There’s skepticism around digital products created within digital agencies. One of the biggest challenges is that agencies have people working on multiple projects. Some people are not 100% dedicated to a single project but jump from one to another. There’s no problem with that, in fact, it may be done easily. Creative people actually enjoy it, since it allows their minds to switch from one mindset to another. For example, you might kick off your day in meetings with a client from the financial industry and finish it doing some sketches for a client in the entertainment business.
Being on the product side has always been all about living the product; about breathing the product, feeling the product, and being the product. All of those things happen when you’re fully dedicated to a single idea, when you’re 150% committed to it with no distractions other than your personal life. And it happens whether you’re a founder, designer, developer or any other member of a team. If there’s something wrong with the product, you dream about solving the problem. It will inevitably transcend to other areas of your life.
Luckily, there is a middle ground. We’ve been involved in the creation and exploration of new products from clients that come to us looking for help; independent individuals with an idea that are already have some kind of financial foundation. They borrow the talent of our different teams for X amount of time and we take their idea as far as we can. We try to ensure everyone is 100% dedicated to the project, so that the team can live and breath that project without being borrowed by other teams or other clients’ project work.
There are still challenges that we’re working on solving, like making sure everyone in that dedicated team is as passionate about the idea as the founder while they keep that passion somehow contained within the limits of a healthy work-life balance. But all in all, product design is great and enriching work for every team. Agency or not, it’s simply a matter of discipline and attitude. Of flexibility and ability to adapt to try new and smarter processes.