A 2017 Letter from Our Co-Founders

Dom and Tom Tancredi Reflect on the past Year and Look Forward to 2018.

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2017!

The year of the Rooster, self-driving cars, and ridiculous rainbow colored food. It’s the year Jeff Bezos became the richest person in the world, dethroning software powerhouse Bill Gates. The man-blinkingyear Bitcoin soared to over $10,000 per coin. The year the tech industry took major steps forward for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology. And of course, the year “man blinking” was the most shared GIF. (shout out to the #general Slack Channel)  

This year has been a roller coaster, and we feel it’s a good time to reflect on all of the milestones, products, people, and fun we’ve had here at Dom & Tom.

As always, we are grateful for the continued support of our team members who continue to rock out creating amazing products for our long-standing and new clients. In 2017 we moved to a bigger space in Chicago, expanded our LA presence, and welcomed 5 new babies to the Dom & Tom family. This year also saw the emergence of an Associate Director program, individual department retreats, and the migration of several of our tools to improve productivity and communication. It has been a busy year, and none of these amazing things would have been possible without the drive, dedication, and creativity of our team.

PRODUCT

client-quote-1In 2017, Dom & Tom launched over 25 products and worked on over 100 projects. We could not be more proud of our team for continuously pushing the boundaries of innovation, creativity, and for bringing digital products to life. We launched a custom data visualization platform for an American media conglomerate. The platform was showcased at this years annual CES trade show in Las Vegas debuting to over 175,000 industry professionals. We worked on a groundbreaking augmented reality shopping experience for a digital retailer. We also created a mobile SDK (iOS and Android) for a professional sports league.

It’s not just the volume of the work we’ve done this year. It’s the complexity and deep domain understanding of these projects that we embraced and what makes us proud. We saw an explosion in the FinTech, SportsTech, MediaTech, and EdTech industries and our teams developed complex websites and deep mobile applications for clients in these industries this year.

What makes our company strong is our skill and grit to do the hard stuff, to embrace our client’s hopes and dreams and to provide guidance (and some design and development love) for turning those dreams into a reality.

ACCOLADES

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We do this for the joy of the work, to help others in a space (digital) that is still being defined. We don’t do this for the accolades… That said… it’s nice to be known for rocking out.

This year we have been recognized by employees, the technology industry, publications, and partners with a wide range of awards for our outstanding offerings as well as best business practices.

We were also ecstatic to be able to tell the story of how we started this business and talked about how we’ve grown over the last 8 years with the great people at VentureBeat, Inc. magazine, Carnival, Apptamin and many more.

CULTURE

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Like a phoenix reborn, lighting the night with eldritch fire… the Social Committee has alighted our hearts. Singing birthday telegrams, an arcade-themed holiday party, breakfast and bowling, are just a few of the many ways that the Social Committee surprise and delight us.

Comprised of several passionate, hard-working, culture-driven volunteers from each of our offices, this exclusive (and elusive) crew collectively plan killer (and non-work-related) events, parties, and fun activities.

This year our Social Committee planned a Baseball Day where the NY team went to a Staten Island Yankees game, the CHI team went on a Ghost Tour, and each office had their own Thanksgiving Potluck. And we can’t forget our favorite tradition of monthly Game Night.

Having fun is great but keeping our minds and hearts healthy is just as important, and our Social Committee has helped set up in-office massages quarterly for all employees and arranged “Caesar’s Bootcamp,” a weekly summer workout session with one of our very own web developers.

No one has a fiery passion for our value of “Having Fun” more than the Social Committee, and we’re excited to see what they ignite for us in 2018!

“DO GOOD. BE GOOD.”

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“Do Good. (work) Be Good. (people)” is our company mantra and motto. We’ve proven that we do good work with the 100+ projects we’ve worked on this year. However, we want to be good people as well and make a positive impact in our communities. With the creation of our “Do Good. Be Good. Committee” this year, our team has contributed to several charitable causes including Toys for Tots, Make-a-Wish Foundation, various hurricane relief aids and
RaisedBy.Us. Our entire team has shown great action to think about others.

At a digital agency, it takes a village to bring any product to market, from strategy to design to development and launch. Peer-to-peer recognition is important for cross-departmental teams. It is especially important to recognize those team members who represent the values of the company in their actions and words.

At our company-wide town hall held monthly, two winners of our “Do Good. Be Good. Award” is announced. The previous month’s winners nominate the team members of their choice who represent the DGBG values. Each winning employee then selects a charity for Dom & Tom to give a $100 donation. This year we’ve donated to over 20 charities on behalf of our hard-working and dedicated employees.

