Adapting Dreamsocket

As we head into the future, it always seems habit to reflect on the past. This year we silently redid our company site reflecting the past, showing the present, and opening up to the future. It was appropriate given so much has changed since our inception. What is even more interesting is that these dramatic shifts in our business happened almost overnight. However, it wasn’t that we just spun the wheel in a different direction and completely retooled and refocused when we woke up the next day. Luckily for us, we set ourselves up for a transition and it paid off.

What am I blabbering about? How does it apply to me? If you are reading this, then you have some level of interest in who we are and what we do. You either want to know how we tick or what prompts some of our success. The reason I’m blabbering is that to be successful in anything you have to be willing to adapt and either be smart enough or lucky enough to adapt to the things that will bring you the most success. We managed to do a little of both and land up in a really good position.

In our case, we originally found extreme success in fulfilling a very niche need. That need was building custom online Flash video products for large media organizations. Knowing their business, needs, systems, and being able to deliver on that has made us a valuable asset in that space. Over time that space has matured, slowed down, and shifted. As this was happening, we had already planted seeds as a company that grew more rapidly than we could ever have imagined.

The first seed was an internal project codenamed Poor Bear, which eventually became our first iOS game Bear on a Wire. It was our foray into a new language, platform, and online business. We viewed it as an awesome way to just play around with technology and see what we could learn from it. We didn’t hold it up as a golden egg or anything beyond that. iOS was an interesting platform and after a completely non technical friend called up raving about his iPhone and how incredible email was, we knew we had to do something with it. I mean if someone’s intro to email is thru an iPhone, then there is something to be said about that. So we poured our hearts into the game, working on it in spare moments and exclusively at others. A lot was learned, fun was had, and in the end we had something great.

The Bear wasn’t your runaway Angry Birds, the golden goose wasn’t sitting in our office, and we don’t have islands YET (emphasize, YET because one day we’ll be having pirate wars). An interesting thing happened though, clients were interested in what we did. You see, we weren’t the only ones wanting to build things for our pocket toys. The problem was budgets sometimes have to wait to follow interests. Everyone was becoming interested, but not everyone had shifted their dollars yet. So as the year closed out, with a few dollars left on the table we were given a few chances to play around for our clients. Even though the Bear only pulled in enough for a nice dinner every month if we were lucky, it was our key into the next room. Our game showed our clients that not only could we play in the space, but we were quite good at it.

With a key in hand, we first peeked thru the door, then someone swung it wide open. The budgets came in. We went from developing our first mobile app to dozens of iOS and Android apps overnight. As the online video space cooled, the mobile app space became red hot. That is great and all, but putting a chicken in an oven without knowing how to cook it, no one is going to want to eat it after you’ve burnt it 5 times in a row. The quality just isn’t there. No matter what we are working on, we CARE and we put 200% effort into it. Details matter. This was no exception and helped us really win a lot of trust from our clients in this space. We are viewed as partners rather than simply providers and continue to deliver new versions of flagship apps as time goes on. In addition, unsatisfied with original vendors, we’ve had a lot of clients bring us apps that we’ve been able to take over and really improve upon. Having a relationship like that is probably the best thing we could ask for, because it shows us that our work is really appreciated. We feel acknowledgement that our clients can see how much we care and put forth.

The moral to this story is that things are always changing and that you should always play it smart and look for new and interesting things to explore. If you play your cards right or just luck out (maybe a bit of both), new opportunities will come to you that are bigger and brighter than you would have ever imagined.

The new reflects this. It shows a little of what we’ve traditionally done, some newer things that we’ve gotten good at, and a glimpse of future things to come. We have had the great fortune of working on just about every digital medium that we could hope to. That is what turns work into FUN for us and keeps us coming in! We’ve been very lucky. Check out our portfolio to get a small glimpse into the fun times that our clients have given us.