The SF Business Times recently paid a visit to our offices for an in-depth look at the state of Odopod, our history and the future. Check out the excerpt below...
The San Francisco Business Times
March 11, 2011
Odopod Gets Bounce off Digital Work
By Bridget Riley
Odopod Inc. couldn’t have picked a worse time to open a business in 2001’s bust, or to expand into a new specialty in 2008’s uncertainty. But the digital agency’s three founders also couldn’t have picked a better field to flourish in the worst of business climates.
That investment of several hundred thousand dollars in 2008 into digital strategy cinched Odopod’s place among competitors worldwide. Recent clients won on this new global scale include International Watch Co. in Switzerland. The company bounced back after just one down year from the recession in 2009, and grew more than 30 percent from 2008.
Recently, the teams at Odopod gathered together for a presentation on Mobile from our Director of Technology, David Bliss and Senior Developer, Lucas Shuman. They shared some interesting insights and statistics about the growing Android market.
"Android has overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone operating system worldwide and that there is a three way tie in the U.S. between Blackberry, iOS and Android. What's more, indications are that Android's market share will continue to grow in 2011."
In their Flash for Mobile presentation, David and Lucas help us, our clients and our industry better understand what this all means.
We love you so much we made you a website. Enjoy the Valentine's Day fun and contribute your own special greetings at i-love-you-this-much.com.
Every year, the Society of Digital Agencies releases the Digital Marketing Outlook, a comprehensive look at the state of the digital industry with deep insights, thinking and analysis from some of the top players in the digital space as well as contributions and survey results from senior marketing executives, agencies, technologists and digital marketing practitioners.
This year, Guthrie Dolin, Director of Brand and Strategy at Odopod has provided key insights to the DMO, serving as section editor for the Digital Consumer and authoring the article, "Digital in a Physical World." Additionally, Guthrie provides case study examples for our work on DonQ under the Emerging Technology and Trends section.
We're excited to be a part of the growing Society of Digital Agencies and to continue working on developing content, ideas and themes that will help aid in the planning and development of digital programs into the future.
Check out Guthrie's thinking and the rest of the Digital Marketing Outlook 2011 »
For more information on SoDA's mission and members, news and events, visit http://societyofdigitalagencies.org/.
Odopod started at the end of 2000. It was the dawn of the “Digital Decade.” Over the past ten years, we’ve grown from a small digital studio to a fifty-plus strategically-minded digital agency. Meanwhile, the Internet has evolved from being something people use – to how people live.
People are boldly adopting new ways of using digital. We are empowered by our personal devices and social networks to try things that might have previously seemed too difficult, time-consuming or expensive. Cultural shifts are taking place at a massive scale to how we shop, communicate, read, consume media, play games, bank and work.
How and when did this happen?
The dot-com bubble had just burst. Still, there were high expectations and optimism for the Internet. The decadence and “get rich quick” schemes of the dot-com era gave way to innovation and “stuff that works.” With a glut of used furniture, office space and brilliant minds, it was a great time to start a new kind of company.
We're pleased to announce a new site for the International Watch Company of Schaffhausen, IWC.com. The site marks another excellent partnership with our friends at Undercurrent and has resulted in a beautiful experience that aims to set a new standard for luxury online. With rich interactive features, editorial content presented in clean, concise layouts and extraordinary attention to each watch, IWC.com offers fans everything they expect from the brand. Further details on the project are available on odopod.com here.
Please let us know what you think.
This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the biggest one yet - attendance-wise and number of exhibitors. There were tens of thousands of square feet to cover and lots of meetings to schedule, so it felt pretty darn big to me. We were there to spend some quality time with our clients at UFC and Sony and get a first-hand look at all the new electronics and gadgetry, of course.
Here's a quick look at what stood out.
Everyone’s excited about tablets!
There are a ton of new ones. Some from larger names, like the Samsung Galaxy or the Blackberry PlayBook, some from smaller names like Acer and AOC.
The jury seems split on the perfect size. Some like the larger size (10 – 12”) since they have big screens and are perfect for around the house. Others like the more portable 7” size. And the 4-5” tablet/smartphones seem to confuse a lot of people in terms of the purpose and whether it’s really all that different from a smartphone. I spent some time playing around with the Galaxy and liked it. To me, it seems easier to tote around than an iPad.
The Perfect TV
It seems like the manufacturers have no idea what anyone wants in the perfect TV so they’re trying a bunch of different things to see what sticks.
