The story of the first 5 years
Back when we started, we knew nothing about what we were getting ourselves into. It seems such a long time ago but it’s only been 5 years… In 2008, Facebook was just starting to become mildly popular. We only knew we wanted to do things to connect people. The only mission statement we had for our project was focusing on storytelling and not doing webs. We started by doing webs, obviously you are so mistaken in the beginning about how everything is going to turn up, yet it seems that all the pieces fell into place and we created something that’s quite similar to what we had in mind.
We, the “founders”, come from the entertainment business. We worked for 10 years promoting films and we knew we wanted to keep telling stories but we thought that the web, with all its interaction and connectivity possibilities, was the perfect ground to do it. So we started with movies. We developed websites for movies, we were one of the first agencies to develop Facebook apps, and we were the first one to develop a gamified website for a movie, “The Wrestler”, that worked with Facebook connect.
The truth is we were interested in exploring other forms of storytelling and we started focusing on data visualization as a way to do so. We thought that the merger of data visualization and storytelling could be the perfect ground to develop our work. So we went and looked for the kind of client and project that would allow us to do that.
And we found WWF. We developed a project called “The Journey of the Egyptian Vulture” and it was a “data storytelling” project where we followed 4 members of this endangered species through their migration journey to Africa. As an agency, you just know when you’ve hit a cornerstone, a project that will propel you into new territory. It opened up a new world of possibilities and it showed us something very important : your project is going to be only as good as your client is. We have now been working for WWF for more than 3 years.
Getting into data visualization was an interesting step, where we learned new ways to express stories. It also showed us that it could be applied to almost anything we were doing. We developed a racing game for Universal Pictures and because we were doing so much geolocation data analysis, we decided to do the game over a Google maps and on real roads. We would never have though of that possibility had it not been because we were working in different directions. This comes to show the importance of transversal knowledge in our field and this is one of the reasons why we are more open than ever to explore new ways of explaining things and telling stories.
We never forget that the first step is always thinking about the idea and the story and then find the right media. We try to focus on that, wether we are designing an application or developing a game or scripting a video. We have been creating infographic videos for quite some time now and we love to do that too although one of the things we do best are games and gamification.
I would say that one of the things that define us is how we approach creativity. It determines what we are. We think that creativity comes from the merger of a good strategy and communication understanding, a clear user experience, a nice and pixel perfect design and a rock-solid development and execution. An idea is only as good as its execution. One of the aspects that make us different from most agencies is that we produce all the work we do. We are an agency because we work for direct clients, with no intermediaries, as it helps us understand the needs and values they have but what makes us exceptional that we take this idea and we implement it through all the phases. It allows us to have a greater control over the final result and a higher level of implication and responsibility with our clients.
After 5 years, we know what we love to do now, what we are good at and what we believe in, but we are completely open to how we may evolve in the future.
At the end, you realize that everything is about the people you meet. This determines the kind of projects you are going to develop, where you can set your goals, what you are going to learn, and how you are going to grow both professionally and as a person. We have been lucky, we have found amazing clients, awesome projects, big challenges and we have been able to develop some meaningful work.
For the next 5 years, our goals are broader than what they were at the beginning: we hope to have fun, we hope to help people, we would like to help organizations that take care of our planet, we would like to develop our own tools, we want to go into difficult territories, we want to get better, we want to keep working for some of the people that pushes us to be better, we want the Robot to be a place of creativity and innovation, a special place.