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Agaric Design Collective profiled in academic paper "Snapshot of a Local Business Start-Up"

October 23, 2007

Kathleen M. Vranos

Bus 111

Snapshot of a Local Business Start- Up

Agaric Design

Part One

General Overview of Services Provided by Agaric Design

· Web design is a generalization of the services provided by Agaric Design.

· To be more specific, they provide design of static sites, interactive sites, and use software platforms such as WordPress (elegant and usable blogging), Drupal (powerful and extensible content management), and MediWiki (multi- editing collaboration). Static sites are sites that are not interactive.

· Agaric Design provides these services using state of the art open source.

· Offers on site instructions on how to use programs that Agaric Design uses themselves free of charge. This service is often charged for by other web design companies.

Agaric Design's Mission

· First and foremost Agaric Design's main mission is to help people.

· Agaric believes that the internet is a tool that should be used to share knowledge and information. Although Agaric Design does use the internet to sell their services, they feel that the internet is used more for selling than sharing, and that it should be used more for sharing than selling.

· Agaric Design tries to harnesses the power of the internet, and provide services to their customers using this power. The customers have a need for a product that is a combination of the power of the internet, and the knowledge that Agaric Designs possesses. The customers have an idea, but do not possess the knowledge to bring it to life. That is where Agaric Design makes this idea a reality for the customer.

· Agaric Design strives to make the customers' ideas a reality, and in doing so, hopes to improve our surroundings. Agaric believes that this is the proper use of the internet, to better society as a whole, not solely as a tool for sales.

· Agaric Design tries to use the internet as a tool for social change. The internet is a tool within itself, but it is also a tool that can be used as an aid in many other endeavors.

Sales and Advertising

· No advertising has been necessary for Agaric Design at this point in time. They have thus far had an abundance of work due to inquiries from previous clients, and prospective customers who have had Agaric Design recommended to them by previous clients.

· Agaric believes that if the company focuses on helping people and improving their surroundings, then there will be no problem with them having enough work.


· Agaric Design charges $50- $150 per hour on sliding scale for their services.

· At the start of the business, Agaric had some problems with underestimating the amount of time that projects would take. After making these mistakes they quickly adjusted their estimations of time that certain projects would take. Agaric found that the projects that they underestimated, were priced at about half of what the job should be due to the fact that they wanted to be able to do the task in that amount of time. By approximately doubling the time that they believed a certain task would take, Agaric came to a pretty reliable formula for estimating. This method also takes into consideration unknowns and leaves a cushion for solving these problems correctly.

· Along with this last statement, Agaric Design embraces the concept of promising late, and delivering early, there will always be unknowns and you need to expect this, and factor them into your timetable.

· Due to the fact that Agaric Design is mainly a service based company, time spent on a job, and the price of the job, are in direct correlation.

· Agaric Design periodically researches the competition's prices to maintain a reasonable equilibrium price in the market.

· Most importantly price and time estimation can only be fine tuned with experience, but experience itself will drive down the time a task will take, so one must factor that into the equation as well.


· Agaric Design does not see anyone as their competition.

· Seeing other web design businesses as competition goes against Agaric Design's philosophy. They see these other design shops as a chance to collaborate knowledge and information for a common goal, not as a rivalry. Going back to the sales and advertising of Agaric, they "believe that if the company focuses on helping people and improving their surroundings, then there will be no problem with them having enough work." Therefore there is no threat of competition.

Monetary Goals

· Agaric Design does not have a financial annual goal.

· They strive to live comfortably and achieve this while making a difference in the world and doing what they are passionate about.

· Agaric Design believes that controlling their own destiny is more important than monetary goals.

· They do not strive to become rich monetarily, but they do strive to become rich in other ways. Agaric believes that being rich is extremely objective, and that they feel that they are already rich by their non monetary based standards.

· If Agaric Design had drawn up a business plan, this plan would have been much more actions based that money based.

· In the end though, money is what pays the bills so it cannot be disregarded completely. As long as they can live comfortably and focus on their actions, and effects on society, and not have the main focus be on the monetary aspect of the business, then Agaric designs feels that they are successful.

Part 2

Agaric Design did not have a business plan that would be comparable with the example in the text book. Agarics business plan was much more focused on the actions of the company than on monetary goals.

· Although Agaric Design did not start out with a monetary based business plan, does not mean that they overlooked many important factors in opening and running a business. They set their priorities, and strived for those goals, hoping for their financial success to follow.

· The most pertinent part of Agaric's business plan was their actions and effects on society. Their main focus was on bettering society as a whole, providing a service for their customers that would open up the possibilities for both the customers and the people that the customers were catering to. In this sense, Agaric has stuck extremely close to their goal from the beginning. Even though they did not sit down and draw out a mission statement or business plan on paper, the founders of Agaric Design were dedicated to providing these services to society, in a manner that Agaric felt was as beneficial as possible to all.

· Agaric Design believes that the value of adhering to their business plan was priceless in determining the success of the company. Being that their business plan focused more on personal values than on dollar values, it may be considered more of a mission statement than a business plan, but Agaric feels that weighing their priorities like they did is what made them as successful of a business as they are.

· The only aspect of Agaric's start up plan that they would have handled differently was the lack of preparing a solid scale for pricing projects. This is a tricky subject though, being that they work with programs and systems that are constantly changing and improving, along with the fact that fine tuning time estimation is an extremely difficult process. Agaric Design recognized this issue as a problem right away and began to rectify it immediately. Their ability to recognize this situation as a problem, along with understanding what adjustments had to be made to alleviate underestimating jobs, is an obvious sign of their ability to not only recognize, but solve problems when presented with them. There will always be challenges encountered when starting a business; therefore it is not the challenges that are solved that will make a business successful, but the process in which they solve these issues.

Part 3

I feel that the manner in which Agaric Design prepared their business plan is directly correlated with the level of success that they have achieved.

· Being that Agaric strives for a level of moral satisfaction over a monetary figure proves that they have undoubtedly experienced success by following their business plan.

· By having this approach at business Agaric Design has set up a formula for monetary success, even though there are no exact dollar figures involved. By focusing on the quality and intent of their actions and services, they are less affected by monetary influences and do not compromise the quality or content of their work for these influences.

· Agaric's ability to run a successful business while maintaining such a high level of moral integrity is an extremely powerful illustration of the ability of a business to succeed solely based on their values and to not be blinded by monetary motivation.

· I would have focused more on the monetary figures than Agaric Design did at the start of the business. Monetary security weighs a lot more heavily on my priorities than it does on Agaric Design's, but I am not faulting them for that in the least bit. This is only a personal preference and I have the utmost respect for Agaric running their business with the level of values that they do.

· I chose Agaric Design for their level of values, even though it is not the field of business that I am planning to pursue. Agaric's exceptional degree of business ethics is however a solid example that I plan on following when starting my own business. The extreme importance of business ethics to me is why I chose to interview Agaric Design over a business in my field of interest. No matter what field a business is in, if it is run with a high level of moral integrity, then I believe that its chances for success are extremely high.

Searched words: 
Business plan, academic, Open source


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