Connected / Smart TVs — Sony’s and Samsung’s connected TVs were big hits and everyone is excited about the potential but I wonder how people will end up using the smart functionality in real life.
Thinner and Sleeker — Some of the new TVs are super, super thin and mega huge.
3D — Despite slow adoption, everyone is still plugging away at 3D TVs. The prediction is (and I agree) that until they manage to do away with the glasses, people are not going to be buying these in huge numbers. Despite my best efforts, I was not able to find a 3D TV that didn’t make me feel car sick.
TV Everywhere — Beyond just the manufacturers, it’s all about having access to TV on every device, in any situation.
Electronics are getting “smarter.” Cars that teach you how to brake better to save electricity. Washers that text you when the cycle is complete. Gadgets that update you to where your dog has wandered off to. Bands and widgets that track how you’re sleeping. I really liked all the smart appliances but again, wonder how people will use the functionality in their real lives. Lots of cool ideas here, we’ll see what pans out.
Gadgets Need Accessories
A big surprise for me was the number of booths (there were whole sections dedicated to accessories) that just showed the latest accessories for your gadgets — sleeves, skins, speakers, battery extenders, holographic external keyboards, etc.
But CES wasn’t just about seeing all the latest electronics. We had several productive meetings with existing and prospective clients. We'll continue working with Sony as they roll out their marketing plan for 2011. We’re forging new relationships with UFC departments, bringing some proactive sponsorship ideas their way that leverage the new and improved UFC.com. And finally, we’ve been asked to put together some proposals for a few new clients.
All in all, a successful and somewhat exhausting few days.
It's been a wonderfully busy year for us here at Odopod. We've experienced tremendous growth from hiring a ton of new talented people (and we're still looking for more) to taking on several new large digital accounts. Our Hack Days projects went on with great success, we celebrated our 10th anniversary and we launched some amazing work with our clients and partners around the world.
Here's a look back at some of things we've done in 2010 with a huge thanks to all of those who contributed to our incredible year.
DonQ Master Of All Skills :: Routesy 3 :: Golden Gate Park Field Guide :: Sony PIIQ Facebook
Sony PIIQ Showcase :: Tesla Motors ::
DonQ Rum :: YouTube Trends
Sony HD TV with 3D :: Flock Social Browser :: Sony BRAVIA :: Ford Fiesta Movement
EA Download Manager :: Sony Internet TV :: UFC.com :: PlayStation Redesign
At Odopod we love projects that challenge us to make information accessible, relevant, digestible and engaging. That’s why we were really excited when YouTube approached us to help make the YouTube Trends project a reality.
YouTube Trends allows users to get a timely view of what’s being watched around the world as well as use tools to compare viewership across cities, states, countries and age ranges. If you haven’t heard about it yet, watch this entertaining video introduction featuring the Gregory Brothers.
The project presented an interesting set of challenges. First of all, with the immense wealth of viewership data that YouTube has at its disposal, how could we slice the information to make it relevant? How could we make the data accessible in meaningful ways? What interactions could we add that would provide value without getting in the way of the experience? What existing Google tools could we leverage to get the job done right?
The vision was for YouTube Trends to become part of the YouTube brand universe and even though it couldn’t be too much of a departure from an aesthetic point of view, it definitely needed to be an exciting new product with a unique voice. So it was our goal to help define an identity and design that would remain on brand but could also stand on its own. Ultimately, the design had to serve as a great vessel for all the content to come.
Everyday at Odopod, we're challenged with a huge spectrum of client needs. We get to dive deep into their businesses and create innovative work for some amazing brands. But there are some ideas that we just don't get to make. Some skills that we just don't get to use. So we decided to turn inward, develop our own ideas and make things.
For two glorious days, Odopod shut down to work exclusively on projects of our own devising - and for those 48 hours, it was all invention...
Here's how it all went down:
A few weeks before Hack Days we put out a call for project submissions to our entire studio with only one rule: describe your idea in less than 100 words. At the end of the call, we selected eight projects to prototype.
We split up into small teams comprised of all disciplines - everyone participated, bringing a unique set of skills to the table. People soldered and sketched, filmed and photographed, coded and glued. There were acts of physical computing, drafts of architectural plans, and a ton of work we don't see everyday.
It was hard work, but well worth it. Here's a quick overview of the prototypes we created: