After 3 years, I'm crossing back across the Rubicon.
At the end of the year I'm leaving Rubicon Project to start my own design and content business.
Since joining RUBI I've seen the London office grow from a small room to a whole floor and more than quadruple in size, not to mention the business going public, as well adding a handful of other companies to the fold.
As the only full time person in my team at the outset, I was the wearer of numerous hats. As well as being in charge of content, along the way I also became the go-to product marketing person outside of the US. It was a lot of fun, especially the challenge of trying to make the highly technical simple and understandable to all.
Make it Pretty
On top of that, from the start I got my hands dirty making all types of things 'pretty'* - which ultimately led me all the way to retraining as a graphic designer. And I'm especially grateful to my boss Jay Stevens for not just encouraging me to go down this path, but also actively supporting me through it.
A tough three months of going back to school with 8am starts, and working nights and weekends later, I came back, magically able to do all of the things I'd struggled with before.
The whole idea of retraining sprang from the belief that bringing editorial expertise to data, words and design in one blast could bring added impact. Time saving and efficiency are another big bonus.
Whether it's a printed guide visualising a customer's current and potential business, or an infographic illuminating a pressing market trend, some of the feedback and results on these projects so far have been really encouraging.
In the former case, the guide was cited as a major reason for prioritising an otherwise time-consuming technical integration, while the latter was picked up by a financial analyst, screengrabbed in a subsequent report to investors.
In short, I feel like there's huge potential in the fusion of data, design and content, and I suspect I've only just scratched the surface.
No Crossing Back
Rubicon Project is the best place I've ever worked by a country mile, and the people are amazing.
So it's with a heavy heart that I leave at the end of the year. As I've heard from the handful of others who've moved on over the years, nowhere else can really match it. Probably another good reason to be going freelance then?
As a friend who also recently set up her own business described to me:
"The overall feeling right now is one of excitement tinged with -----ing myself."
But I'm hopeful that, as I step out into the unknown in 2016, there is a lot more of the former and a little less of the latter.
* One of the first things I was taught at design school was as follows: graphic design is precisely not about 'making stuff pretty' - but that's probably a topic for another post.