Here’s the short version:
Next week, I will be joining Razorfish.
Britta will be taking over EAT and bringing it back to its roots: Content strategy, content development and strategic consultation.
Here’s the longer version:
Nine years ago, Britta and I launched EAT as a content agency.
At the time, we were New York expats living in South Florida, a little beat up by the dot com bust but driven to carve out our own path. And we did. We bought a pink 1920s fixer-upper a block from the water. We spent the days tearing down ceilings, walls and floors, and the evenings building a business on our laptops.
That’s not a metaphor. I mean that literally.
As advertising/publishing/tech people, there wasn’t a ton of work for us down in swampland. But we’re a resourceful team and before we knew it, had two big named clients with big content and strategy needs. We hadn’t ever heard of a content agency, but that’s what we were starting. It wasn’t long before a baby came, and then our first office, and then our first employees. Our little agency was cranking out tens of thousands of words of high quality branded content each month and the strategic “how” requests about content kept rolling in. Those were the golden days of content, before Demand Media became a thing.
Soon clients started to ask us to run their web projects from start to finish. And there we were happily in the UX/CX business delivering the entire experience: strategy, IA, design, code and content. That’s when we brought out the big guns, the tomahawks and the jeweler’s screwdrivers in a quest to deliver content-first experiences — from content audits to wireframes to designing and building the full-blown kit and kaboodle. The Sunshine State was smiling on us but one fateful day, while on a bizarro vacation (leaving Florida to vacation in Cape Cod) we realized the Northeast was really home. Ten days later we packed up whatever would fit in a Uhaul and moved back to New York — just before our second child was born. Then last year we had two more children (at the same time). Suffice to say we like change. We trust that knowing and intuiting are fine paths to follow separately or together, in life and in work.
So, while I’ve led the charge speaking and blogging about CS/UX and other topics (hip hop, ahem) over the past few years, Britta is the content strategy superstar and she’s back from the land of spit up and strollers. Clients love her advertising background, strategic mind, and love of bringing law and order to content. She’s going to carry on the torch that went from NY > FL > NY and now resides in Dobbs Ferry, aka the town that built Zuckerberg.
I’ve had the great fortune to work with universities, Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and startups. I’ve hit some projects out of the park, struggled and learned lessons from other ones. Some clients have become great friends and others trusted advisors. My peers in the CS/UX/Design/Code/agency community have been unbelievably influential and generous.
Along the way, I’ve seen content strategy go from something clients asked us to remove from the proposal (“just dump the dollars into design”) to something clients seek out. I’ve watched UX go from a nice to have to a must have. And I’m currently enjoying the championing of change management as it relates to digital.
I will miss our team, our sweet office overlooking the Hudson and the challenges of a running a small biz. But I’m excited to see Britta’s passion and talent take the driver seat — hire EAT here. Excited to work with peers @ Razorfish whose work I’ve admired for years. Excited to immerse myself in service design, product strategy and UX over at Razorfish. Excited for the challenge of change itself and the opportunity to exceed expectations.
I’ve been more than lucky to work with great people over the last 10 years including: @brittaalexander, @ninamaxdaly, @dougrushkoff, @heatherfield, @jonathanmaziarz, @wendybiddlecombe, @johnmiller, @kristinejubek, @briandurkin. With an especially huge thanks to @brianhughes. And a best partner in the world huge thanks to @johnfakorede.
Stay tuned. Stay relevant and be good.
Thanks for everything,
P.S. I’ll be continuing to blog @ UXtopian.com and opining on Twitter @IanAlexanderNY