Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fancy Footwork

I always get a kick out of the johnny-come-lately reporting of the local newspaper. They always seem to be months, if not years, behind trends that have been-and-gone in other larger, national papers. Sunday's (Aug. 2, 2009) BuffaloSnooze had an article about a new 'Virtual Office' ad agency in town. The story was written about this great new concept that is challenging the big boy ad agencies on town. The Virtual Office involves hiring freelancers instead of having a staff. Sorry boys, old news....

For almost 10 years our company, OtherWisz Creative, has been one of many 'virtual offices.' In fact, the invention of the laptop computer was designed to free us all from the cubicle world-- the laptop computer had born the original virtual offices. As well, wireless technologies let us break even further from the tradtional office space.

OtherWisz Creative has always been a lean mean, designing machine using freelancers. Our staff is small and our work is big, hence our tagline "Little Firm Big Solutions." By doing all the creative ourselves and outsourcing everything else- from photography, writing, illustrating, programming and software development- we have always kept overhead low. This has also enabled us to pick the right individual for the right job or task. Each project always had the best-of the-local-best working on it- all under the OtherWisz name.

Working as a virtual office always seemed to fit how we operate, and it works. As the death bell tolls for the big agencies in town, companies are taking more notice of the little and middle-sized players. Stand, a local advertising agency was the latest big shop to close, and it would seem, others are due to follow.

I guess this way of operating isn't 'news' until someone puts a tag on it (hence, the Virtual Office).Who needs a physical office space at all anymore..? We can communicate via the internet, meet with clients in their office (more convenient for them), post proofs and comps online for review... even get paid electronically. We actually like having a physical office space- our 1885-era converted barn is a creative stimulus in itself- but we don't need really need an office. Things have changed drastically in this industry, but contrary to what the BuffaloSnooze reports, the Virtual Office isn't new.


Jason Gusmann said...

10 years now? that's fabulous! love to see the work grow and grown. yeah, the news'll catch onto those brand new "twitter novels" in about 10 years too!

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

I hear 'ya talkin'. "Virtual Agency" was cool in 1989, but the concept, which is how every independent marketing person works, is a foregone conclusion. It's a term that should have died with "desktop publishing."

I thought the same thing as you when I read it. But I had no one to bitch to about it. Thanks for the outlet Mark!