Think by Making

Philosophie is a digital innovation firm with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. We help organizations validate and develop their promising ideas through agile design, rapid prototyping, and software craftsmanship. Whether it’s to reduce costs, explore emerging markets, or improve the customer experience, we apply a startup mentality and toolset to deliver meaningful progress faster than you think is possible.

 
$50,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Santa Monica, CA
headquarters
  • 1615 16th Street
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    United States
other locations
  • 214 W 29th St
    New York, NY 10001
    United States
  • 1049 Market Street
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • PwC
  • UCLA
  • Google
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Capital Group
  • Nintendo
  • Planned Parenthood

stacksocial

StackSocial first came to us for their first major redesign. They wanted the site to work well across all devices, so making the site responsive was a top priority. In addition, they provided key performance indicators for the new design that were easy to measure: decrease bounce rate, increase time on the site, and increase revenue.

Jordan Keating, UI Designer at Philosophie, worked closely with Stack’s founder, Josh Payne, to bring his vision of the site to life. We presented designs in both mobile, tablet and desktop breakpoints. The new design added more visual interest through the use of textures, and extended the brand concept by introducing “stacks” as a visual element. The “stacks” also served to convey the bundled software packages that StackSocial is known for. The layout was also modified to promote shareability.

 

Reviews

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Custom Web Design and Development Boutique E-commerce Eyewear Distributor

"They’ve been very adept at taking each sprint seriously, with extreme and meticulous attention to detail."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

Philosophie Group manages all aspects of the digital footprint and online presence. The team built an MVP, the brand identity, and an onboarding funnel, and continue to provide marketing services.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles Metro Area
Co-founder & CEO, Boutique Eyewear Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Lead conversion rates have doubled since creation of the onboarding funnel. Philosophie Group excels at agile development with efficient use of time and resources. The team develops new insights and improvements with each sprint iteration and is constantly improving.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization?

I work for an online retailer of luxury, prescription eyewear. We have a unique value proposition that we pair up customers with stylists to help them select custom eyewear. They have the ability to try the frames at home. They’d then place an order, and we deliver their custom frames with the designated prescription lenses. All of our offerings are premium products.  

What is your position?

I’m the founder and CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you began the relationship with philosophie?

They’re responsible for our online presence. We began with a strong vision for the brand. We partnered up with them to make that vision a tangible reality. They deal with our entire digital footprint.  

SOLUTION

How did you select philosophie as your solution partner?

I heard about them through a professional networking meet-up that I attended. I met with Scott [managing partner at philosophie]. He immediately presented a unique way of looking at what we’re trying to build. They introduced us to agile development. They introduced us to the concept of a minimum viable product, which made a lot of sense. They built us a prototype that we were using to discuss our ideas with current and potential investors.

Could you describe the scope of their services?

They’ve done both online and offline marketing collateral for us. They’ve done 100 percent of our digital footprint. All of our online [presence] they’ve produced. They worked in conjunction with a design firm for part of the project as they were building out our brand identity. We’ve used them predominately for our website. We’ve delegated several design, development, integration, and configuration tasks to them.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?

It does vary depending on the current projects, but it typically costs between $10,000 and $15,000 a week, or about $40,000 to $60,000 a month.

When was the most recent project completed with philosophie?

We’ve never finished. We’ve finished particular phases and initiatives, but our work very much remains ongoing. The size and length of our various online tasks and initiatives tends to vary quite considerably.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback you’ve received that would demonstrate the effectiveness in the work they’ve delivered?

Without providing you with specific numbers, which I’m not able to do, we’ve built a new onboarding funnel with them for our sales and marketing processes. Our lead conversion rates have more than doubled since its creation and deployment.

When working with philosophie, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?

They are unique, I believe. Their whole approach is to build things as needed. It’s really agile. I think they’re a leader in agile development. They’ve been very adept at taking each sprint seriously with extreme and meticulous attention to detail. The iterations with them resulted in new insights and improvements. I felt like little time and resources were wasted as we moved through the process and progressively perfected our solutions.

In retrospect, are there areas you think they could improve on as a service provider?

I think that they’re constantly improving. I don’t necessarily know what they’re doing behind the scenes to improve their services and their team, but it’s certainly happening because you don’t end up offering the level of service and quality that they do without constant improvement.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Ruby on Rails Development Online Socializing Resource

"It’s amazing how quickly we can get modifications accomplished because they anticipate our needs."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Philosophie Group created a CMS to simplify content creation and management. They provided primarily custom development, architecture, configuration, and testing services and do ongoing stand-alone projects.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles Metro Area
Richard Brest
Founder, The Rundown
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new system immediately facilitated a 20 percent growth in email open-rates, an increase in advertisers, and 2 historic quarters of growth. Philosophie Group is responsive, often going out of their way to redesign a solution or offer an alternative, and uses a detailed project management system.

