It Started with a Napkin
It was July of 2001 and the dot com bomb was in full detonation...
The formerly buoyant technology environment in the Bay Area was in complete free-fall, so Andy Hardie-Brown and I went to commiserate over drinks at a restaurant on Belden Alley in San Francisco. For those of you in the Bay Area at that time, you’ll remember it was an appropriate time to be drinking.
We discussed the future of our current company and solutions for turning it around. The more we drank the larger the ideas became. Andy captured this lightly lucid, certainly fluid, discussion on a cocktail napkin. While the notes were not necessarily coherent or legible, our intent was clear. We would build an amazing firm and achieve great things where other agencies had not. Our core premise was to create a positive and highly entrepreneurial culture where talented professionals could do great work and thrive, free of office politics.
The notes on this napkin launched quite an odyssey for us. Over the years, building the firm required hard work, patience, perseverance and a lot of luck as we endured a terrorist attack, recession, tech industry collapse, wars, and another recession. Eleven years later we’ve created one of the largest PR firms in the country filled with truly amazing employees and terrific clients. Andy had that napkin framed and gave it to me on my 40th birthday. It sits on my desk today as a reminder of just how cheap he really is.
~ Scott Allison