Challenging social norms to disrupt media.

Cut venture design in media


Define the vision and strategy for a new venture seeking to disrupt toxic media.


A sought after media brand with a wildly active community.


Cut is a recognizable media company known for iconic, internet-breaking content with over two billion views.

Working alongside Friends, founder Mike Gaston gave his venture rigor, purpose, and a brand to reach its ambitious vision. What started as a series of social experiments quickly grew into what is now several channels with an active community of over ten million people around the world.


Building one team to move fast and break the traditional client / consultant relationship.

From day one, we participated in everything from new business meetings to recruiting talent. Together, we identified specific project goals and took big steps toward larger company goals. We started with simple activities, like mapping stakeholder concerns that humbled the team, in order to find areas where Friends could be most supportive and build the roadmap of our partnership.

One Team

We act as one and invest our time in the work, rather than presentations. We help young companies scale and big orgs move faster than ever.

Anchoring Exercise

What will slow us down from getting to full-speed? The heavier the anchor, the lower it sinks.

Unique Approach

We adapt our research methodology on every project to respond to new challenges.

With Cut, moving fast and learning from the industry was crucial—because digital media was in such an intense time of flux. Along with our proven methodology, we explored new methods that brought valuable perspective to this project.

Industry Expert and Academic Interviews helped us integrate the most current thinking into our work and increased confidence with the team.

Spark Sessions created an environment where industry leaders and pioneers from our community could discuss and share big ideas.

Audience Behavior brings focus to content delivery—channels, relationships, etc.

We separated our audience into champions and spectators: Savvy Seekers actively curating content for their channels: be it a social feed, or professional outlet like FuzzBeed. Facebook Feeders use passive algo-feeds as thier primary source of content.

Vision & Identity

Building a brand that’s as strong on stage as it is behind the scenes.

As Cut began to grow and catch the eye of investors and partners, we brought clarity to its purpose and vision. Making it possible to create focused narratives across investor pitches and new business conversations.

Channel Design

Creating new value through an owned-channel without additional programming.

Creating content for your primary channel is difficult. Adding an owned channel into the workflow is asking for trouble, unless you’re at scale.

Friends designed a responsive site that paired published Cut content with best-of responses from social media and comments, as well as links to original inspiration and behind-the-scenes footage. Creating new value for a channel without creating more work.

Our Role

  • Audience Research
  • Customer Experience Definition
  • Brand Naming
  • UX & Product Design
  • Data Visualization
  • Responsive Web App Development
  • Brand Platform
  • Visual Language & Verbal Identity
  • Wayfinding
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