Found in the Field · Ideas of Curiosity

Know your ‘why’ + Stay true

In this post, I will share something about what got me to re-start this company and why I do what I do.

I also want to tell you why that latter thing really matters.

Here’s me in 2012 talking about why I care so much about finding out what it is that really matters, and staying true to that, through your life. It’s a TEDx talk, in my hometown of Raleigh—it’s called ‘There’s Not That Much Time Left.’




A year after this, I was on the road in South and Southeast Asia. For a trip. A trip that I’m still on, in some ways, but with forays around to N. Europe to connect from time to time through 2017-2020 to make S P A C E the zine. And meet new people, and hear new ways of thinking. Was good. Was really fun.



The whole thing about the overwhelming saturation of things that gets in the way of the real. The real and the authentic and the sincere. I’ve been very tired of this culture of the global trend towards ‘look good’ but… I always peel back the curtains and try to get to the depth of the thing. Usually finding nothing of remarkable quality, behind the scenes. My questions go all in the same direction. Where is the substance? What is truly behind it? Who are you and what you do mean when you say this? Wait, you’ve not thought about it? So what is all this… song and dance?….

I’m tired. So I wanted to restart DK to bring back classic branding. Which is really about getting to the heart of something and to communicate that passionately. With the passion behind it. The passion, in other words, the ‘heart’. To connect. Meaningfully. I haven’t seen that around lately, so I wanted to share my tools with some who are ready to try out Design Kompany’s informal, light, but substance-based angle on approaching the creative process.


What branding can do is connect us

Like I said I don’t have a smartphone. I deleted my personal twitter and made the @designkompany one private, a long while ago. Because it was getting out of hand, ‘managing’ some kind of abstract ‘image’ or whatever. Would rather just go for a walk, run into people, start a conversation. (I don’t do this anymore, given covid and a change of phase in life that really is about nurturing a few key relationships instead of starting all over, all the time, because I value strength in things that build over time. They may change. They will hopefully grow. But at their root, they share an interest in evolving, for the long haul. I like that. Longevity.) I went offline and stopped DK because I needed to remember that the point of it wasn’t to ‘grow my followers’, for me. It was to connect.

I still feel that way. I still host conversations, and online ‘salon’s along with eWorkshops like Mirror and Interactive Papers, but I do it more personally through those things, at my own site, now. Not at DK’s. DK’s is a service. How to get to the story, the proper and most authentic and realest story, that is, no some airbrushed glossy nonsense with flying graphics that doesn’t mean anything.

So I reopened DK in March 2022. Let DK do its thing which is clarify for people what it is that matters to them, by listening together, and sharing, and going that way, one step at a time.


Purpose. ‘Start with Why’ video by Simon Sinek

What’s your purpose? This might help you figure it out. It’s called ‘Start with why?’ The ‘golden circle’ idea by Simon Sinek is oft-referred to when you talk to anyone who might help you think out your branding, your market positioning, and the things you can do. ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’

Check out this video.

To paraphrase, the goal is not to sell to people who want to buy what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.


‘Be authentic to who you are, the values you have’

This article in Forbes talks about branding like this. ‘Be authentic to who you are, the values you have, and the skills you excel at. Authenticity is imperative to branding success. Avoid pressure to constantly reinvent yourself or overstate and inflate your message. A simple articulation of who you are and what you are good at – shared succinctly and clearly – will suffice to nail down your brand.’

DK wants to just do what it wants to do which is branding, brand identity design, and nothing else in the middle to get stuck with explaining to people because the pictures say it. Clearly, simply, straightforwardly.