The Year of Kapowza: Being Kapowzians: What We've Learned

Happy one year anniversary to us! Well, what we consider to be our one year, anyway. Both Chris and Sean started working at Kapowza full time in March 2016, completing our little team.


If you’re a follower of our blog and social posts, as well as our work, you know we’ve been very busy. This year has been filled with many exciting opportunities for us, and as you can imagine, we’ve grown a lot.

The three of us Dan, Sean, and Chris, sat down to reminisce on the good times and bad, and review the year behind us as we look forward to the year ahead.


What have you learned?

Sean - I’ve learned to put my money where my mouth is. I not only ask, “can I do this,” but, “can we make this successful as a unit/group.” The answer has been overwhelmingly yes. Each time we’ve had to take a step back, we’ve learned from it.

Dan - I learned not to hate process. Process can be good.

Sean - Dan is a creature of chaos. Contrary to Dan, I like something regimented.

Chris - I’m the same way, I love process.

Sean - I think this is something we can never stop improving.

Dan - Even if process is perfect, there’s still chaos.

Chris - I’ve learned that craft and care really goes a long way - even working outside of academia. It shows in what the clients see, what the user ends up seeing, and what other competitors see. That speaks volumes to the agency and what we do.

I’ve also learned more of the business side of marketing and design. I’m now more aware of the advertising community aside from the design community.

Sean - It’s been cool to see you (Chris) grow within the advertising community. It’s a nice little playground and I think we’re fitting in just right so far.

Dan - When you start a company, you do all the things. Then, you bring on more people and do less of the things. When you do all of the things you think you’re okay at them, but when you hire people, you realize you’re not good at them.

Sean - You’ve learned to get out of your own way.

Dan - My goal is to hire enough people to make myself obsolete. Then I’ll fire myself.  

What are the biggest misconceptions of working at a small agency?

Sean - We’re not all sitting around writing fart jokes all day.

Dan and Sean laugh. Chris doesn’t get it.

Sean - I think the biggest misconception is that we can’t be producing the amount of work at the level of quality we’re doing without something suffering. We’ve been able to produce a superior amount of work under imposing deadlines.


Is being small a benefit because you’re more nimble?

Sean - I’ve heard that a lot. I don’t know if we’re more nimble, but i think because we’re able to  keep things relatively flat on the hierarchy, we’re really good at being flexible.

Dan - I wouldn’t say that we’re that small. At least it doesn’t feel that way.

Is there anything Kapowza used to do that you no longer do?

Dan - I used to take off Friday afternoons and go to the beach.

Sean - I remember trying to reach you and you were off at the beach.

Dan - I did it once or twice. I was really trying to enjoy every phase of the agency. It was kind of nice to end the week that way. I’d come into the office, write a blog post or two, then take off. To Sean and Chris: you guys really took away from my beach time.

Sean - I wouldn’t say I miss anything we don’t do anymore, but I’m glad we don’t do those things. I like having a predetermined schedule for everybody when I come in.

Dan and Chris - Boooo!

Sean - And know like, “this is coming next week, how do we handle this today?”

Chris - Yeah, I don’t like asking what I’m doing today.

Sean - Everyone knows what they’re responsible for and everyone is good at managing their own time now.

Dan - The result has been good, but it just makes the day a little boring.

Sean - Well, that’s where the fart jokes come in.

Dan - I still have a few things creep up - a few operational things - that I don’t let Sean add to his to do list. I still have my chaos fix.

Sean - As long as the lights stay on, I guess.

Dan - We have a couple more days.

What about this time next year?

Sean - Personally, I would love to see more people in here. I hope we at least double in size, work on some national campaigns, and that we still have the same clients we have today, but with a more robust relationship.

Dan - Oh, no big deal. Sean only wants 100% growth.

Chris - I’m the same. I’m hoping for one or two more people.

Dan - I was hoping for a mini fridge, but alright.

Editor’s Note: They have since bought a mini fridge.

Chris - I think we can do that, too. I’d also like to see some more experimental clients. Clients that aren’t afraid to push our bounds of creativity.

Dan - Honestly, if we can just keep up this trend of good news - I don’t want to be greedy - it seems like every month is better than the last month and every week is better than the one before. I hope that when we get good news, we’re still excited about it and still celebrate it, and go get ice cream.

Everyone - Yeeeeah.