When Tim, Dave and I started Odopod in 2000, I had a personal goal. I wanted to create a healthy work environment – one that encourages diverse interests outside of work; one in which we would respect and like our clients (and in turn, they us); and most importantly, one where people (including me) would enjoy spending at least forty hours per week.
Odopod now has 60 uber-talented people, and we're growing as carefully as ever. With the Nurun acquisition, we join a network of 1,000+ experts all over the globe (Montreal, Paris, Shanghai, Barcelona, etc). It's a time of tremendous opportunity as well as of considerable vulnerability. I know from past experience that an acquisition can threaten the very culture and systems that made us successful.
Odopod and Nurun are committed to protecting and perpetuating the unique culture and energy of Odopod. In this spirit, I have taken on a new role, overseeing the integration of Odopod and Nurun. It's my responsibility to ensure that the quality of our work, the happiness of our employees, and the intimate attention we give our clients remain uncompromised.
What is truly important to me during this process is that we protect the things that our employees and our clients value most highly. So, I asked them to help me make a sketch Odopod – described by our principle values and strengths.
At our core is an obsession with great design. For us, great design is measured as much by its aesthetic beauty and production value as it is by how inventive and smart it is. Fueled by this passion, we are consistent in reaching a high-level of craftsmanship.
We are devoted to digital. We love that it’s constantly evolving, inherently geeky, and increasingly social. We are happiest when we're exploring new territory. We seek out and embrace emerging technologies. We are fascinated in observing how people adopt and individualize them.
We enjoy working together. We maintain the warmth and support of a smaller studio by organizing talent into teams. Teams foster collaboration between multi-disciplinary specialists. Odopod currently has four teams ranging in size from 5-12 people each. Teams sit together, and as much as possible, work on projects together.
Odopod is comprised of extremely bright, talented, and hard-working individuals. Senior Art Director Dave Soderberg has an amusing analogy: “Everyone at Odopod is the kid in school that just took over on group projects and did all the work. I am constantly pushed to up my game. Everything from being more tapped into the digital community to expanding my vocabulary. Never in my life would I have thought it would feel so inspiring to feel so dumb. It may sound elitist, but it really just feels like a privilege to be among that group.”
We believe in honesty that is guided by accuracy and usefulness. To produce the best work possible, we rely on open and lively exchange of ideas – amongst each other and with our clients. No matter the role, everyone’s opinion matters.
We enjoy working hard. Our work often requires a vigorous pace. Sometimes, this means that we work long hours. Yet, we seek to balance our lives outside of work. We respect our employees’ personal time. We believe that creativity is fed through rest and recreation.
As hard-working, passionate over-achievers, we still manage to keep things relaxed and fun. “The people are smart and friendly – folks you'd want to have a beer with. The space is busy and focused, with occasional yelling or barking,” as one employee describes.
We like to keep things simple. This value is expressed not only through our work but also in how we run the office. We operate the business and maintain the office space with the same care and thoughtfulness that we bring to our client work. We prioritize people over processes, and it is this shared value that guides the integration philosophy with Nurun.
“When you walk around, you can feel the focus. When you talk with Odopod employees, you can hear the passion and brilliance. And when you work with one of the teams, you're welcomed in like one of its own. They are as excited to have you working with them. That feeling of mutual partnership is so important and brings out the best in everyone.” This description from a new employee sums up Odopod at its best.
As we embark on becoming part of Nurun, we will count on our core values and defining strengths to maintain our spirit and purpose. It is, in fact, these qualities that attracted Nurun to us. Change is inevitable; this industry demands that we constantly evolve. Because of that, it’s crucial that we retain our heart.
The future is as exciting as ever, and I am personally committed to ensuring that the very best of Odopod becomes part of the very best of Nurun.