While travel plans were dropped across the world, many turned towards reading as a way to explore new topics and replace the cultural curiosity travel would have brought. For me, this year offered a healthy mix of history, politics, and leadership.

I did miss the great storytelling of Fiction which was only quenched with Fall; or, Dodge in Hell. However while I love Stephenson, it didn’t match its predecessor of Reamde, and sadly not in the Top 5 for this year.

Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss
As I continue to spend more time outside the United States, I also aim…


For the Amsterdam Studio, this has been our sixth year in operation, and our second year since joining argodesign where we continue to assist companies in delivering innovative digital products.

It goes without saying, 2020 has been exhilarating, frustrating, and above all else unique. As a studio, our culture and DNA have proven to be invaluable during this year, providing foundation and strength as everything around us shifted. Despite making a huge shift in being distributed we managed to produce the best work in our studios history! We never thought of this year as a hindrance that would handicap us…


As a design studio, we have confronted continued change during 2020 due to the unravelling of COVID-19. On a Thursday in late February we gathered the studio and told them we would start working from home immediately, and this could last several weeks. Little did we know six months later, very little has changed, and we have acquiesced to our new situation. And that’s ok!

In the past six months I’ve shared writing on ensuring empathic support for each other, our ability to adapt to new situations, and the drawbacks to remote working we have encountered.

As we come to…


Imposter Syndrome is a question, and feeling, that is introduced far too often in career conversations with those who are usually the most talented. This is in contrast to those who could often use more humility and are subjects to the Dunning Kruger Effect, a bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are.

I recently had a 1:1 meeting in which an individual, who has always been overly capable of their position, shared a concern in having imposter syndrome. …


We gave up on counting eventually…

During our distributed working from home during COVID-19, we found many situations we liked. Less commute time, we could collect packages, or have meals with a significant other. We also found a number of things we didn’t like, and felt eroded our culture and strength as a team. What follows below is a note I sent to the argodesign Amsterdam studio discussing some of these drawbacks as we look forward to set a permanent policy in both studio and home working time.

Distributed Working — Looking Forward

Hey AMS,

Several weeks back [one of our design leads] led a discussion…


We were counting days at the start…

For anyone who follows my writing, it’s known I will often share internal communications I express within the studio. During this month, I listened to an a16z podcast entitled Growth in Turbulent Times. It showcases two core ideas during times of duress and recession — endure or adapt. What is written below is the communication and questions I shared with the studio right after. Before joining argo, and even while being a part of argo, these are the types of questions I asked myself in terms of how we stayed successful with our studio and within Europe. …


Over the last year, I’ve received many questions on running a Design Studio. This series of articles will answer several of those one by one in a public forum.
The complete overview on starting and running a Design Studio

People forget easily. Similar to marketing, or selling additional services to clients, being top of mind, or “visible” matters. While the term “visibility” often goes hand-in-hand with politics, politics inside a company doesn’t always need to have a negative connotation. Being visible can be done in a positive way to help both yourself, your team, and your management.

GaryVee —…


Designers and Technology workers continue to be in high demand and companies continue to embrace their unique differences. So then why must all job descriptions look exactly the same?

I think we can all agree, Given the COVID-19 lockdown, one of our first thoughts in perusing headlines on Linkedin becomes “what if we stay a completely distributed workforce”? Could this be maintained for Design Studios / Agencies? Or if we returned to a half-and-half situation, with smaller studios merged with a partially distributed workforce. I started to think if I had to re-write a job description for such a situation, what it would be.

As I started to write, I realised that despite companies often presenting themselves as unique, the way they describe themselves in Job Descriptions is painfully…


Every Friday our studio has a team meeting called FRIMO (Friday Morning). During this meeting we go over Business Development, Project Status, and Operations.

On April 24th, roughly 1,5 months into our current state of distributed working, and days after it was announced we would see another month of this — until at least May 20th. I opened the meeting with the comments below

I share this, as I believe most companies, teams, and individuals are going about their day, forgetting that for many, these days can be jarring, numbing, anxious, lonely, and simply sometimes boring. Take a moment to…


Over the last year, I’ve received many questions on running a Design Studio. This series of articles will answer several of those one by one in a public forum.
The complete overview on starting and running a Design Studio

As opposed to a normal Question and Answer, I will instead share the article below, which I wrote for argodesign in a draft format on how companies should think about adapting to the Distributed World. The article is currently being re-written with a focus on design organisations, which is why I’m sharing this.

I believe this article also explains why…

Joe Fletcher

Head of Creative at argodesign Amsterdam (https://www.argodesign.com/)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store