How does Fastspot determine which projects it wants to take on?
We have to feel like we can do an outstanding job for you, in the ways you need it done. We won't give you a proposal if we aren't 100% confident we can meet all the requirements for the project (including working within your budget and timeline), and deliver something we know will help you achieve your business goals.
What advice do you have for a team creating a RFP for a website project?
RFPs can really suck the enthusiasm out of a project early on. We encourage you to reach out to us before you dive into a lengthy and time consuming RFP process, and if possible, skip the RFP and let us do the work by crafting a proposal for you. If you must create a RFP, try to focus on your big picture needs, don't try to micro manage the process in the RFP. Allow each response to show you each firms' individuality, rather than having them all conform to a set of strict requirements. And no matter what, reach out to firms you're interested in working with and get to know them before you send out a RFP. You don't want to end up with a group of finalists who you don't connect with, just because they looked the best on paper.
How do you work with your clients?
We dedicate a team to the project and to the client, and that team gets to know the problems really really well. We also get to know our clients, who they speak to, where they are going, and how to best be partners along that journey. We are diligent, obsessed with the details, respectful of deadlines and budgets, and always honest. You won't find a better team to trust your project with.
Do you offer ongoing services to your clients?
Absolutely, but only if you think you want to keep working with us. We recognize that we have a huge advantage following a large scale website project in knowledge accumulation and trust built during the course of the relationship. We know your site better than anyone else, and we probably know you better than anyone else. However, we also want you to go forward and thrive in your interactive communications without our help, and that's what we set you up to do. The reality is that sometimes clients want or need our ongoing support and when that is the case we are happy to provide it.
What work can we be doing to get a jump start on our project?
First, establish your stakeholder team and your project team (they may be different). Next, establish your big picture goals for the project. What will be the success metrics you will use to evaluate the ROI once the project is completed? Do you have existing research that can be gathered and provided to us? Do you have access to your analytics readily available? Have you thought out a timeline or do you have any set deadlines that need to be considered? What else can you provide us with that will help us get a good idea of who you are and what you are all about? Of course we will have in-person meetings and conduct focus groups, but what else is there? A great YouTube video? A wonderful article written in the media? Get it all together for us! Lastly, start gathering your content and thinking about its sources. Once your project starts, the content organization, editing and creation will become the most time consuming part of the project which may fall on your team - so be as prepared as possible to jump in early, or begin to plan for who will create it once things get rolling.
How will you create something unique for us?
We find out what's unique about you first. We find out about your strengths, your vision, and where you're heading as an institiution. We will find out who you really are, and then find out how to tell that story to the people who should care about it. We also pay close attention to your competitive field to ensure we help you stand out in the right ways, and give you as big of an advantage as possible.
Is Fastspot the right agency for us?
If you're looking for a team of creative problem solvers to tackle a major website project and help you achieve significant institutional and business goals - then yes, you've found the perfect match. We are obsessed with customer service, opinionated, fun, extremely creative, nice, detail oriented, and good listeners. We need our clients to be great partners for outstanding outcomes and we will be there to guide you along the way. We like taking a lot of the work off your plates, and really leading the project, although we will need your input and involvement to ensure success.
Did Fastspot create BigTree CMS?
Why yes we did! We created BigTree over eight years ago, inspired to provide our clients with more intuitive and powerful content management tools. In 2012, we released BigTree as an open source product, so that the world could enjoy it, and participate in its growth. While our team is still very invested in BigTree's continuous development, we are thrilled to see other agencies and individual developers make amazing things with BigTree. If you'd like to learn more about it, and how you can work with it, please get in touch!
What are the key ingredients to a successful project?
First, we have to understand what "success" means to our clients. For some, it is a very tangible set of outcomes. For others, it's less clear but no less critical. At the beginning of every project and client engagement, we identify and clarify what we call, "Metrics for Success". Basically - how will we be able to say the project was successful after completion and launch? How will we know the investment of time, money and energy was worth it? We won't start a project until we all agree on what these metrics are. Then we work on the plan to achieve them. The best part of our work is when we get to evaluate the metrics and anecdotal evidence post-launch, and see the success!
How do you keep your creative approach contemporary?
We shy away from anything that feels like a fad or trend. We know all too well those things have a short life span, and rarely have any lasting impact. We are looking to solve real problems and tackle large issues that require nuanced and delicate solutions, built on solid platforms that will last many years. We focus on authenticity, elegant user experiences, storytelling and craftsmanship. Simplicity is the most challenging design solution possible, and one we always strive for. A project is successful when our work is simply the stage upon which our clients' stories and information will shine.
What makes Fastspot unique?
As with any agency you hire, you're hiring the people. We happen to think some pretty amazing people work at Fastspot. Define "amazing" you ask? Well, for one thing, every designer at Fastspot knows code, and every programmer at Fastspot knows design, or at least has a strong understanding of the differences between good design and bad design. The project managers can talk for hours about APIs and LDAP integrations, along with schedules and deadlines. You'll never be unable to speak to the direct team working on your project. The people you meet with at the beginning are the same people ushering your project along the entire way to completion. There's no "B" team. There's no "B" project or client. If we say yes to you and you say yes to us - you're getting the whole enchilada, and that's the way we like it.
How important is Fastspot's process?
Extremely. But sometimes it's important to break conventions and try new things. As long as we are clear on the intent, we welcome new ideas and approaches.
Why do I hear snoring in the background of our conference call?
That is Birdie. Don't take it personally. She's an English Bulldog and is fairly bored by websites, no matter how much we tell her they are fascinating.
Why is Fastspot named Fastspot?
Back in 1997, when the internet was just a babe, the founders of the company were getting pretty obsessed with how the world of advertising and marketing communications was changing. Suddenly, a computer and a camera could allow a poor art student to create short films and publish them online. Suddenly anyone could create things that moved and invited interaction, and present them on a 24/7 worldwide stage. The era of the expensive :30 spot was rapidly changing into an arena that opened its arms to creatives from all disciplines. This was where the name Fastspot was born. And yes the first logo was the image of our dog, running. No, her name was not Spot. It was Wheat. But Wheatspot sounded even more obscure than Fastspot. We now know how hard our name is to say (sorry) and how easy it is for us to end up being referred to as Fastbot, or Fastpot, or god forbid, Fatspot. It's ok though, as long as you eventually get it right.
How do you hire new team members?
First, we look for the right fit - culturally. We want to see your personality, what you're passionate about, what makes you tick. So send a good cover letter! Next we will really dive into your work. Are you obsessed with the interactive space? Do we see examples that show you to be a strong design thinker as well as problem solver? Do you posses the combined knowledge of design and code that is required in our industry? If you're a strategist or manager, what kinds of experiences have you had? What's your idea of a dream deliverable when it comes to content strategy? Show us what you're best at and what you want to do more of. We want to see passion and commitment, and someone who believes in the same things we do. We want to find people who will help shape the future of this company and the relationships we create with our clients.
Is Fastspot an advertising company?
We often refer to ourselves as an interactive marketing agency. What that means is that if you can interact with it - we can strategize about, create, build and deploy it. We also consider ourselves problem solvers. If you have a business problem that needs to be solved and interactive media and marketing can be the platforms and approaches - that's us. We do work in collaboration with those other agencies when it makes sense, and we play well with others.