Page cover

Last updated · 12 March 2024


If you are new at Significa or if you're looking to freshen up your memory about what it is like to work at Significa, this is the right place for you.

This page is like the Constitution. It shows you the fundamental principles of working at Significa, whether this is your first day or your 1000th. Or an even better analogy: these are like The Ten Commandments.

1. Excellence shall always be our driving factor.

We pursue quality and excellence in our work above anything else. We shall not rush projects or speed up deliveries, nor shall these options put excellence at risk.

We aim to become thought leaders, a beacon for exceptional work, which can only be achieved by delivering outstanding quality in every aspect of our work, whether it's projects, talks, workshops, or anything else we put out to this world.

If delivering fast is required to meet other commitments, it shall never be achieved to the detriment of quality. Instead, we would rather take the financial hit and allocate more resources to a project than compromise on quality.

We shall realise there are three variables to our work: scope, time, and budget, but quality ain't one.

2. We shall pursue feedback to perfection.

We know we do a few things really well, but we shall never be content with what we've achieved.

We shall remain hungry to learn, keen for feedback, and humble enough to separate our egos from our higher goal: the profound chase for never-achievable perfection. This requires an understanding that feedback is about the work, never personal.

Sugar-coating feedback never leads to progress or improvement. Instead, it stalls betterment to the detriment of trying not to hurt the other's feelings. This doesn't mean we will use blunt, schmuck, shouting type of feedback. Instead, it means we strive for clear, truthful, and direct communication, always aiming at improving the quality of your (and our) work.

The people we value the most are those who are willing to tell the truth, even when they know their counterparts won't like it. In the long term, these people will be sought after and listened to because, no matter the context, you know you'll get honest feedback and a path to improvement.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off! A book by Gloria Steinem.

3. We shall always remain Design-led.

Significa was founded on high standards for design quality. Once, we committed to dropping Graphic Design entirely from our services pool so we could focus on doing one thing really well: designing interfaces. Now, we do that really well.

In the meantime, the premise has changed to a more comprehensive commitment: creating interfaces really well. These, which we are proud of doing, are equally comprised of amazing strategy, definition, planning, design, and development.

However, even though our services pool includes all these variables, design shall never be one of them. Design shall always be the cornerstone of any project we accept as a company. No design, no project.

4. Sizing up shall never be the priority.

We shall never aim to grow Significa to a point where its culture and the quality of its work are put at risk.

Growing over 40 people, which is our maximum mark, will put our culture and the excellence of our work in jeopardy. We shall never become a software house or a body-leasing company. Instead, we must always preserve our culture and the small-team mentality that is so characteristic of Significa.

5. We shall remain financially sustainable.

We made a commitment when Significa was founded: to ensure we always preserve a six-month runway.

This means being wise in our investments and conservative in our expenditures because if all goes to shit, we have enough bandwidth to pay everyone's compensation, plan a way out, and act with ponder and thoughtfulness.

6. Our culture shall never be imposed.

We shall accept our culture is created by our team members. We shall embrace the fact that it will change and adapt according to those who leave Significa and to those who join.

Our culture shall never be imposed by management. Instead, our role is to facilitate the serendipity required for a culture to develop organically around the talented, well-rounded human beings we choose to onboard.

7. “Maximum freedom, maximum responsibility” shall be taken seriously.

This one is so important we have an entire page dedicated to it. Discover what it’s all about at Maximum freedom, maximum responsibility.

We shall trust one another as a basic founding principle. If you were hired, it means we've put a great deal of trust in you: you're in charge of your work, your Working hours and location, and everything else around your job at Significa. You are in charge of your life. You are its main character.

However, with great trust comes great responsibility. You are not only free to do all the things mentioned above, but you are also responsible and accountable for them.

8. Office-first shall be chased.

We shall remain an office-first company. We care so much about the in-person culture that we created Office-first, an ode to our office and how it contributes to everything else stated in this Playbook.

As stated in such page:

Significa wouldn't be the same had we been scattered all over the place. Serendipity, which often results in amazing, spontaneous moments of creativity, sharing, love, laughing, productivity, bonding, discussion, beer-drinking and munching, ideological arguments, and pats-on-the-back when they are needed the most, are pretty much non-existent in remote environments because the relationship is strictly professional (no matter how hard one tries to counter it).

Our culture and the quality of our work are deeply rooted in our office-first policy, which we shall keep as a founding principle.

9. Mistakes shall always be embraced.

We shall internalise that experimentation and failure will lead to betterment.

We shall never hire people to do a collection of tasks. Instead, we must always onboard those who are willing to fail, learn, and grow along with us. Those who are in this to achieve incredible things and fail miserably together.

We shall never be afraid of trial and error. We shall experiment with new methodologies and new ways of approaching solutions. We shall always value those who aren't afraid of making mistakes to the detriment of those who are risk-averse.

And when we fail, we fail and we pick ourselves back up together as a team.

10. We shall all assimilate that we are a team, not a group of individuals.

We shall understand we are all a team. No one shall fail or succeed together. In both cases, we share accountability.

We shall remain altruistic, interested in sharing the good and the bad times. We shall be keen to see the next person succeed. As stated in point 4 of this Handbook, we shall never become a software house or a body-leasing company. Instead, we must always wholeheartedly embrace collective achievements rather than personal glory.

We should always foster a collaborative and supportive work environment where each team member's contribution is recognised and valued, especially in a small team like ours.