challenge the status quo by embracing change and innovation.
We deliberately cultivate our reputation.
Our reputation is not an accident. We have a reputation for being trustworthy because we have proven to our clients that we can be trusted. We never violate that trust. We deliberately cultivate our reputation by giving our clients a little extra every day.
We take matters into our own hands.
If something is not happening – we make it happen. We can’t wait for everything to fall into place. Our employees have the freedom to act. We can and will change course, but every journey begins with a single step. We know doing 1001 small things right is better than waiting for one big idea to fall from the sky.
We are humble.
We manage our own actions before we manage the actions of others. We have a sign-up sheet for perfect employees, but no one has ever signed it. We cannot rest on our laurels or reputation, lest we become complacent. Complacency is the enemy of innovation. Humility means we treat everyone with respect and let our actions speak for themselves. If you would like to see more about AKA milestones over the past 15 years, check out our 15th anniversary infographic below. Thank you for a wonderful 15 years!