Spoilers ahead! We have some massive, juicy news. But first, please indulge me by reading this this 2 minute intro for proper impact.
Since our inception in 2001, we’ve been a vision and purpose-driven company.
One of the guiding principles in shaping Telepathy has been asking ourselves, “Are we creating meaningful and positive impact on the humans we interact with on a daily basis?”
This question drives us to turn down big deals and work with people that inspire us. We’ve grown at a measured pace to ensure that our clients always come first and we stay focused on our craft. We’ve sacrificed profits to build our own products — just to scratch our own entrepreneurial itch. As a result, we’ve taken the long road to success and built one hell of a foundation of design culture, talent and client happiness along the way.
We designed Telepathy as a platform to celebrate our vision of elevating life’s experiences within the work we do. It’s our aspiration to inspire more organizations to become design-forward and to impact millions of people, not just through digital interactions, but any touchpoint in life.
To be honest, it’s not easy to accomplish an audacious vision while being a successful agency and often times, these two intentions are in conflict with each other. It’s costly to provide meaningful services with a top tier team while refusing to take on meaningless, high-profit accounts to keep the equation balanced. Thus, navigating our vision tends to be a grand adventure of ups and downs with an unknown arrival date at our destination.
Despite having been approached in the past to make this challenge go away, we’ve never been for sale. Mainly because we had yet to find a partner that would help us accomplish the vision and purpose of Telepathy. So we’ve kept our heads down and focused on Telepathy (Plan A).
The Impossible List
To reduce the distraction factor, we made an impossible list of requirements that authentically reflects our company vision and culture. We used this “dream list” as a measuring stick to weed out the companies that didn’t vibe with our design-centric, people-driven culture. This allowed us to maintain our focus while keeping a glimmer of hope for the impossible match (Plan B).
A few weeks later, we were contacted by ServiceNow, a public enterprise software company — that just happened to be founded in San Diego. In 2004, their founder Fred Luddy, had the inspiring vision “to build a cloud-based platform that would enable regular people to route work effectively through an enterprise.” What followed was an effortless conversation that left both parties dumbfounded in how our dream list perfectly matched their aspirations.
ServiceNow wants to do more than create a design system. They want to create an internal culture of design and set the standard for a design-driven enterprise company.
This goes way beyond digital design and ServiceNow understands they can’t do this just by hiring a gaggle of designers. It’s about adopting a methodology that fundamentally transforms the experience of their organization and products from the inside out.
ServiceNow chose us because of the design culture and process we have created over the last 17 years, not just the client work and deliverables we have produced. They valued the design tribe we have created and the soul of our culture that we had fought so hard to preserve.
We would get to use the Telepathy Design Method and spread design culture within a 6,000 person company to impact 25,000,000 users as an internal design agency. Our entire experience design toolset would be put into play including service and organization design to impact the way ServiceNow works, UX research and design to make the product suite more intuitive and Digital/Physical/AR/Voice to plan for the future of product interactions.
Making the Jump to Lightspeed
It was clear that this opportunity would allow us to travel at lightspeed towards our vision. Even better, we would be able to take on an impactful role with ServiceNow’s vision as well. Could this be our final and everlasting client?
We’ve helped so many rocket ships lift off over the years, we decided it was time to start a new chapter, hop on board ServiceNow, one of the fastest growing enterprise software company in the world and enjoy the ride.
This wasn’t an easy decision. Telepathy has been my life since I was 25 years old. It has defined who I am and what I contribute to the world. It’s been the home to our team (some for over 10 years!) and has provided for first home purchases, marriages and children. Letting go of the things that define you and provide for others isn’t easy, but through this process, I have learned that it’s the only way to achieve another level of potential and impact with your craft.
One of those areas of potential is Enterprise UX. It’s massively behind consumer UX, and as a result, people expect enterprise products to suck. We love this challenge — instead of designing a better Like button or refining a ride service app, we get to set a new standard for an industry that effectively powers the entire business world. We’re excited to help transform enterprise software from being mainly technology focused to customer experience focused. Instead of having disparate consumer and enterprise experiences, I believe we can blur the lines between work and play by providing intuitive and beautiful enterprise experiences while making work a bit more like life. That’s elevating life’s experiences in a big way.
We aren’t going anywhere. We are going to continue to be a part of the local and international design community. The Telepathy name will become a thought leadership platform starting with our website and blog. We will write, speak and teach about design culture and elevating life’s experiences.
It’s been an amazing ride. I want to thank every member of our current and past design tribe. We are all here because of your passion, willingness to be unconventional and drive to grow everyday. Special thanks to my original co-founder, Bill Bonnefil for starting this crazy adventure with me and my college roommate Arnold Yoon for giving up a respectable career 10 years ago to take us to the next level.
Thanks to our clients for trusting us with this crazy design subscription service and listening to us (for the most part) when we pushed back on your requests, saying “No, there’s a better way.”
And finally you — our readers, users and supporters. You helped us build our brand by recommending us to friends, giving us valuable feedback on our designs and booking us at speaking events, podcast and guest posts.
We walk over this seal each day when we arrive and leave the office to remind each other that we are in this together. You all made us who we are and we thank you.