Q&A time with me.

richard Richard Edge  |  22 Nov, 2018

What’s your digital philosophy?

I love storytelling. We always focus on telling our clients story first and then create the technology to fit. Our approach leads us to a better result and allows us to stay open to new digital possibilities. At the end of the day technology is constantly changing and evolving, but there will always be a story to tell.

Who have been your biggest creative inspirations?

I find inspiration in many different places. I have a lot of respect for businesses that cut their own path, give others something to aspire to or are doing something that they really believe in. Recently I’ve been really inspired by the brand Patagonia as they get things done in such a unique way. I’m also inspired by people that say yes to their dreams and go out and live their lives.

Who is the one individual who has influenced you most professionally and why?

I would have to say Martin Lenart, our business mentor. He’s the Godfather of PlasticStudio. We originally met through the government mentoring programme and have worked with him since day one - more than 10 years ago now! He helps us with the tough decisions and keeps us focused and moving forward. His ability to listen and provide the right advice at the right time is a continual inspiration.

What has been the career path that has led you to where you are now?

I started my career at Design School in Whanganui, where I actually failed my online classes. I’d always dreamt of being in advertising. When I did graduate from design school I first started working for a dot.com. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun. After the dot.com bomb, I went to the UK and worked in design and strategy for some big global brands. We then moved back to NZ. I’d always wanted to start my own company which subsequently led to the birth of PlasticStudio in 2008. I’m pretty happy with how things have turned out and I’m excited about our future.

What would you say is your biggest career achievement so far?

Creating and leading the amazing team we have at PlasticStudio for the last 10 years. Business is about people, which is why we have always led with what’s right by the client and how we can help them. We’ve always had a strong work culture where it is fun, eccentric and people are allowed to be who they are.

What do you love the most about your team and working at PlasticStudio?

The most amazing thing is the positive energy. With 14 people, we are a tight-knit team where everyone can have a laugh and support each other on every level. We are lucky to have such an incredible mix of talent working together to create amazing things.

What’s your favourite 90’s jam?

Stone Temple Pilots - “Plush”. Probably because it has lasted the ages. Other favourites have come and gone, but I love this track and it always takes me back.

What do you know that is true that people often need reminding of?

A big part our team is remembering that humans are emotional beings and that we should respect each other's feelings. We create a space where we value how people feel about things and that’s ok. So many everyday conversations don’t involve talking about how people feel, it's easy to forget.

How has the digital industry changed in the last few years?  

The biggest change we’ve seen is the need for simplicity. With technology changing so quickly, companies need to keep things simple by telling their story. Immense growth in digital capabilities has enabled different software products to integrate and connect together at the start of the communication process. Another huge digital change we’ve seen is the astronomical growth of the mobile phone. With improvements in digital technology, phones are smarter, faster and more convenient. In fact, our stats show tablet usage is starting to disappear in favour of smartphones.

Where do you see the digital industry in New Zealand heading in the next decade?

The world will get digitally smarter and smarter resulting in a simpler experience for the user. This will mean technology will become transparent without technological barriers - things will just work! At PlasticStudio we see our job as leading our clients through these changing times with strategy that focuses on adding the most value to their audience.   

When it’s all over, how do you want to be remembered?

Creative. Brave. Someone that was a thinker, did stuff and had fun. Brave enough to follow their dreams or help others to follow theirs.