After 16 great years as Co-Founder at Razorfish Sydney / Amnesia it’s time for a few new things.
Firstly if you are reading this, thanks, because I don’t assume that what I do or who I am is that interesting or special. The people around me (both present and past tense) are certainly very special and I’m the first to say I receive way too much credit for what they have done over the years.
Why am I leaving? A few people have asked ‘why’ and my reply to most has been “You should be asking me why I stayed so long – after all Terry Carney and I sold Amnesia to Razorfish in 2006”. The truth is I really like it here and there were and are many reasons to stay. The people here are like my second family and coming to work has always been a pleasure. Razorfish is still an evolving brand doing very well. It’s ranked #9 globally by Adage in the list of all agencies – not bad for a digitally born business. Locally we went through a period where we had four sets of owners in four years (including Microsoft) and I wanted to see this transition through fully. Doug Chapman has since done a great job since taking the reins last year and the ship feels like it is sailing at full speed again. It is seeing fast growth and has some impressive new tricks which is not an easy task under a big holding company like Publicis. With things going well for Razorfish and me having ideas I want to pursue without any strings attached, it’s the right time. It’s been carefully planned for a while and I am in no doubt that Razorfish is ready. For me, my feelings are very much like that of a teenager leaving home for the first time but with the old family right behind. Razorfish (Doug locally and Vincent globally) are incredibly supportive so I couldn’t ask for more from them. The dialogue will continue and the doors remain open in both directions.
What next? Firstly I’m not planning on starting another digital agency. These are exceptional times as the physical and digital worlds fuse so I feel like a kid in a toyshop surrounded by amazing people and opportunities. But I’m going back to my roots and starting some things from scratch. For the next year I will focus on a number of new special projects which are new and different and letting those evolve. I’m resisting calling these startups although that could happen if the wind blows kindly. Some of the projects are ambitious (the technology doesn’t exist, yet) and need a lot of work but I’ll hopefully be working with some very smart people on these. Sorry to be vague, hopefully I can say a little more soon.
The next decade will be really extraordinary for all of us and we will see more change than ever before. This fusion of creativity and technology has certainly passed a tipping point and they must work together in complete harmony. The prize is tomorrow, and there are so many new things that haven’t been seen before waiting to be unlocked. It is really exciting for anyone in this space.
My new digital home
Finally I’ve launched a personal blog at www.chiefdisruptionofficer.com (tongue firmly in cheek) which will be my digital home for now. The blog’s main purpose is to share inspirational new tech+creative and raise awareness of disruptive thinking but I’ll post updates on new projects there too. See you there.
To ALL the wonderful fish, ex-amnesiacs, clients, peers, competitors, suppliers, partners, friends, family that have been part of this 16 year journey, thank you so so much. You know who you are. Special thanks to Terry (my friend and co-founder) without whom none of this would have happened, and of course my better-half Claire who has supported me throughout the 16 year marathon.
Good luck Razorfish and remember whatever it is, “It’s easy.” #in-joke
PS: In the wider industry I have a couple of other roles – I’m on the board of the Communications Council and I’m Chair of AdTech Sydney. I’ve always enjoyed being part of the bigger industry so my intention is to continue to help out there where I can.