Only a few steps away from Poccistraße station, there is a beautiful and old mint green building, and in its third floor the SERIOUS.BUSINESS offices/party locations lay. It’s a small office, with an open floor plan, colorful posters and an inflatable unicorn head; outside a big terrace with fairy lights, a space that remains warm even in the colder months in Munich. Then there is the people, the founding team, but that’s a longer story:

It seems impossible to imagine those five people meeting by chance in a classroom in Stockholm, yet at the same time, there is a sense of destiny in this team. They are exactly where they are supposed to be.

Celebrating at the last Punchi Punch office party before the pandemic arrived

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a veil on top of 2020, many businesses are struggling and many others have had to close their doors. But in the middle of the chaos and uncertainty, SERIOUS.BUSINESS a small branding agency, celebrates 5 years of working alongside purpose-driven companies in the creation of meaningful brands. So, I asked the founding team to let me write a piece for their 5-year anniversary, to bring some of their joy and fun into this calamitous year. I had the chance to talk to each of them individually, and by the last conversation, I had the feeling that I had met SERIOUS.BUSINESS.

Normally, they would have thrown a party to celebrate their anniversary, Porfirio would have played music, and people would have danced and laughed. But having fun is a serious commitment. So in order to celebrate together, here are the top 5 ultimate SERIOUS.BUSINESS party songs, chosen by them, for the for everyone to join in on the celebration.

“SERIOUS.BUSINESS is what I had planned for myself”


The team met in Hyper Island, they were supposed to go for an internship as part of their program, but since challenging the status quo is something that was present since the agency’s birth; they decided to start something together instead. After a successful couple of months together, they jumped and founded SERIOUS.BUSINESS.

The five of them shared the dream of starting something of their own. For some, it had been a long standing goal they mapped for themselves almost a decade before it actually happened. For others, as soon as they got together it clicked, kind of like a great first date. They had their first cabin trip, although not the last, and decided to take the chance to start their own agency and see their dream through, even if that meant failing.

2015 in Stockholm — The very first cabin trip where SERIOUS.BUSINESS is conceived

They were looking to build something different, something that could allow them to explore their creativity, choose their clients, and turn work into an enhancer of life, but not life itself.

The start of SERIOUS.BUSINESS was not uneventful, from having to choose the city where to settle, to finding the first clients, to waiting on visas and permits for some team members. They built the agency unafraid of big claims, with a culture that values freedom, continuous learning, and creativity. They built a business using friendship as the foundation.

When asked about the most memorable moments of these five years, Reykjavik kept being mentioned. They went to Reykjavik for their most interactive project to date. They took the city’s most prominent landmark, Hallgrimskirkja, turned it into a candle for Amnesty International’s Christmas campaign, and asked for people’s engagement to keep the candle alive. Nonetheless, as they told the stories of their time in Iceland, they all kept coming back to the fun times together, the laughs, and the inspiration they find in each other.

Whoever said that friends and business don’t mix hasn’t met them.

“Diversity and a global perspective”


Coming from all corners of the world, the idea of settling down in one city seemed unrealistic to say the least. They choose Munich with the commitment of making it a home for both the agency and the team. In many ways they did, they threw parties and grew a community around them, but in many ways they grew scared of what would happen if one of them wanted to leave. They nomadic spirit couldn’t be so easily tamed. Corona changed that, it forced distance between them, and with it the realization that SERIOUS.BUSINESS’ home is in the team. They have found new and exciting ways of bringing their something special online, and also the knowledge that they can keep producing amazing work remotely.

5 Countries, 5 Languages, 5 Backgrounds

Back to 2017 — the early days in the first office in Munich

It is precisely their diversity that makes the SERIOUS.BUSINESS team so unique, it serves as their superpower. It influences the way they are, but mostly the way they collaborate.

The agency involves and engages clients in the process. Their core belief that purpose-driven brands can change the world in meaningful ways forced them to develop a process in which they really get to know the client and understand the brand they are working with.

Their collaborative process is ingrained in their culture. From the way they work as a team to the way they build connections with freelancers, partners, and clients. SERIOUS.BUSINESS is driven by warm ambition. They want to help Startups build meaningful brands and become the go-to agency for purpose-driven companies, and in order to do it, they are willing to open themselves up, be engaged and vulnerable. They are all in.

