3 principles that successful businesses embrace, according to one of the world’s best digital marketers

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When building a modern business into successful enterprise, leaders must look beyond the confines of conventional business models and seek opportunities in things others see as major challenges.

This is the core of Ajaz Ahmed’s new book “Limitless”.

Ahmed is the founder of AKQA, a digital marketing and consultancy agency he founded in 1994, aged just 21. The company is now global, with more than 2000 employees and is now planning to launch in Australia.

His book outlines a number of principles great businesses have, and embrace, which he shared during at Pause Fest in Melbourne this week.

“You can’t improve on what you don’t measure: contribute to the career development of colleagues, contribute to the creation of cultural moments, create positive feedback from audiences,” Ahmed said.

Successful organisations “counter-balance operational excellence with creativity and experimentation, and they are quite happy to live with that tension,” he added.

“I think the great test of any organisation is if you took them out of society then the community would be poorer as a result.”

Ajaz Ahmed on stage at Pause Fest 2017. Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

Here are the some of the principles Ahmed discussed.


“If it was for the elite, and they make it for everyone,” he says.

This is where leaders invent something or improve on an existing product, or make it more widely available and affordable.


“They don’t just revolutionise in their core business but they also do that in other aspects of their business as well,” he said, adding that Apple is a good example.

Leaders discover new ways of thinking about business and push the boundaries.


“Simple will always displace the complex,” he said.

Having a clear, concise voice is important in defining the identity of the business.


“We talk a lot in our industry about storytelling, and behind every great story is an author. And when you think about that word author, it gives born to two other words: Authenticity and Authority,” he said.

Stories give meaning to human experience, connecting with individuals and communities.

AKQA has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, from Nike to Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Microsoft.

For its Australasian launch, the company plans to partner with creative technology company DT, rolling out in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as New Zealand and Singapore, adding 220 employees to the ranks.

*The author travel to Melbourne as a guest of Pause Fest 2017.