Noble Studios provides Web solutions a scope of work that's enormous and difficult to define as technologies grow and the company continues to evolve its services.
What isn't difficult to define, however, is how the company got its name.
"The Noble Studio name is from a core value. It's not a last name or anything. A noble person does deeds and gives gifts without expectation," explains Noble's owner, Jarrod Lopiccolo. "Plus, humility is huge piece. If you can be humble, you grow, learn and adapt."
Lopiccolo and his wife, Season, started Noble Studios in 2003, and if anyone knows about growing and adapting, it's them. When the company started, there was no Flickr, no Twitter, no iPhone apps, and Facebook was a speck of its future self. Today, Noble's Web solutions are heavy on social media and focused on user-interface technologies. The company doesn't create new technologies; it offers clients new solutions based on proven technology.
We don't want to be on the bleeding edge," Lopiccolo says. "We're on the leading edge."
Living on that edge, Noble's growth doubled in 2009, and Lopiccolo expects 2010 to double upon that. The company withstood the downturn, and even hired four new employees last year, bringing total staff to 12. The company hasn't laid off workers or cut salaries.
The company's founders created a process that decreased time on projects while increasing their quality. But Lopiccolo attributes Noble's success to his employees.
"It's important to have the right people on the bus, and just as important to get the wrong ones off. Sometimes you have to move them around. That's OK. We have the right people, and the right culture and that's why we're successful, hands down," he says.
Noble Studio began life as a home business, offering Web and marketing services. Season Lopiccolo designed content, and her husband worked as the designer.
Within a year, the couple moved the business to a traditional office, and the company now includes Adobe, Kohler and Barnes & Noble among its many clients. Lopiccolo says the company may even take office space in the Bay Area because it's landed so many clients down there.
Lopiccolo's business may be soaring, but his feet are firmly rooted. He was born in Carson City, lived in Reno for a while, then moved to Las Vegas to earn a degree in architecture from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He met his wife there, in a communications class.
The two lived in Las Vegas for about a decade, but when thinking about starting a family and a business, Lopiccolo realized there's no place like home.
"We wanted to start a family, and we realized the area needed this service. It not a tapped market," he says.
Family now includes son Harper, who is 6, and daughter Scarlett, 3, whom he calls "his vacation." Lopiccolo wears a bracelet that has the inscription "Family First" on it. He started wearing a makeshift bracelet of fly-fishing line to remind himself that family always comes first; Season bought him the inscribed one. He wears both.
"You can get lost in the digital world. I've always got my head in the sky; my wife brings me back. Family grounds me," he says. "We think business is the first thing, and we take it home with us, but it has to be about the family. Make sure your family is perfect, and then everything else falls in line."
For him, that goal involves lots of camping, fly fishing, visiting family in Hawaii and taking great advantage of the small town they live in.
"We love it here so much. We do yearly barbecue in the neighborhood. My neighbors borrow things, cup of sugar, oil, whatever. It's a neighborhood like you remember from when you were a kid...you know, small-town comforts."
Not that Lopiccolo and Season don't like getting away now and then.
In college, he studied in Italy and she studied in Chile. Now, as part of the company's overall financial goals, they take their entire staff to Europe every year. Last year, they rented a villa in Florence for a week. But what's remarkable is how in this economy, Lopiccolo not only takes its staff on retreat, but how he has invested his employees in the company's future.
"When the economy started to fall, we created a public financial goal, and put a part of the goal into the Noble Retreat Fund, which we use to take everyone to Europe. Everybody here has to work toward meeting the goal. We sat down with every person and discussed what part they could play in helping to meet the goal, whether it was being more organized or using a different skill. They are the leaders, and they get the reward," he explains. "We hire passion, then experience. It's impossible to teach passion."
His employees lead the way to what considers the greater goal of his company: spreading global communication.
"When there's conflict, prejudice...it's usually a lack of education," he says. "This could, in an idealistic world, solve peace through communication. Yes, it's an idealistic view, but if we had more communication, less bad things would happen."
The Noble man
Who: Jarrod Lopiccolo, owner, Noble Studios
Family: Wife, Season, son Harper, 6, daughter Scarlett, 3
He says: "This is the dot.com boom. The false boom, it had no user group. Now we have the users."