Defining Company Culture and the Adpearance Nerdherd

Aug 28th 2013

Despite its name, the Adpearance company culture may not be what you think.

What is “company culture”?

In college, textbooks and professors told me it was a set of norms that governed life at a certain company. However, after spending time in the Adpearance Nerdherd, I have come to realize that is a unique atmosphere created by individuals who spend a lot of time together throughout the week.

Adpearance’s company culture can be summed up by the employees’ self-anointed nickname. The Adpearance office is constantly filled with Nerdherd references. Whether it is a social media post, internal emails, or friendly messages written on the kitchen whiteboard in the morning, breaking down this nickname can reveal so much about Adpearance.


The word “nerd” immediately evokes several stereotypes. We proudly claim the positive ones, working hard to be an intelligent and high achieving group. The Nerdherd is committed to only producing our best work and always seeking innovative solutions for our clients. We also take pride in things that would not necessarily have been cool in school. The goofy sense of humor around the office is becoming the stuff of legends. Just last week, we staged an office wide Nerf Gun war in honor of Calvin Mesman’s birthday, while a few months ago we recreated Michael Jackson’s music video for Thriller, complete with undead dance moves, to celebrate our co-founder Aaron James’ birthday.


A “herd” is a group that treats each other like family and sticks together. That fits the Adpearance office perfectly. Each team collaborates on projects, work related or not. From asset design to dishes after lunch, everyone pitches in to get the job done. Similar to a herd, there are no outliers. The whole herd is treated equally, and even the co-founders are not exempt from some good-natured banter or weekly kitchen duty.

When I started with Adpearance after graduation, I was worried that I wouldn’t fit into this culture. Always a student-athlete, with heavy emphasis on the athlete, I was rarely described as a nerd, nor was I particularly interested in calling myself one. I had yet to experience the Nerdherd for myself, and there were no employee handbooks to memorize or corporate buzzwords written on conference room walls to let me know about the inner workings of the company. However, I ended up learning everything about our company culture from this simple hashtag.

What I learned is the Nerdherd isn’t made up of isolated teams of anti-socials huddled at their computers for all hours of the day, and the office isn’t an over-teched geek-topia. Instead, it’s one of the most energetic, vibrant places I’ve ever worked in, and I’m loving my newfound nerd status.

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