Software ate the world. Now what?

In 2013 I joined a small startup of 7 people inside of WeWork Labs. Marketers weren’t on AngelList yet and the consultants were still in FiDi. Each day we all showed up and asked: how do we help our customers? It didn’t matter if it was “product”, “marketing”, or “customer support”. We created what people needed. 

 

Sleeves rolled up, I took this grassroots approach with me to places like Zapier, Codecademy, and Buffer. And I watched as the people around me started talking less about open source and more about what FANG company our next hire was from. I watched as the dot.coms got snatched. Saw ”growth marketing” become handing money over to Zuck and letting a machine choose the best ad.

 

IMHO, it hasn’t created better businesses. Growth, when you follow the models down to the people behind each data point, is really about whether or not you created something people like. And the same holds true for marketing.

 

Would I want to read it? Do I want it in my inbox? Would I bookmark that webpage?

 

That’s my litmus test.

 

Our clients are founders and marketing leads who are building products that solve real pain points. And their marketing should too. The pressure’s on now more than ever. Which is why we’re here–so you don’t have to worry. Because we're going to hit your goals. We’re going to create emails people read. Connections people would just call friends. Website copy that makes you and your customers go “That’s it!” We’re going to turn that high-level strategy into clickable, bookmarkable, good stuff on the internet. 

Because startup marketing deserves better. It deserves things people actually like. 

Come work with us.

Thanks,

Ashley
Founder & Principal Consultant

Who We Are

ProfilePhotoB&W_edited.jpg

Ashley Hockney

Founder & Principal Consultant

Sam Hackerson

Copywriter

Ashly_edited.jpg

Ashly Bauserman

Finance

Ernie_edited.jpg

Ernie

Chief Happiness
Officer

Founder & principal consultant who has managed international marketing & technical teams and been a part of a handful of unicorns. A published fiction writer who's also skilled in statistics and basic programming.

Conversion copywriter who has worked in marketing and outreach roles for the past ten years, honing her skills for the crucial communication that connects brands with customers & helps drive sales.

Financial consultant (aka Guru) specializing in financial planning, bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and has a deep passion for numbers, Quickbooks & excel.

Meow

Our Values

How we work is how we live.

There is no separation between work and life. Hear me out. This is a construct born of an economy that sees work as a means to someone else’s end. A system where someone at the top convinces the less fortunate to trade their time for their employer’s goals and benefits. This system creates the idea that there is time for someone else and time for yourself. This is a distortion of reality. We are one person moving through life, and where we spend our attention creates the reality we live in. Thus, how we work is how we live. Every moment we spend is ours – be it at a computer or a park. To achieve sustainability, happiness, and balance in life, we must prioritize these values in our work. This requires smart decision-making. Choosing clients we want in our life. Empowering those who we want to succeed. Valuing our time. Taking up space to think where others see an opportunity to profit. Finding beauty, creativity, and fun in the work we do. We seek work that prioritizes pleasure. Of course, we understand that this is not how our current economy views things. As a business grows, it may have to take gigs that simply pay the bills, and that’s ok. Capitalism is not compassionate but we are to ourselves and to each other. With this value in mind, we work to mother and care for ourselves and others. Things will not always be perfect but we can cultivate a more sustainable ecosystem that feeds us—if not now, then in the future. Our intuition, our gut, our spines tell us when we are doing this well and when we are not. We trust our bodies to guide us, as well as our minds.

We value care.

Emotional labor. Kind emojis. Thoughtful responses. Generous proposals. We aim to see, reward, and bring esteem to care—that traditionally “feminine” work that’s been overlooked in a “masculine” economy*. Work cannot love you back, but your coworkers can. Pretending this isn’t your community is missing out. When in doubt, we ask: how can we sustainably and harmoniously care for each other, our clients, our contractors, our work, and ourselves? How can we work more closely with those who share our values? We must be aware that this lens differs from a model of supply and demand that propels some individuals forward and subjugates others. Where we give generously, there’s an opportunity for others to take. We won’t adopt a scarcity mindset. We’ll be brave and bold. We can give to others and also be clear that this work is an intentional value and not free. If care is not coming back our way, there is a mismatch in values and that client isn’t a good fit. We are vocal about our emotional labor, we cherish it because we value kindness - yes, monetarily.

The best marketing is good work.

We do great work that speaks for itself. We’re invested in seeing projects through to the end. We emphasize circling back to projects to ensure they were successful. Not only does this invite feedback that makes us smarter, but it shows clients that we care how we perform. It is also key to pride and self-worth. Doing the minimum, doing 80%, works when you try to divide work and life. It takes courage to care. We are anti “chill”. We want to reflect on what we’ve done and see the ways in which we’ve cultivated our skills in being generous with others.

Creativity and free space.

What is the value of doing “nothing”? Everything. It’s tempting to constantly do, hit deadlines, serve clients, but part of serving ourselves and living sustainably means creating a valuable space to do nothing. A space for play. This is difficult for women who have been expected (for centuries!) to give up their free time for children, partners, and bosses. Their care work has long gone unseen, and any reserves expected to be put into someone else. No. There is magic in rest. We must fiercely protect time for the brain to play and have fun. When we value care, we become aware of how much work is unseen and how much space is needed on top of this to thrive. This value can feel opposed to “doing good work.” What’s “enough”? How do we do our best and also protect time to do nothing? We don’t have all the answers. But we do know that figuring this out, being conscious of the needed balance, is going to help. Finding the right clients is going to help. Charging more for great work and closing fewer, better deals, that will help.

Create access. 

As the business succeeds, we need to be constantly vigilant in how we use our power: our network, our money, our time. Equality is at the center of how we work. The tech and marketing industries remain predominantly masculine, white, rich, and privileged. Genuinely inclusive economies have yet to be created. The most impactful work we can do to ensure we are being inclusive is to write all the ways in which we are being exclusive. And then change. We will have to recognize that racism, ageism, and exploitation have been in the air we breathe. We’ll fuck up. And then we’ll reflect and do better.

We will be bold.

Well-behaved women rarely make history. And look, we’re not trying to make history, just do work that aligns with who we are. So, what might that look like? What are we willing to take business risks for? What are we willing to write and say? The current world is unsustainable and it’s hard to live in. Let’s ask: what niceties, what easy gigs, are we willing to give up, and when, to take a risk on something bigger? This is central to creating access and valuing care. This feels, in contrast, to live sustainably because some people won’t choose us. Some people will exclude us. That can feel like rejection and deprivation. It will be scary to hear “no.” Will we ever make more money? Are we safe? This is simply a course correction. Prune the vine headed in the wrong direction. Must have been scary to be that plant, eh? The death card isn’t the last of the major arcana. If this fails, so what?

Don’t take it all too seriously.

A helpful reminder because ya girl is prone to ^

Connect With Us

Work with us

Want to learn more about the work we can do for you? 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get to know us through our newsletter, Talk About It. It's chock full of tech news, small growth strategies, essays, and content we enjoy. A totally free, bi-weekly boost of info, insight, and dopamine sent straight to your inbox.

Get Social

Just kidding! It’s really hard to make money from social media. And no one on social media has ever made more money than the people who own the social media companies. It’s exploitative and optimized for engagement aka you spending time on it (not exactly the best ROI). So… you’re welcome to follow us on Instagram where we post more pictures of Ernie, thirst traps, and photos of what we made for dinner. Just know you’re getting people, not a brand.

  • LinkedIn