BACKGROUND

Could you describe your company?

My company is called The Rundown. We operate a daily email that informs people about what’s going on around town. It encompasses bars, date nights, restaurants for men who live in various cities, and more. We’ve got about a million subscribers across 11 different editions.

What is your position?

I’m the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you began the relationship with Philosophie?

What we’ve always done is publish an article that we then send out as an email. We needed to update our email template as well as our website. We needed to refresh our look to keep up with the times. We’re ad-supported, so we needed to ensure that the site was aesthetically appealing. We wanted to attract more advertisers to our platform. We also wanted to update our capabilities, so that we could incorporate more features both in the email and separately on the website. We decided to uncouple them because we knew that we could do more with the website than we could with our email.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of this project?

They created a content management system for us so that we’re able to create and manage our own content. We’ve worked with several tech teams through the years in different capacities. What Philosophie was able to do from the get-go was conduct the appropriate background research. They really started to understand our business. When we asked questions, and when we were talking about what we needed, they were able to talk to us in our own language, in layman terms. They would then deploy our conceptual designs. When we wanted to make alterations later either for our own sake or based on an advertiser’s request, they’d already built in capability for us to make changes. It was a very flexible tool that they developed for us. They built an entire content management system, which was a lot simpler than the one we had before. Most of what they did revolved around custom development, architecting, configuration, and testing. We provided the creative, strategy, and content.

Do you retain Philosophie for ongoing support?

Yes. We have a small retainer in place for ongoing support and case-by-case customizations. We also utilize their services for stand-alone projects. It’s amazing how quickly we can get modifications accomplished because they anticipate our needs.

How did you select Philosophie is your solution partner for this endeavor?

We had been using PHP for quite some time. We were trying to identify the best-fit team, and the right platform to develop on. We were based in Los Angeles at the time. We interfaced with more than a dozen local vendors based on referrals and our personal networks. We first learned about Philosophie through an associate that was a writer from an ad agency. He claimed, “These guys; they’re young, they’re hungry, and they listen." The listening part was the thing that struck me as the most attractive in that description.

In the past, very often, we’ve had teams that promise a lot and then they build our figurative house, but they’d get about 80 percent there, and then I say, “Well, what about this, what about that, these are the priorities.” We’d have to backtrack and reevaluate our steps. It usually ended up with them saying, “Oh, we didn’t realize you’d want a door.” A door is pretty important to a house. Those kinds of situations are the nightmare to most companies that are undertaking a technology project. With Philosophie, it was transparent from the get-go. They crystallized everything for us. Their development process is extremely collaborative, so we were never kept in the dark. We always had an understanding of where we were in the grand scheme of things and what to expect next.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this project in monetary terms?

It was between $75,000 and $100,000.

When was the project completed?

We finished the first stages in June of 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback you’ve received that would demonstrate the effectiveness of their work?

After we launched, qualitatively, we got a lot of feedback from longtime subscribers telling us how great it looked. For emails, our open-rates went up 12 percent in the first two weeks, and then we were up 20 percent during the next quarter, which was a huge improvement. The most important thing, frankly, were the advertisers we’ve brought on since launch. It opened us up to a whole new level of advertisers. We suddenly became relevant to a lot of aesthetically sensitive advertisers, design folks, car companies, and more. We had our two biggest quarters of growth right after that.

When working with Philosophie, is there anything you’d consider special or unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?

They’ve got something called Pivotal Tracker, a system that they used for project management. It’s fantastic. It’s not unlike Microsoft Project, but I found it more user friendlier; it allows both parties to see and determine what everybody’s working on, at any given time. We meet frequently or you can always look at this interface and see this is what the team’s working on right now. If we have issues with the work delegation, then I can talk to them, I can call them and tell them whether they are doing the right thing. It helps everybody stay in sync. I’ve been involved in a lot of project management, and I wish I’d had this tool during those previous gigs.

Outside of that, their team is extremely responsive to our needs. We've been in positions before where they've gone entirely out of their way to redesign a solution on our behalf, even after offering an alternative solution. 

In retrospect, are there areas you think they could improve upon as a service provider, or are their things you’d do differently as the client before initiating this type of project?

It would be great if they were to promote themselves a little more frequently to their client base, to let us know what they’re working on, what new tools they have, and so on. If there’s an improvement in their service, or if there’s a new product that they’re rolling out, even if they’re not sure that it’s relevant to all of their clients, it’s something we’d like to know. We’d like to see that they’re working on new things because there might be a use for us, or they might be of use for a partner that we’re working with. Having access to that cutting-edge information is key.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer