When I started Double Forte, a public relations and digital marketing agency, in 2002 with my friend Dan Stevens (who has now moved on from the business), we were determined to have a better day, every day, than we’d had in our previous jobs. The two mandates: (1) our company would be independent and small, and (2) we’d have no twentysomethings to babysit—I had had it with the younger generation in my previous job, where I’d had hundreds of them in my group.

In 2002, these mandates were easy to realize. Large agency holding companies were still reeling from the 2000 tech bubble burst (for tech centers San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle), and wouldn’t be investing or acquiring smaller companies in my neck of the woods for a while. ...

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