At the tail end of last year I stopped doing the London commute and said goodbye to my new friends at Headshift. Whilst I enjoyed the company of the people and the buzz of the social software/enterprise 2 thang it proved too much. I missed reading stories to the girls at bedtime and hated standing from London Bridge to Haywards Heath more often than not (if I could get on the bloody train in the first place!).
Fortunately, a good contact of mine, Ray Richards at Spannerworks, phoned me in November and asked what I was up to. His timing couldn’t have been better. Having spent a couple of months in a consulting capacity at Spannerworks, working with Ray and helping my good friend Antony Mayfield develop the Content and Media offering I jumped at the chance to get more deeply involved at the turn of the year.
I did read John Batelle’s book in October last year which was typically freerange of me and thankfully it served to confirm much of my thinking about the evolution of search as a marketing framework and the success of Spannerworks and where it’s heading.
Here’s the five reasons for joining Spannerworks:
1. The people. I’ve known Arjo Ghosh the founder since about 2001 and have always thought him to be a man of integrity, incredibly smart and focused on growing a great company. I’ve known Ray for a similar period of time, and his decision to join Spannerworks full-time five years ago confirmed many instincts about the company. When Antony Mayfield joined Spannerworks, another penny dropped. To be working with these dudes is great. They’re sound and going places. As I gradually get to know the other members of the team – now around 60, I can sense purpose and a very positive attitude to learning and growing.
2. The challenge. So far I’ve been extremely freerange in my work with involvement in projects spanning brand and product development, social media research and consultancy and an emerging focus as a client partner feeding all of the above. This is great as there’s nothing better than a mix of challenges that draw on my strengths and experience.
3. The tie-up with iCrossing. Creating a global digital marketing organisation of the future is a very interesting thing to be involved in. I completely subscribe to the Jeff Herzog (the founder of iCrossing) view of search marketing turning advertising on it’s head.
To quote Jeff:
“The interactive capability of the internet has turned the traditional advertising model of blasting out messages to the masses on its head. Today, the customer seeks the business – where and when they want – ushering in a new generation of media and advertising.”
There’s some tools emerging at Spannerworks that make me smile. Having been part of the team that made AOL a huge success in the UK in the late ’90s and a pioneer in open source with Getfrank, (even if Charlie Leadbeater refers to me as Frank Byford :-)) I like to think that I can spot useful tools for communication every now and then.
5. Brighton (and beyond)
All of the above happening and I’m in Brighton. Yes, the home of the football team I’ve supported all my life, where I can walk to work and all that. But even better, there is a now a work-related beyond as Spannerworks begins it’s overseas expansion.
Bring it on.
ps: Haven’t been posting much recently as the last couple of weeks have been all about getting the brand integration and website ready. A remarkable story in it’s own right given the timescales.