It has been a running joke for quite some time, now that we are a company of 25 people: in the beginning of Handmade we, as founders, were convinced you could do any job with eight people in your company. “Eight is enough” is what we’d say. And that’s exactly what I get to hear from time to time when we’re trying to have lunch with 25 people in a spot that fits, roughly, eight. “Didn’t you say eight is enough? You kinda overshot that number, didn’t you?”
Now, as an invention lab that primarily partners with Fortune 500 companies, we needed to increase the numbers a bit. From a business perspective it isn’t healthy to have your entire livelihood rely on one or two clients. But even then, growth has never been an objective at Handmade. We’d rather handpick the projects that we truly love working on than get rich quick and drive Lamborghinis in our spare time. (Plus it’s really hard to drive a Lamborghini on the Amsterdam canal roads).
And that’s why the eight-is-enough philosophy still makes sense, even if it doesn’t match up with our current count. It reflects in many aspects of the Handmade routine: we choose quality over quantity at any given moment. Our teams are lean and on average consist only of three-four people that all make things. And most importantly, we get to do what we love without the many challenges that big companies face every day of their existence.
If you’re a design fanatic looking for an environment as described above: we don’t have any open positions at the moment (25 is enough, right?), but that shouldn’t stop you from applying. I’ve been wrong about numbers before.
Matthijs Braamhaar is one of the Founders of Handmade. He likes complex business and design challenges, playing the piano and potatoes. Follow him on Twitter.