Lessons From a Decade of Digital
By Sven Larsen (@svenplarsen)
Bush was re-elected, the EU expanded and the world of digital was very different.
I’m musing about this because Zemoga just quietly celebrated a milestone. The anniversary of our incorporation on January 14th, 2004. While that date is our official birthday, DJ, Alejo and a stalwart team of young digital adventurers were working on projects for a couple of years before that. So it’s no stretch to say that Zemoga has expereinced a decade of digital.
Back then, our primary work was building websites, simple games and banner ads (and almost all of this work was done in Flash). No Facebook apps, no mobile sites, no augmented reality or location based projects. And the iPad and iPhone were still gleams in Steve Jobs’ eye. In those days, offering a wallpaper or a screensaver as a value added item was seen as forward thinking marketing. Our world has definitely changed.
Indulging in nostalgia can be fun but it also teaches us (or at least me) an important lesson. While our company and our industry prides itself on staying on top of the latest technology and anticipating future trends, our vision extends only so far. The pace of innovation is so fast these days that if we can predict what’s coming a year or 18 months from now, then we’re way ahead of the game. Figuring out the state of digital ten years from now? Forget about it.
With that in mind, our challenge as digital solutions providers is to keep our projects as open and flexible as possible. To not be too reliant on one platform or programming language, especially if it’s relatively new and unproven (How’s your MySpace page these days? Enjoying that HP tablet?). Apple, Google and Facebook are king right now but a decade ago we were talking about Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL. As one of our SoDA colleagues recently noted, the trick is to design for “people not platforms” and too make sure that your digital offerings acknowledge trends and fashion without being subservient to them. And when the world changes, project architecture and content needs to change with it.
It’s not just a recipe for an enduring digital offering but an enduring company.
I wonder what Zemoga will be working on ten years from now?