Reify 2017: The story behind the source code.

2017 was a big year for Reify founders Mike Bernstein and Brian Doll.

Between on-boarding 20 new clients, developing 15 brands, and helping raise $37M in funding, they did what most startups wish they could do in year one. To close out the year, they wanted to tell their story in a fun and exciting way that clients and prospects can get value from.

Reify works in a growing B2B market where developers sell products to other developers. In this space, Reify helps their clients define personas and tune their storytelling.

More often than not, these same companies have a pricing structure that puts them at a disadvantage. There’s a need for change, but the problem is that no one wants to touch pricing. Changing a successful yet imperfect model is difficult.

Reify comes in, audits the pricing structure, and models different possibilities. To address risk, they show precisely how the change will happen and how current revenue will look in year 1 or 6. Being a company of 2 people, they covered a lot of ground in one year and wanted to celebrate the right way.

So what do you send - a gift? A godforsaken email newsletter? No - it had to be better. Something people will get excited to read. After brainstorming, we came up with “The Story Behind The Source Code,” a landing page which you can find here.

This one-page report did what normal year in review doesn’t, it tells an engaging story. In “The Story Behind The Source Code,” there are no graphs, stock photos, or text blocks that put a reader to sleep. Instead, there are bold colors, Reify's branded waveform, and custom iconography laid out in an easy-to-digest grid form. It’s impactful but straightforward for anyone who visits.

My favorite line: “Thank you for including us in your stories.”

Why? Because people are the most essential part of our environment. They are what makes each story meaningful. Branding as a whole is moving toward a higher order of realization that you can’t just insert money and receive.

Buyers want to know: What do you stand for? What’s your founders' story? What’s the story of working with you?

Thought Merchants was stoked to work with Reify for this project. The Story Behind The Source Code only scratches the surface for Reify.


Sep 6, 2018


Steve Berry

What's going on here?

Design happens everywhere. We look at it and give you our critique.

By thinking critically about the design that exists around us - evaluating what works, what doesn’t and why - we can apply new perspectives and rigor to our work designing applications and systems and communicate more effectively through design.

Our observations range from big corporate rebrands to local business street fliers. With each, we’ve taken the time to break down the designs and offer our point of view via a ranking system modeled after the Robert Parker wine rating system.

The Rating System

Unsatisfactory: Does not achieve design or communication goals.
Satisfactory: Just enough, sufficient, fine or “sure.”
Good: It’s good.
Very Good: Better than most but not exceptional.
Exceptional: Unusually good, rare, outstanding.

Send something our way!

We love looking at new things, so if you want us to evaluate something you have seen or made, feel free to get in touch at, and be sure to sign up for the quarterly Thought Merchants email to get new observations delivered right to you.

Keep Looking