“Having fun is being successful”


It’s ironic that a company named SERIOUS.BUSINESS has as a core value being serious about having fun. For them working without having fun is a huge waste of resources; people deliver more and better when they are motivated by playfulness and enjoyment. Work is such a huge part of our lives and it should be fun. It is through work that we meet new people and discover new interests. Fostering an engaging environment allows for growth: not only growth of the company, but personal growth.

Work: It’s all about the people

The team’s commitment to fun, is actually a commitment to people. They have embraced holacracy as their work structure. No hierarchies, no job titles, but don’t confuse it with no structure. Holacracy for SERIOUS.BUSINESS is taking a chance on people. Understanding that a great idea, immense talent, and creativity can come from anyone is what makes this completely out-of-the-box structure actually work.

2017 at the Lovie Awards in London — the first major recognition of our work

The team’s commitment to fun, is actually a commitment to people. They have embraced holacracy as their work structure. No hierarchies, no job titles, but don’t confuse it with no structure. Holacracy for SERIOUS.BUSINESS is taking a chance on people. Understanding that a great idea, immense talent, and creativity can come from anyone is what makes this completely out-of-the-box structure actually work.

Holacracy ensures that decision-making is distributed among all team members. In order for that to be realistic in their team, they need to have fully open communication channels. Their check-in/check-out policy works wonders. It is as simple as it sounds: at the beginning of the day or of a meeting they check in: this is the perfect moment to share, ask for help, and also learn about what others are up to; and at the end of the day they check out, they claim their own space. This creates a team that is always on the loop, where team members seek responsibilities based on their interests. Autonomy and passion delivers much more than micromanaging.

When asked to describe what SERIOUS.BUSINESS meant for them in three words, freedom was mentioned by all the founders. This is their freedom project, how to found a branding agency and do the work you dreamt of, while at the same time explore the world, learn new things, and have fun? They don’t have it 100% figured out yet, but their committed approach to people and enjoyment seems to be proving itself as the right path.

“Sharing the knowledge”


They are a young company committed to help other young companies develop meaningful and powerful brands. Brands that can change the world. They have worked in over 60 projects in these past five years and have been able to bear witness of the impact of branding.

Branding is a tricky word, and that’s a big part of what they envision for SERIOUS.BUSINESS in the future, to become the place-to-go for startups in need of developing a brand. For now, they are centered in Europe, with a few clients/partners in the US, but with such an international team it comes with no surprise how much they want to share themselves, their best practices, their experience and knowledge to their own regions and beyond, Latam or Australia, for example.

A Serious Partner for Serious Startups

Legendary Winter Cabin Trip 2018 to Zillertal in Austria

Sharing the knowledge means a lot more than just getting more and bigger clients, it means expanding their culture, creating better working places, pushing creativity and strategy into the most courageous projects, and building a community. They are now developing new and more affordable products that give any serious startup the tools to become a market leader.

In a world where everyone is trying to keep their cards close to their chest, SERIOUS.BUSINESS is playing with an open hand. From being honest and open about their own mistakes and struggles –and writing down their learnings– , to sharing their unique Hot Air Balloon methodology through their newsletter Serious Knowledge. The team’s biggest revolution is their devotion to helping others follow their passion and conquer their goals.

“SERIOUS.BUSINESS is my dream client”


The dream client question is a mandatory one for a branding agency, and they do have their picks: from Patagonia, to UFC, to anyone willing to revolutionize the future of work. But after the smiles and laughs, they all went back to SERIOUS.BUSINESS. The dream is to keep working for themselves.

They want to be able to invest and reinvest in what they believe in, to choose clients based on passion and impact instead of budget. They want to help amplify the voices they admire. At the same time, they are ready to start developing their own projects, from the creation of new branding products, all the way to technology development and expanding their community to all corners of the world.

Founding team in 2020 — still enjoying and hungry for more

After talking to them about the past, I asked about how they saw the future of SERIOUS.BUSINESS. Their answers stretched all the way from “not that different” to “becoming a household-name agency”. Although they might sound contradictory in a sense, it speaks deeply of their culture. They want to keep on choosing their clients based on shared values, yet they are ambitious, constantly searching for bigger challenges.

Equipped with a wealth of diversity and creativity, the future of SERIOUS.BUSINESS is indeed something to look out for. The road ahead holds many changes, but some things are bound to stay the same –like having fun on the job, going on cabin trips, or getting lunch once a week at Thuy (the best Pad Thai in Munich).