Pro tip for the C-suite: agile practice is changing business culture.
We're pleased to announce Mason Wendell has joined our team as Zivtech's new Creative Director. Mason, who previously was co-owner of Canary Promotion + Design, we've long seen as a leading Drupal web designer and our ideal creative director. This addition marks a big, exciting change for us, as Mason will lead our design department, expanding our services. I originally got started with web development as an intern for Mason, working on the PHP, MySQL and CSS of his custom CMS. It was Mason who had me try out Drupal 4.7 for a project- neither of us have looked back since. I'm very excited to be working together again.
Read on for the full press release.
Last week, Zivtech took another big step as a company: we moved into an amazing Old City Space at 32 Strawberry St. As of a few months ago, the space was home to Independents Hall, a well know co-working space started by Alex Hillman and Geoff DiMassi, run by Alex, and filled with an amazing community of independent contractors and small businesses. Zivtech had been building a relationship with Indy Hall over the past few months by sponsoring one of their events and by joining Zivtech as an official member of the space, which not only helped to get us more involved in the tech/creative/entrepreneurial scene here in Philly, but also helped to temporarily alleviate some of the growing pains we were feeling at our original office, at 15th and South. (Small coincidental factoid: I first met Jody at a Drupal MeetUp held at Indy Hall, about six months before we decided to become partners) In the year since Zivtech moved into our South Street offices we've grown from a three to an eleven person company, and with plans to expand further. Our office had gone from feeling like a huge cavern (the echos when it there were only three of us would rival many caverns) to a sardine can, and so earlier this summer we began to to scour Old City, which we decided was the best place to move, for office space. At the same, we also began to offer more Drupal trainings, and when Alex H. told me about Indy Hall's plans to move to a larger location and use the 32 Strawberry location as a training center, it sounded like a great way for us to get more involved and potentially reach new audiences for our training services. However, by the time I was able to meet up with Alex H. about the trainings he had decided that the training center wasn't sustainable, and instead asked if we would be interested in taking over their lovely loft-like space, which we obviously were. And so here we are, and it feels like we've died and gone to Office Heaven! We'll still be using the space for trainings, meetups, and other events, heck we've already hosted the Philadelphia Drupal MeetUp (picks below), and plans are under way for an office opening party on October 16th.
2008 was a hell of a year. After a few years as an independent contractor, I incorporated Zivtech in January, in April Jody and I decided to become business partners (which, coincidentally, happened on the same week I learned I was going to be a father for the first time), and by the end of the year we had grown to an eleven person shop. It seems a little crazy, but at this rate we'll outgrow the office we moved into in August. I guess there are worse problems to have.
One thing which we had outgrown by last summer was our website, which I originally setup as a blog where I wanted to keep track of my trek to become a full time "Drupaler". Well, I'm really excited to announce that we've migrated our site to Acquia Drupal and we've undergone both a complete redesign and an overhaul of the site's information architecture. [img_assist|nid=21114|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=right|width=100|height=75] The site design was created by our good friends at Bluecadet Interactive, with whom we are partnering on projects on a more regular basis. The information architecture changes came from our efforts to better define our business for our proposal template and our business plan, and while I still think that the site is a work in progress, I'm still really psyched about all of the improvements we've made. If you check out the site's menu, you'll note that we are definitely not one of the (soon to be extinct) firms that Dries' mentioned on his blog the other day, i.e. companies that don't give back to the community. We are not only proud of our involvement with and contributions to the Drupal community, we see it as central to our business model, and thus we track and highlight our contributions on our site and we recently instituted a 20% time policy, whereby all employees are actively encouraged to spend up to 20% of their paid time working on any Drupal community related project. We've also started aggregating local/regional tech and small business events on our calendar, which we created through a module mash-up similar to the one used to create our popular Drupal Video Planet (instructions can be found in the Drupal handbook for how to do this).