GROWTH & PROCESS

growthDom & Tom has had an impressive 123% 3-year growth with a 13% increase to the team in 2017. We broke revenue records this year across every department, including User Experience and Interface Design, Web Development, Digital Strategy, and Mobile Application Development. Our DevOps team increased both quantity and complexity of infrastructure hosting, streamlining the digital product lifecycle with our internal teams for continuous improvements. Sites are more stable, process is more refined, and our teams are utilizing tools more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

We’re always looking to improve communication and increase transparency not only with our internal teams but with our clients as well. This year, our team seamlessly migrated to Teamwork, Github, and we are in the process of rolling out a new platform (Kimble), so all team members have a shared understanding.

Growth isn’t always quantifiable. This year, each department planned and held individual department retreats with a 3-days off-site trip with the purpose of coming together to strategize on ways to build a more efficient team and how everyone can contribute to the overall success of the business to better serve our clients, our team members, and ourselves. From these retreats, the teams came out with more aligned strategic goals to build a better company in 2018.

To continue to advance in this space, you always have to be improving your process. Happy flow means happy work product and happy team members and clients!

LEADERSHIP

With growth comes an ongoing need to define roles and responsibilities and to promote leadership from within the organization. In 2017 we’ve expanded our departments and promoted several people on the leadership team. This year we’ve promoted Danny Saad to VP of Engineering, Drew Papadeas to VP of Sales & Marketing, Tim Daly to VP of Finance & Administration, Paul Petrowsky to Chief Design Officer, and Joe Tancredi to Director of Special Projects. Also, in Q4 we brought on Howard Rissin as Director of Project Management to round out our leadership team.

We believe in looking at our people on the inside before looking outside, and in 2017 an expansion of leadership emerged with the creation of our Associate Director program. The program promotes senior-level team members by guiding them through a 3-month intensive management training program. The program is meant to align departments and add another layer of support to teams. We are proud to announce that 6 Associate Directors have completed the program.

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  • Aaron Preston – Associate Director of Mobile Development
  • Anthony Sgueglia –  Associate Director of Web Development
  • Saima Zaman – Associate Director of Project Management
  • David Bean – Associate Director of User Experience
  • Michelle Fox – Associate Director of Accounts
  • Dushan Perera – Associate Director of Mobile Development

When we started this business at our kitchen table in Queens, NY, never did we imagine where we’d be today 8 years later. Our leadership team is now 15 people strong, and our next goal in 2018 is to get a bigger kitchen table.

A LOOK FORWARD TO 2018

domandtomAs 2017 comes to a close, and we enter our 9th year of business, there are a lot of opportunities to look forward to in 2018.

First, our physical presence is upgrading. While being elbow-to-elbow with our peers is always fun, it’s time for our New York digs to move on up (up the street that is) to a larger (and undisclosed) location. Also, our LA office will be seeing several senior team members added to support the increase in West Coast accounts.

Second, we are concepting, designing, developing and shipping products faster than ever before. This upcoming year, we are doubling-down on the strategic discussions from our department retreats to focus on three key initiatives that address the pace, quality of our work product, and expectations management with our clients. We will be enhancing our onboarding process, improving our production flow, and making enhancement to our performance processes. Additional team members will be embarking on an upward career path with the expansion of our Associate Directors program in the Chicago office. A bifurcation of the Sales and Account Management teams will be rolled out to service our new and existing accounts more smoothly. Each of these initiatives shares the same purpose: consistency of our communication, our mindset, and our work.

Third, the complexity and diversity of projects in our space mean new product types for us to develop.

  • Virtual Reality (#we_are_vr) is heating up with innovations such as “cord-free” (the only innovation that matters in VR.)
  • Blockchain Products (#blockchain) exploded this year with ICO’s and Smart Contracts (several team members are learning Solidity and what ERC-20 stands for.)
  • Augmented Reality (both Native Swift and Apple’s ARKit) will be rolling out in the Retail and Education Tech space.  
  • Machine Learning via Core ML to detect physical gestures and user behavior are being piloted.
  • Conversational UX like Voice and Chatbots are becoming a new field of UX and product opportunity.

Our digital pioneers are engaging in the “cool stuff” encompassing these kinds of emerging tech. And based on the number of new Slack channels in our company, cool is upon us.

Lastly, the people of Dom & Tom have come up with exciting, new initiatives that grow our culture and mission of “Do Good. Be Good.” Next year we look forward to the kick off of the Do Good. Be Good. Committee whose purpose is to contribute our shared talents, resources, and thoughtfulness to projects and charitable causes. As well as the formation of the Sustainability Committee whose purpose is to improve operational efficiencies through sustainable practices. And the evolution of the LGBTQ Employee Resources Group whose mission is to champion inclusion in the Dom & Tom community, and offer support and assistance to our LGBTQ employees and allies. We’re excited to support these committees and the team members who invest their time to strengthen our fantastic culture.

We believe 2018 will be the year to push the boundaries of digital products and we know great things are on the horizon. We are ecstatic about continuing to cut the edge of the cutting edge.

Happy New Year and cheers to an exciting 2018!

As Always, Do Good. Be Good.

Dom Tancredi, Co-Founder                                      Tom Tancredi, Co-Founder

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