Interview by Stefan Schuster
Photos by BASIC

January 02, 2019

Matt Faulk was inspired by agencies like Firstborn, Attik, Big Spaceship or Odopod, so he felt he could create something unique as well. In 2010, he founded BASIC a branding & experience design agency working at the intersection of lifestyle, fashion, sports, and digital culture.

Today, they have an impressive list of world-class passion brand clients that keeps on growing. Just like the brands under its watch, BASIC emits its most cutting-edge aesthetics from the inside out.

Do you love BASIC as much as we do? Good news for you: They just opened a brand new office in Mountain View and are hiring for both locations - their headquarters in San Diego and their newborn studio in the Bay Area.

We can't even imagine Matt and his agency in 2025, but we are pretty confident it's gonna be top notch.

Matt Faulk

Matt Faulk


Who are you? What is your job at BASIC?

My name is Matt Faulk, and I’m the CEO at BASIC. My job is to guide the vision of our agency and create an environment where some of the most talented creatives on earth can do what they do best.

What inspired you to start BASIC?

Prior to BASIC, I was freelancing and working from my apartment and came to the realization that working in isolation wasn’t for me. I was always inspired by agencies like Firstborn, Attik, Big Spaceship, and Odopod and felt that I could one day create something special as well.

In 2010, I decided to try and make it happen and started BASIC with my co-founder Erich Broesel (he’s since moved on to other ventures). We wanted to do great work for great brands while having a great time doing it. This mindset continues to push us forward today.

What do you tell your family and friends about BASIC and what you do?

When it comes to BASIC, I usually tell people we’re a brand design consultancy that gets to work with the world's most beloved brands. Clients hire us to help them think about their future, then create the visuals, messages, and experiences that help them get there.

Could you show us an outstanding project you worked on in the past few month?

We’ve been really busy lately thinking about the future of our agency. With this in mind, we created a new site focused on helping new employees get familiar with our culture.

We also created an Agency Podcast called BrandBeats that started as an idea to combine music with industry discussions. It has grown into a platform with 45k+ listens per episode with reach in over 50 countries.

How and when does the day in the office start? And when and how does it end?

We don’t have “fixed” office hours and let our team determine what works best for them. A lot of our team members come in early to get a head start on the day, while others stay late. We just ask that people be responsible and to not take advantage.

A typical day starts with a team/project stand-up to build alignment, and ends when it makes sense and productivity is declining, unless we’re chasing a deadline 😉. Happy hours are frequent, as are walks to the local coffee shops.

What opportunities are there for employees to learn new things?

Here at BASIC, we’re always evolving, and because of this, our team is constantly being challenged to learn new things. We try and push our people to work across functions and progress in areas that make them uncomfortable. We also try and bring on opportunities that align with the goals and interests of our team to keep them stimulated and moving forward.

We’re currently in the process of developing a new system for career development and personal growth, and we’re excited for what that will mean for our people and our culture.

How does the recruitment process at BASIC look like?

We’re big on real conversations and don’t believe in over-complicating the process. Culture fit matters, and we hire those we feel can make us better, not just get the job done.

Unlike many firms, we take a “top-down” type approach where our leaders initiate the conversations then loop in the team as the candidate progresses. This is because at the end of the day, the leaders will have the final say and we want to be mindful of everyone’s time.

“A candidate should be vetting the job as much as the job is vetting them.”

What are the biggest mistakes you see people make when applying for a job at BASIC?

They don’t come prepared with questions. A candidate should be vetting the job as much as the job is vetting them. Another one is a lack of respect for those that have contributed to the work they’ve done in their past. This includes taking credit for too much and not speaking specifically to their role.

What personal characteristics do you look for in an exceptional candidate?

Passion first and foremost. We need people that love what they do as mediocrity comes from doing things that are uninspiring. Next would be a deep desire for growth and progression. Lastly and most importantly, they’re a good person.

Why are you better at your job than your competitors?

There are so many firms out there doing great work. It’s tough to say one firm is better than another. The truth is, it’s really about fit once you get to a certain level. Things like service expertise, category alignment, and cultural understanding all play a part. We’ve done our best work when these three things come together. That and a great relationship and a shared vision for the future with our client.

“Our people are valued above all else and have a say in our vision and our future.”

What would you like to tell us about BASIC that is not written down in your job descriptions?

We have a ton of autonomy; those that are entrepreneurial thrive here. Those that need their hands held don’t. Our people are valued above all else and have a say in our vision and our future. To that point, we’ve only had five people quit in seven years of business. I think we’ve built something pretty special.

Make cool $hit. Get paid.

→ Open positions at BASIC 

Thank you, Matt!

We're deeply impressed by BASIC’s work.

👋 from Sunnyvale to our neighbor's in Mountain View and San Diego.