A Look Back: 10 Years of Digital Product Development
2007 was a big year in technology. The iPhone was released, forever changing the way people communicate and connect. Other big technology announcements that year: Facebook and Twitter went global, Kindle and Android were released, Google bought YouTube, and Airbnb was founded. It was also the year Digital Scientists launched.
Since then, we have been building digital products that help help our clients provide better user experiences and solve complex problems. It started with our first “lab” in Atlanta, then two years later in our new location in Alpharetta.
Our initial client was a company called Thomson – just before their merger with Reuters. At the time Thomson was worried about being disrupted by Google. We built a social network for innovation and supported it with a series of events that hosted leading minds on the topic. The project pushed us to grow and get smarter about how we work.
Another pivotal project was the InterfaceFLOR Browser. It was one of our first projects that really felt like software – and offered a springboard to our current focus: new product development. Other big projects that followed were Gables Residential, Rately, RoadNinja, and Huddle’s GoFan.
Through the last ten years, we’ve worked with all kinds of businesses, with many of them being at different stages. Sometimes it was someone who may have just come up with an idea, or a startup, and sometimes it was a well-established company with plenty of battle scars. We are fortunate to have worked with many clients and companies.
As we enter into our tenth year, some of the high points include:
– Opening new offices in Atlanta (at WeWork Tower Place, in Buckhead) and Greenville, SC at NEXT Innovation Center
– Partnering with Innovation Leader, an organization that provides professional resources and sponsors innovation events around the country. We were a corporate sponsor at Innovation Leader’s premiere Atlanta Field Study event last month.
– We authored a seven-part product launch guide, of which the introductory article is featured in the Winter 2017 issue of Innovation Leader Magazine. The full product launch guide will be available for download later this month.
– Continuing to work with clients from funded startups to Fortune 500s to build new products as an innovation lab for hire.
What makes our anniversary particularly noteworthy? In our case, our core team of scientists consists of Bob Klein, our CEO, who brings expertise in business and strategy; Vishi Gondi, our CTO, who brings strategy and development expertise; and J.R. Gunderson, our UX Director, who excels in user experience design.
For our tenth anniversary, we asked Bob, Vishi and JR what special highlights from the last ten years stand out to them, and what they look forward to in Digital Scientists’ future.
Bob, on what he enjoys the most about the work: “I like the personal part. When people place their trust in us, it’s gratifying. I also like the idea of people using products that we make. There’s a utility to things we deliver, and good or bad, we get to hear directly from users.
We also get exposed to different companies, models, domains…and we get to go home every night. But we like going out and visiting folks locally. We have a high bar, with a name like scientists, and we have the expertise. We run experiments, but nobody ever wants to call them that. It’s never boring.”
Vishi, on what he looks forward to working on in the future: “The industry continues to change — it’s hard to see what technologies will win. But we’ve made a lot of great decisions. We create a lot of value by moving fast and creating something that’s delightful to use.”
J.R., on what he enjoys most about the work: “Personally, our team collaboration and experiences with new and interesting clients is a delight: We’re lucky to have a great team here at DS, with a wide range of skillsets. I love that we’re able to solve interesting challenges together and involve the client in the solution.”
Bob, Vishi and J.R. were in agreement on the future and direction of Digital Scientists:
“There’s interesting things we look forward to that we’d like to do more of, and we are always looking for new clients who want to partner with us on that journey. We’re all fascinated with what lies ahead. There’s always something new that’s out there. We like to experiment with technology; try it, then get smarter with it. Every year, the hardware changes, the software environment changes, and we need to be able to take advantage.”
Technologies we look forward to working with:
Augmented Reality with Google Tango, 3D modeling, machine learning, chatbots. Everyone’s falling in love with Alexa, and voice commands (Siri). It’s a whole new interface that we’re just getting started with. Software is everywhere. It’s a new frontier. Also, we’re fascinated with self-driving cars (so much so that we bought a Tesla last year and created a review video featuring our experiences), and the innovation that surrounds the industry. We’re firm believers that the transportation industry will be disrupted in a huge way, and look forward to watching it unfold.
We would like to thank all of our past and present team members and clients for making the journey possible. We are celebrating our anniversary with friends and family in an open house next week. Please drop by on May 18th for dinner at the Alpharetta food trucks, a slice of cake and a cold drink with the Digital Scientists. We look forward to sharing more stories with you.
Bob, Vishi and J.R. were interviewed by Ashley Velez, Digital Scientists’ Marketing Manager.