1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
I am a Co-Founder of and President of Technology at Happy Cog. Lee Goldberg and I started our company in high school and it’s been profitable every month since its founding. We’ve made the Inc 5000 list of America's fastest-growing companies for the last seven years and we’ve grown to become a 64-person team. My expertise lies in blending the latest technical advances with a pragmatic approach for many different kinds of websites and apps.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
Happy Cog is a full-service digital agency located in New York City. We help organizations with web and mobile development projects, often including design and branding strategies, and digital marketing campaigns. We work with our clients to build and design the perfect websites and apps for their audiences as well as their content creators. Our clients range from large Fortune 100 companies to small startups and everything in between, in a variety of verticals.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Muse Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning these awards is an honor for our teams, who put their hard work into these projects. Our teams solved many problems with our clients and worked diligently to address their needs. It’s a huge compliment to our colleagues and adds an extra boost to their work.
4Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
We’re proud of this work and both projects are strong examples of forward-thinking ideas in industries that aren't always very technology-forward. We do a lot of work in retail and higher education verticals, so we feel that it’s important to showcase what’s possible for these industries.
5What was the biggest challenge with this project?
With Gettysburg College, there was a tremendous amount of content to work with and many stakeholders were involved. It was important that the Gettysburg project have a strong content strategy and UX strategy. For &pizza, the big challenge was integrating technical systems. We worked to sync sales data and user loyalty history between customer app transactions and the in-store experience, using their existing POS hardware.
6What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
1. Every day, we get the chance to work with inspiring clients and solve their complex business problems, ultimately helping them achieve their goals.
2. The industry calls out to many bright and ambitious people. It inspires me to work with such smart people and watch them continuously come up with clever, creative solutions.
3. As an industry, we’re not complacent. We’re always pushing the status quo and advancing techniques forward in technology to approach projects in new ways.
7Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
It's clear that as an industry we need to move more toward serving users in the contexts they prefer, on the devices they want to use. Our clients have too many competitors for them to force users into specific interaction models.
As an industry, we’ll need to be more empathetic towards what users are looking for if we want our clients’ products to succeed.
8If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Muse Award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Keep in mind that the industry is constantly changing. You have to spend time keeping up with what's new because clients expect that you'll come to them with solid advice on the latest techniques. That’s what they’re paying for, and that’s what they deserve.
9Who has inspired you in your life and why?
I’m inspired by all of my coworkers every day. They're extremely talented and consistently come to the table with ideas I had never even contemplated.
10What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?