10 years, 10 thoughts on better business.

Matt Tipping


There are some personal milestones that need reflection. For me, this is now, as Double is officially 10 years old. Emotionally, this seems a good time to share 10 things I have l learnt along the way;


Big is not necessarily better – you have to constantly remind yourself what you are in business for. Being seduced by constant growth was stressing the business and we were making bad decisions to support this growth. At one of our highest stress points Polly (our MD), paused and said “what are we doing? We shouldn’t strive to be big. We should strive to be good“. I’m sure, to many, this is a crazy statement but since we had this epiphany, we have been less stressed and make way less bad decision trying to support a non-sustainable future.


Be trusting to be trusted – Within every human relationship, we strive to reach a position of trust. Without trust, there is no relationship, just a transaction. I have come to learn that by assuming trust at the start of a relationship creates an environment where deep and lasting collaboration can grow. Business should never be about winners and losers.


Security, support & wellbeing – The future of better business should never focus on shareholder value alone. By employing staff you have a mutual bond to support each other. In effect, a business exists at its core to give a secure, safe, and honest place to socialise and work.


Value all people alike – By valuing your staff, clients, suppliers and all people who you interact with alike you can achieve great things together.


Sustainable business is the future – I have come to feel the future of business has a moral and social obligation. Building a business that has profit and shareholder value as its only purpose (beyond the service/product offer) is not, to me, a sustainable future for business and all the people that it touches.


It’s tough so don’t do it alone – Throughout the last 10 years, and the few years leading up to starting Double I have had huge support from friends, colleagues, coaches, mentors, and my wife and family. It is thanks to all of these people that we have made Double what it is today, also, thanks kids for putting up with a non-present and grumpy dad for long periods!


Transparency always wins – Why do so many business leaders fear transparency? I hazard a guess that for some they play with the facts to assume or gain control over others. For me, allowing Double to be inwardly and outwardly more transparent has transformed our success and collective happiness.


Interference and not letting go – This is easier said than done but through some frank honesty from the team I learnt to let go of every decision. Without this change, the team was stifled in discovering their own capabilities.


Be a servant leader – As a leader of a business, you will empower your staff to achieve more than they imagined by listening, mentoring and serving. Command and control days have long gone for us. What blossoms in its stead is creativity unbound by anxieties and egos across the whole business.


There are infinite things you can learn, not just 10..

PS. My humble thanks to all who have helped us through our first 10 years, especially our hardworking staff.

Can I have some more?

Retail design?
What’s retail design?!

This happens a lot: “So what do you do?” – “Oh, I’m a retail designer, I design shops for a living.” - “Ah ok, so you mean like the fronts of shops? What they look like from the street?”

Designing a store that embodies brand values.

Recently as part of an interview, I was asked what retail may look like by 2025. Whilst I understood that this question shouldn’t be taken literally, I believe it is clear to see that retail is pushing forward into the realm of being experience-led. Brands know that their brick and mortar stores are becoming showrooms to try-on or try-out products, and as such, they are having to push harder to create experiences and connections with their customers.