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Introducing Labs

Introducing Labs

The digital industry is experiencing turbulent times at the moment. That’s a good thing.

Rapidly evolving technologies – cloud computing, powerful mobile devices, modern web browsers, and connected TVs to name a few – are creating opportunities for serious innovation. Already we’re seeing the early stages of convergence and seamless communication between devices. The digital channel is being reshaped, as are the experiences we deliver through it.

Of course, this comes at the price of higher complexity in both ideation and execution, but what’s opportunity without challenge? For most agencies the biggest challenge won’t even be technical, it will be temporal – time to learn, to experiment, to share, and to see ideas from start to finish. Compounding this will be the need to think in terms of problems and solutions. Ideas are dormant and lazy. The meaningful application of an idea requires that it has context in real-world problems.

Diagram

Today we’re excited to announce Teehan+Lax Labs, our answer to the challenges of the future. Labs is a small, independent innovation unit operating within the agency. It’s tasked with not only exploring new technologies in the digital channel, but also framing the possibilities they empower.

Framing possibilities in the digital channel.

Of course, it would be a mistake to entirely split off a skunkworks team from the agency, removing employees who focus on client work from R&D. We want to foster a culture of innovation, not displace it. To that end, we’ve designed a high degree of integration. Client-working employees contribute the bulk of experimentation along with the Labs team – who provide all necessary direction and resources. We’re all members of the brain trust.

Sharing is also an important characteristic of Labs – not only for employees and clients, but also the digital community as a whole. We’ll be talking about our successes, failures, and experiences. Labs is our mouthpiece for bleeding edge technology and design thinking. It’s meant to reduce technical complexity for the agency, but also we hope to contribute to advancing the industry we love. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be launching supporting feeds, a blog, and project pools for anyone to follow. We hope you do.

Ideating

At its core Labs is about technology and the possibilities buried among the clouds, APIs, and screens. While convergence is the theme we’re most interested in exploring, we also plan to undertake projects that push the boundaries on individual platforms. After all, assembling a team of talented tinkerers is bound to produce some fringe but valuable results.

It’s an exciting time to explore and experiment in the digital channel. Of course, Labs is an experiment unto itself and no doubt there will be bumps and bruises along the way. But after all, what’s opportunity without challenge?

Peter Nitsch More posts by Peter Nitsch