Mission, Vision, Values and Beliefs


What is Cantilever trying to achieve?

✨ To make the world a better place through design and technology ✨


What will it look like when we are done?

Cantilever will be instrumental in bringing about major positive change in the world through our work itself and the effect that work has on people everywhere. We will be leaders in the public conversation about our values and how technology can deliver them. We will be a model employer known for treating people well, and will inspire others to follow our practices.


What do we care about the most?

Our four main values are Sustainability, Health, Equity, and Delight (SHED for short).

We embody these values through:

  • How we design and build our websites
    • Ex. When we make a website accessible, it makes the world more equitable and healthy. When we code for performance, it makes the world more sustainable (saving electricity) and equitable (allowing people in countries with poor infrastructure to access the content).
  • How we conduct our business
    • Ex. We are a remote company that attempts to emit as little CO2 as possible.
  • Who we work with
    • We are happy to work with anyone who is not opposed to our values, but notice and reach out to firms that share our values to try and build relationships.


What principles guide us in our pursuit of this mission?

Digital Hospitality

We believe that digital products are spaces visitors inhabit, not billboards they see from a distance.

We believe the web should be helpful, empathetic, accommodating, and safe. We believe that access to information is a human right. We believe that the power of technology is harnessed when it is firmly linked to the power of our humanity in concept, design, and practical application.

We are driven by the knowledge that If we fulfill our vision, we would improve the daily lives of billions of people – both through our work and our influence.

In order to practice Digital Hospitality, we need to be able to put ourselves in the virtual shoes of the people who visit the sites we make. We need to have an open mind and avoid preconceived notions of what they’ll want or need, and we need to listen to them.

When it comes to our clients, we endeavor to deeply understand them and their world so that we can empathize with them as well.

Our culture is about empathetic human connection. We go out of our way to connect with each other as people, not just co-workers.

We value diversity. A diverse team is a strong team (here’s a study), and we have only ever gotten better by having a wider range of backgrounds, genders, cultures, family situations, locations, and opinions in our ranks. We don’t accept the skewed demographics of the tech industry as a given, but seek to change them, even when inconvenient for us. We require an accepting, open attitude and do not tolerate bigotry. We keep it weird. We send snacks.

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What Does Digital Hospitality Look Like?

Trust and Independence

We hire smart people and expect them to be smart. Cantilever staff make their own choices – when to ask for help, when to stop and check in with the client, how long to work, from where, and on what schedule.

We expect the best from our people, but believe they should expect the best from the company as well. We should stop at nothing to make our team happy.

We use careful planning and a strong culture to deliver an unparalleled team and customer experience without infringing on our staff’s autonomy. We make extra effort to be clear, open, and frank in our communication. We avoid arduous systems or practices and cut through clutter. We write, design, code, and work with a seamless, minimalist sensibility.

Part of the reason the agency world can be so toxic is a lack of transparency. Clients are shielded from knowing the full picture. Staff must deflect and deceive internally to get work done without upsetting politics. We detest deception and seek to be transparent in a proactive way (letting clients in on our processes and knowing whatever they want about what we’re doing) and a reactive way (answering questions and responding to problems in a tactful but totally clear manner).

Relentless Passion for Improvement

We are obsessed with perfecting the art of “Digital Hospitality.” We’ve never found the absolute right way to do things. All the progress we have made has merely been to enable the next optimization. Anyone in the company can make suggestions for how to make a process better. Managers must be open to suggestions and change, and should greet them with enthusiasm, not annoyance.

Profits Create Potential

To achieve our vision, we need to make money. Making a profit allows us to attract the best talent, reward them generously, and retain them, providing continuous value for our clients. Profits allow us to spend time and resources focusing on our culture and building our skills so that we can be even more effective and cohesive. Profits allow us to give back to causes we care about and make the world a better place.

We are cautious with our resources but never afraid to make big investments when we anticipate a big return.

We must grow in order to fulfill our vision, but we should never grow at a pace that jeopardizes our culture or the quality of our work.