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2009 Review: With Associates

Posted by Will Hudson,

It’s four for the price of one today as our digital partners With Associates take time out to reflect on the last year.

With Associates image from 2009, “We need to have real things around us. Things we can touch and smell. They give us perspective on the digital world we work in. To help this we collecting work by our associates and starting this year we’ve had this monthly ‘gallery’ in our meeting space. See more here

Mark out of 9 for 2009?

8 out of 9. It’s been a good year. Feels odd saying that considering the kind of year a lot of people had, you know, ‘considering the climate’, but for us it was an environment to thrive in. Things needed to be done on time and on budget. There was no time for faffing. It was a time for good old fashioned hard work. It was fun.

Best new discovery?

Collectively: our best new discovery would have to be our Alex – the latest addition to our team. We’re a small business and so finding people who are the right fit is imperative. In Alex we’ve not only found a great developer, but an enthusiastic and passionate individual who is a pleasure to spend time with.

Also he has family in Switzerland and brings back cheese, saucisson and grapes after holidays which is nice.
Alex: Cycling to work.
Erin: Analysis on Radio 4
Jenifer: An ability to navigate solely by using nature after my ‘Natural Navigation’ course next week.
Mathew: The Nikko Inn near Nikko, Japan.

Best idea?

Alex: Joining With Associates!
Erin: Getting two rolls from Arthurs when one sandwich isn’t quite enough
Jenifer: Getting rid of my pinch-worthy bike and acquiring one that no-one wants (except me!) – I can leave it anywhere and it’s always there (and complete!) whenever I come back to it.
Mathew: Trying a triathlon. Now I’m kind of hooked and setting daft challenges for next year.

What were you doing this time last year?

Collectively: Much the same as we are doing now, just not quite as well refined. We’ve learned more. We’ve done more. Things just keep getting better. We hope to say the same this time next year. To plateau would be sad.

What broke? How did you fix it?

Collectively: Our concentration. Breaks all the time. We blame the internet. It’s too good. And that feeling that the next link might be the best thing ever that you can’t possibly live without knowing, seeing, hearing or forwarding, is just to hard to fight.

Fixing this? A work in progress. We experiment with strategies like The Pomodoro Technique as well as our own simple rules like headphones on meaning no interruptions, at all, not even for a really really good TED talk, or even the most exciting Apple related rumour.

What piece of work really stood out for you?

Alex: Lee Byron’s work on Streamgraphs.
Erin: github.com
Jenifer: Malika @ Airside lovely Wallpaper Pin Ups. Far better than the Alphabunnies Mathew has… ;)
Mathew: If I’m honest, it was Scanwiches that stuck in my mind most this year. Yes it’s very silly, but from a ‘going viral’ perspective it was massive, and yet it was done by some guy on a free Tumblr account as opposed to some ad agency for some sandwich account.

For me then it highlights the increasing shift of where creative output that captivates audiences is coming from. (as did the adland carbon copies of Flcikr meme’s like Sleeveface and Photoshop tilt-shifts).

Favourite Book/Album/Film?

Alex: Book: Villa Incogito. Album: Birds of Tokyo. Film: Hurt Locker
Erin: Album: Cambio Wechsel. Movie: In the Loop.
Jenifer: Book: The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia. Album: Secret Soundz Vol. 1. Film: District 9.
Mathew: Book: The Black Swan. Album(s): by Devendra Banhart. Film: Inglourious Basterds.

Did you get Swine Flu?

Swine Flu was not knowingly contracted by anyone at With Associates. We’re built of healthy stock.

What are you going to miss about 2009 and what are you looking forward to in 2010?

Alex: Miss: Unpredictability. Forward: Stability
Erin: Miss: Not sure. Forward: A warm Studio 100.
Jenifer: Miss: Time wasted. Forward: Time well spent
Mathew: Miss: The new places I’ve been. Forward: New new places.


Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

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