es en

What I've learned in these 10 years

Founder & CEO
I have never liked the idea of sharing what I write. I believe advisors should not exist, and that the client is the one that matters, not me. But Simplicity is turning 10, and it’s time to break my rules.

01 – Be happy with what you do.

It seems obvious, and it might be, but it’s so hard. Since we founded Simplicity, we set out to be happy. We even included a manifest in the organization’s bylaws. Our lawyers looked at us with a weird face but why can’t happiness be legal? The thing about happiness is that it’s not just you who benefits from enjoying work but everyone else around you, making everything flow magically, including the best results for the clients. Happiness is contagious. A very funny Argentinian man I once met told me: “Look che, you have to look at the emotional return rate of the business.”

02 – Like a rugby team.

Being a rugby player has always been a big part of my life and one of its biggest takeaways I value the most is that every player is as important as any other. It doesn’t matter if someone is short, fat or slow. Each one of us has a position and a role to play, and every personal skill adds to the overall group purpose: win the match. Today at Simplicity we bring our best version to every challenge, and we place our diverse views and unique skills at the service of the team and our clients. We don’t want big stars. No one is better than all of us together.

03 – Advising people.

When you have a connection with the client, whoever it is, you enjoy the job much more and you get better results. How rewarding it is to be able to advise nice people, to have a close bond with them, especially with those that are smart and funny, who think differently, and aren’t afraid of leading. When we founded Simplicity, we were thrilled to have the option to choose our clients. The question then was how do we do that without going bankrupt😂?? It’s been 10 years and there have been some clients we haven’t taken up and others who we have kindly let go.

04 – Have the right to make mistakes.

Failing is part of the process and, before founding Simplicity, I didn’t really get it. Instead, I fought to win, to avoid defeat: everything had to go “perfectly.” Losing was not a learning experience or an opportunity, it was LOSING. How wrong I was. Like Galeano said, “perfection shall remain the boring privilege of the gods”. And this is so radical that, thanks to the many times we “lost” in these 10 years, today we are the first Chilean communications company with an office in the United States.

05 – Work, work, work?

There is no magic recipe to be successful, but I do know that to make it you must work hard. Today, Simplicity is a leading company because we have worked our butts off to get to where we are. Nobody has given us anything, and it has all been worth it. However, a while ago I realized that work cannot be everything in life. Moving forward, we are focused on continuing delivering excellent work for our clients, whilst balancing our personal and professional lives. To bring our philosophy to life, at Simplicity, some of our benefits include a 4-week paid time off, 1 month of parental paid leave for dads, and Friday afternoons off, among other perks.

06 – To different challenges, different solutions.

I have always thought that our industry’s go to flagship ‘get the client to appear on as many news outlets as possible’, is something from the 90’s. In some cases, this remains important, but it is completely insufficient as a rule. It’s impossible to solve every problem or challenge with this one ingredient. Therefore, during Simplicity’s 10 years we have been trailblazers in developing a strategic framework and execution model that integrates all communication fields, including advertising, digital, branding, and crisis management.

07 – Give your very best. Always aim for more.

Whether we work on a complex case with high public exposure, or with a startup or non-profit, we always bring the same commitment to the table: complete dedication and engagement. Even though things may – or not – go our way (hopefully they will!😁), the client always notices our commitment, loyalty, and passion. In the end, they appreciate that we give our very best and work relentlessly to achieve what we have promised. That’s why they recommend us, and it’s that word of mouth that has allowed us to grow year after year. Our promise is “we have your back” and we always try to live up to it.

08 – One or a few steps ahead.

I am one of the tens of millions of people around the world who admire Elon Musk. As a genius who has moved the barriers of what’s probable, he has achieved the impossible. His saying “timing is all” is one I deeply believe in. One of the most important factors in offering a first-class consulting service is to stay ahead of the curve. You don’t get that kind of intelligence from a Harvard education (respectfully), but by knowing what’s happening out there and having the right skills to process that knowledge into actionable insights. This is critical when it comes to advising clients to do A, B or C. At Simplicity, we have been successfully able to adapt throughout the last decade, and we are ready for what is happening today around the world.

09 – There’s something called Planet Earth.

Everything you do (or don’t do) has an impact, always. For better or for worse. We don’t care about being the best company in the world but being the best company for the world. That’s why we became the first Communication firm in Chile to be certified as a B Company, making a commitment – stated in the organization’s bylaws and with a 3-year recurrent assessment process – to have the best social and environmental practices. And that’s also why we believe in paying it forward, working pro bono for those campaigns that need our help. Like Bukowski wrote, “I do not have time for things that have no soul.”

10 – Live Simplicity.

The fact that our company name is Simplicity is not just because it’s cool (although it is!😎), but because there’s a philosophy behind it that makes more sense as I personally mature and we grow as a team. Simplicity means, among other things, staying focused on the basics; have confidence in your abilities with humility; don’t waste time or energy on nonsense, and be free to be yourself and speak up your mind, while looking into each other’s eyes. Achieving this is the most difficult thing, as contradictory as it sounds.

In 10 years I’ll write again.

Thank you to everyone (including those who don’t love us that much💕) who have helped make Simplicity what it is today.

Matías Cartajena
Founder & CEO
Back Back
What I’ve learned these 10 years