Mission, Vision, and Values (2020 and prior)


This has been replaced by a new version for 2021 and beyond.

Customer Promise

What is the value we deliver to clients?

We create exceptional websites using our philosophy of “Digital Hospitality.”


What are we trying to accomplish long-term?

Make great creative work easier.

The internet provides unprecedented opportunity to redefine the way we work. High-quality creative work is exceptionally difficult to execute, coordinate, or commission. Our mission is to design a technology-driven remote work model that makes life easier for our clients, team, and vendors. By making the process of creating a website easier, we are able to produce top-quality work on spec, on time, and on budget. By inventing a new way of working, we will be able to expand into other products and markets with an unfair advantage.


How will the world look if we are successful?

Cantilever will lead the way in making the web a better place for users, clients, and creators alike.

We believe the web should be more helpful, empathetic, accommodating, and safe. We believe it should be easier for the people who create websites and the people who need them to work together harmoniously.


  1. Digital Hospitality. We are more than a technology company – we are a hospitality company. We believe that websites are spaces that users enter, not billboards they see from a distance. We empathize with them and obsess over every detail of their experience. We build our sites to change and grow over time, because not only will technology change, but the market will too.
  2. Life Before Work. We work in order to lead the lives we envision – to raise our families, to pursue our interests, to secure our futures. The act of providing for those lives should not intrude on actually enjoying them. We choose how much we work, when we do it, and where from. We expect the company to flex around personal commitments, not the other way around. In return, we expect the best of our people in the time they choose to give to us. We use careful planning and a strong culture to deliver an unparalleled customer experience without infringing on our staff’s autonomy.
  3. Relationships First. Our relationships and culture are our most important assets. We treat people with dignity and respect. We are honest to a fault. We will always sacrifice short-term gain if we can build a stronger bond with a client, partner, or team member. We keep it weird. We send snacks.
  4. Diversity of Everything. 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.
  5. Never Settling. 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.
  6. Self-Reliance. We hire smart people and expect them to be smart. Especially as a remote team, Cantilever staff make their own choices – when to ask for help, when to stop and check in with the client, when we’re running behind and must postpone a presentation, how long to work and when. We value the ability to make these decisions well, and the guts to take responsibility for one’s actions. And when we see something wrong, we shouldn’t grumble quietly, we should fix it.
  7. Radical Transparency. 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).
  8. Reading it Twice. We are a remote company, making communication especially challenging. When you rush communication it’s easy to make mistakes. In the worst case, we can think someone else has made a mistake and we might react to it without realizing the misinterpretation, causing stress and offense. We make extra effort to be clear, open, and frank in our communication.
  9. Servant Leadership. Management at Cantilever is about empowering people to do their best. Managers are resources of their reports, not the other way around. Performance is evaluated continually and transparently. Managers and reports speak with respectful candor and seek the greater good.
  10. Keeping it Simple. Our mission is to make great work easier. Complexity is the enemy of ease. We avoid arduous systems or practices and cut through clutter. We write, design, code, and work with a minimalist sensibility.

Value Candidates

Stuff we like that is not quite a value yet. 10 max values makes sense. These are contenders.

  • Preference for Action
  • 1% better