As we wrap up our summer Factory Week I’ve been reflecting on the week and the six that came before it. It’s hard to imagine SmallBox without Factory Week. When we started this SmallBox “institution” (as we call these things) in 2011 it was mostly a last ditch effort to get stuff done that was piling up around the business. We had considered “innovation days” and other approaches but it became clear that we needed something more extreme. We needed a week, and we needed it more than once a year. It seemed crazy to shut down a company twice a year for a week, and sometimes it still feels crazy, but it also felt necessary
How does a company keep up with technology? As a web marketing company, SmallBox is in the difficult position of staying on the bleeding edge so that we can help our clients be on the cutting edge. Both “edges” keep moving towards the horizon at increasing speed. Devices are getting smaller and faster, hundreds of new apps launch daily, new competitors appear overnight. The only solution, in our opinion, is to practice regular, quarantined disruption. Our commitment to innovation must be rock solid.
As I look back on seven Factory Weeks I can see how this “quarantined disruption” has transformed SmallBox. Taking us from a company that just cranked out websites and did some marketing along the way to a “culture-powered marketing” agency that creates lasting impact for our clients, our team and our community. Although Factory Week hasn't been a cure-all, we have plenty of unaddressed issues and opportunities, it has transformed who we are and how we work. I can’t imagine life without it.