Dec 6, 2023

Celebrating and reflecting on 20 years

Top 20 takeaways from our two decades

This year, Creative Arc celebrates 20 years of interactive design and development. It’s been a time for us to dream about what’s ahead, reflect on where we are, look back on what we’ve learned, and do a little celebrating, too.

In this spirit, here are our top 20 takeaways from the first 20 years of Creative Arc:

  1. From our name inspired by a Beach Boys reference to endless Napolean Dynamite references, having fun is a value that’s remained constant and continues to guide our efforts.
  2. Despite rapid technological advances in devices, some things stay the same—like core programming and computer-science principles that have provided a solid foundation for nearly 50 years!
  3. No matter the specifics or size of a project, each always starts the same way—with understanding. We work to understand the issue or opportunity at hand, how technical is “too technical” for conversing with the people involved, and how a solution will be used by a client.
  4. We just can’t leave a puzzle unsolved and value always figuring things out. Project challenges are relentlessly pursued until a viable solution is in sight.
  5. Having a connected and collaborative team is essential. Prioritizing collaboration even led to the creation of a makeshift “robot” for a team member living abroad to engage with the office.
  6. Although we’ve always been a small and mighty team, team members tend to stick around and rack up double-digit tenures.
  7. Some summer days it’s best to work together from a pontoon boat. Is it coincidence this is placed right beneath the part where we talk about team longevity?
  8. We are very fortunate to have long-lasting customer relationships, too. Not only do we get to know these folks well, but these ongoing engagements also allow us to learn so much about creative problem solving.
  9. Clients and projects really do have unique needs and circumstances. While we’ve dabbled with efficient and repeatable solutions, we keep coming back to (and truly are energized by) highly customized work that is just right for the situation.
  10. In our early days, websites were a lot like brochures. Today, they are more complex and require multiple systems to perform in concert. Payments, leads, time tracking, oh my! This means we get to be creative and innovative in how we orchestrate solutions.
  11. Not every project requires a fresh look and a big idea. Sometimes what clients needs most is help maintaining what they have. Or upgrading to something a little better. And it’s rewarding to work on these initiatives, too.
  12. Mobile-friendly websites have gone from being a nice-to-have to being indispensable to having an online presence.
  13. The same can be said for analytics. Being able to report on the success of a site experience and metrics like user conversions are always part of today’s conversation.
  14. Artificial intelligence is here, and it feels too early to project how this will impact our work going forward, but we anticipate it will become a more important consideration.
  15. Community is a powerful thing. Actively participating in the ExpressionEngine community since the early 2000s has provided the opportunity to collaborate with amazing developers and contribute to the evolution of better website development.
  16. It’s a rare day that we don’t learn something new related to ExpressionEngine.
  17. Quality coffee has been and will continue to be an important fueling mechanism for our work. And M&M’s®.
  18. Biking to the office, practicing martial arts, and cross-country skiing are popular hobbies among the team that have absolutely nothing to do with our daily work. Is it coincidence this is placed right beneath the part about caffeine and chocolate?
  19. Whether we pair up for a shared hobby or gather for a happy hour, we really enjoy spending time together as a team—even when work isn’t on the agenda.
  20. Twenty years sounds like a long time, but when you love what you do, time flies. We’re excited to see where the next 20 will take us. And we’d love to have you come along with us!

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