Small Company, Big Results

You know your company is small when you order one sheet pizza for the entire office and still have leftovers; or when the largest table in sight is the ping-pong table. I had the privilege of joining the Dumbwaiter team about a year ago, and one question I am often asked by friends and family is:

"Why did you choose a small company like Dumbwaiter, as opposed to a larger agency?"

The process of creating a website or application is so intricate, that it is broken up into stages. This is standard practice in our industry and our process page outlines these different steps. I enjoy being involved in each of these stages and I knew that working at a small company like Dumbwaiter would allow me to do that.

The stages have become so distinct as the industry has grown, that entire career paths have developed around them. Each of these people will typically support a single stage of the project:

  • Strategists
  • Producers
  • UX Designers
  • UI Designers
  • Front-End Developers
  • Back-End Developers

This fragmentation of the process is necessary because most people specialize in a particular piece of the puzzle, but it's important to remember that these pieces are critically dependent on one another. Goals are determined at the very beginning of a project and must be carried through all the way to the end until they are achieved. The process is like a game of telephone, and the objective is to ensure the client's message is delivered clearly through each stage without getting lost in translation. I’ve found that the most successful way to ensure this happens is not just to have everyone on the team involved, but rather everyone in the company.

"The small size of our company plays a key role in the success of our projects"

I haven't worked at a large agency myself, but my understanding is that the larger the company, the more fragmented the process often becomes. Specialties become more narrow and focused and each person is involved in a smaller piece of the puzzle. Despite most agencies best efforts to avoid it, the process becomes more mechanical. While there isn’t anything particularly wrong with this (and in some cases it may even be beneficial), we have a firm belief that the small size of our company plays a key role in the success of our projects.

At Dumbwaiter we have an unusually talented and driven team. We each have our specialties, but all of us are interested and involved in the process, as well as each other, from start to finish. This unique dynamic has proven to be invaluable in seeing projects through successfully and exceeding our clients expectations. Our designers are very comfortable with front-end development and know what is required to implement the interactions that they design. Our developers are knowledgeable about design principles and usability practices and will critique designs regularly. Both designers and developers often have valuable thoughts on the strategy and business objectives as well. Therefore, we spend very little time on revisions and miscommunication is almost non-existent.

Websites are complex solutions with many interworking parts. By keeping Dumbwaiter strategically small we are able to make the entire company one team, working together to deliver outstanding solutions to our clients.