The "Free Agency" model

September 22, 2011 • by celinecelineschristinecolin

We’re shaking things up here at StressLimit. Taking stock. Looking in, looking around, looking forward. Colin recently had coffee with Julien Smith, a long-time time friend and client, who referred to [or coined] the term “Free Agency” as a way to describe the way we’re thinking and the changes we’re exploring.

Everything has changed. Ideas about why firms exist  and their relationship to the market are shifting. Go check out Yochai Benkler’s work [especially  Coase’s Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm, which builds on the theory of the firm]. Ways to organize and serve clients haven’t quite caught up yet.  There are sparks of ideas. Freelancers and changemakers come together in places like the Centre for Social Innovation, Station C, and other coworking/colocation spaces. Hackerspaces. Makerfaires. Starfishes and spiders (overview … review).

Nothing has changed. Clients demand best value for the money they spend. We’re gonna deliver. Our thinking: We can do that better than a traditionally structured agency with lots of layers and overhead and bureaucracy. Diseconomies of scale. We can provide tailored, nimble, efficient, innovative.

Our Vision

First, StressLimit as partners and design thinkers. Folks who start listening in early. Who have a mandate to deliver on specific projects, but also to provide feedback and ideas that respond to the organizational issues that always come up in the process of getting thing done. To traditional agencies your internal politics are a pain in the ass; annoyances to work around. To us, they’re an opportunity to make you stronger.

Second, StressLimit itself as an entrepreneurial collective of free agents, each of whom are embedded in broader networks of folks who are passionate about what they do — and doing it better.

Third, StressLimit as a gathering point of people coming from the Web building things for the We. We love Web Standards, Human Centered Design, Web Typography. With a mobile vision and interest to build things that are accessible from any device, and available from anywhere. With of course the main purpose in clear vision—getting a message across, whatever it is, and whatever the community.

The web is still [always has been, always should be] about making connections between people and ideas.