Stephen Fry and the reason we still need an office

This Friday CatchyMonkey will move into their lovely new office at Hartham Park just outside Bath. We’re very excited about it and we think of it as the next step in the growth of the company. But why?

CatchyMonkey is a digital age business, our end product is digital, it’s design and development is digital, the work can, and often is, carried out and of course seen and delivered all over the world. So why do we still think it’s a big deal getting a shiny new office?

I guess there’s a number of reasons, one of them must be the sense of something being real, having form and substance, the complete opposite of something being digital. An office for a company gives its employees somewhere to belong, a unifying symbol. And without one, even today, a company seems less ‘real’

You can apply this as a metaphor to the actual work we do. The need to blend and integrate digital and mobile marketing with the real world. An iPhone app is all very well but unless it in some way relates to a real product or service and then adds value or meaning to that product or service it’s really just pandering to the ego of the marketing director that commissioned it.

This week I saw a great example of the real and digital world coming together with the release of the MyFry iPhone app.  I have to confess to bit of self interest here, my very good friend Alex was responsible for building it and a very fine job he’s done too. But the reason it’s great is that it brings together the real world Stephen Fry book and the iPhone in a new way, they haven’t just made a digital version of the book (although this is available) they’ve used the best features of the iPhone, combined them with a great book, sprinkled  a little personality over it and hey presto, a winning marketing plan.

Without the book, the app is interesting but not great, combining them is the smart part.

Without an office the company is interesting but not complete.

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