互动中国专访: Fi CEO David Martin——“完美“起跑 从卓越到超越


“I’m always going to be a creative first” —— David Martin,CEO of Fantasy Interactive
面对现实吧!不是我们爱挑刺,看看身边芸芸的创意设计作品,优秀的真的不占多数,至少,一定不如不那么好的作品来得多。 不是设计过于简陋,就是制作不够用心,不是点子不够 就是用户体验实在坑坑洼洼,更有甚者,一路如影相随,让人哭笑不得。并且,这样的现实也许一直都会这样下去,至少,并不会从比例上变得优众于拙。优秀,依然会属于少数佼佼者。

今天我们面对的情况,与David Martin先生讲述的关于90年代他所身处的互动创意领域的环境如出一辙, “网站设计都实在太粗糙,体验太糟糕了。”用他自己的原话来说,是”clumsy and unsophisticated user experience  “。

要么,接受现实,随大江东去;要么,选择和David 当年一样,突破这一切,“誓要做出心目中真正的好设计,好作品。”他选择了打破一切,从“完美”开始,于是,就有了Fi。

这种选择,意味着要经受高于一切的标准,而且,不能退,只能进。

Fi(Fantasy Interactive)无疑是成功的典范。他们的作品,无一例外都符合简约,清爽,富有细节这三个标准,能够带来出色的用户体验。Fi服务的客户,比比皆是平日里被大家称道和向往的”很有sense”的一流品牌。而作为一家数字营销创意代理机构,Fi 从12年前位于斯德哥尔摩的一间小小的工作室,蜕变成长为今天这家国际化的整合数字营销代理企业,并获得业界的一致认可。并且,Fi的脚步还未停止,还在不断超越

今天,互动中国很荣幸能与David Martin,Fi创始人兼CEO,亲自面对面交流,让他带着我们一起去听他聊聊他与Fi的故事。

采访&编译: Vivian Peng@DamnDigital (原创内容, 转载请务必注明来自DamnDigital)


Photo from Fi Official website,all rights reserved

关于Fi的过去,现在,未来:

In the last 12 years, I’ve listened; I’ve learned; I’ve stumbled; I’ve talked; I’ve understood; I’ve misunderstood; I’ve shared. It’s been a tremendous learning experience.
12年来,我一直在倾听,一直在学习,我也曾经经历过很多失败,我被人议论,接受过指责,有人理解我,也有人误会我,每当有人愿意分享我们的作品的时候,我会因此而感到欣慰。

Q:请向广大的中国读者简单介绍下Fi吧

David Martin:Fi是一家创新的国际化数字营销代理商,从事专业的互动设计,移动及APP开发,社会化媒体营销服务以及富媒体广告代理服务,我们服务的客户均来自于全球各地的国际顶尖品牌,如Google,HTC,Red Bull,CNN,Fox以及Porsche等等。

Fi拥有一群对工作充满热情,并且在互动设计,策略以及技术开发上拥有丰富经验的专业人士。我们热爱自己的工作,每一个人都拥有自己独到的优势和才能。大家分享自己的经验,热情,执着于共同创造。从CEO 到每一个开发者,设计师,程序员,UX设计师,以及销售,市场人员,每一个人都以自己的能力和专业对项目发挥着各自的影响力。

Fi 成立于1999年,创立的唯一初衷,就是要创造拥有卓越品质和一流创意的作品。这也是Fi至今秉承的品牌特点。公司团队由创意设计,策略分析师,程序开发组成,高度旨在帮助品牌以一种创新而有效的方式与消费者建立良好的沟通。在这一指导思想之下,品牌越来越注重与消费者的互动沟通,为了提升消费者的参与度和融入度,良好的用户体验成为重中之重,同时,也提升了品牌的忠诚度。

自成立至今的12年时间里,公司日渐发展,而今在纽约,圣弗朗西斯科,盐湖城和斯德哥尔摩设有分公司。一直以来,我们都保持低调的姿态,坚持以我们的设计哲学和个性推动着公司业务的发展,在设计理念和公司信条上矢志追求,用实力为自己得到了荣誉,成为《广告时代》杂志(Advertising Age)“Hottest Digital Agencies Around”以及.net Magazine的“Agency of the Year”荣誉。

Q:当初您是怎么想到要成立Fi的?您会怎样描述Fi今天的发展情况?您是否曾经能想象到Fi能走到今天这样的程度?对于未来,您又有怎样的设想和计划?

David Martin:说实话,当初我作为一个设计师,对那个时候市面上拙劣的网站设计和糟糕的体验感到彻底失望,实在让人无法忍受。我希望能做出真正的好东西,所以,我创立了这家公司。12年来,我一直在倾听,一直在学习,我也曾经经历过很多失败,我被人议论,接受过指责,有人理解我,也有人误会我,当有人乐意分享我们的作品的时候,我会因此而感到欣慰。这一路以来,我在不断学习,不断收获,不断积累。当然,所有这一切都使我更加进一步明确了,Fi应该是什么,将会怎样,以及,绝对不会变成什么样,所有界线都越来越明晰,并且我对此坚信不疑。

我想说,其实在我创办Fi的那天我就知道它一定行。从斯德哥尔摩,到今天在全球拥有4个分公司,这对我来说,是很自然的成长过程。我们的项目与日俱增,签单的客户也不断积累和开拓着,公司整体的专业性更是在日益提升中,我知道,我们一定会走到今天这一步的。这是对我来说的一个巨大的鼓励,也是市场对我们认可的证明。在接下来的12个月中,我们将主力放在人才的招聘和吸引上,这将是所有工作的重点。另外,我们还有可能会再开一家分公司,不过,还在计划当中。

关于人才和客户:

I’m always going to be a creative first, and a business person second.
我总是把自己首先定位于一名创意工作者,其次,才是一名商务人士。

Q:Fi正面向全球招聘人才。在您看来,找到优秀的人才是一件困难的事情吗?您可以说说您再挑选人才的时候,必不可缺的三个标准吧?

David Martin:寻找人才一直是我们工作的重点之一。因为我们对于自己身为一家代理商所秉持的原则和信条赋予了至高无上的地位,从不改变和妥协,因此要在符合我们信条和原则的基础之上,寻找到合适的人才,并不是特别简单的事情。

我们宁可一直寻找,也不愿意在人才观上做出让步,我们坚持寻找的人,必须具备的基本素质包括:有职业精神,富有热情,具备术业专攻的专业技能,并且对专业的领域怀有理想和激情。所以,人才所在的地域、国籍,对于我们来说并不是特别重要,如果我们认为他/她适合Fi,并且对于自己专长的领域独具优势,我们愿意不惜代价邀请他/她加入我们。其实在我们全部的员工里有50%左右都是来自四个分公司所在城市以外的地区和国家。所以,这也使得Fi的工作环境非常多元化。

我们所期待的人才应该具备以下特质:

  1. 积极的态度:对于态度的重要性无可置疑,不论从事的是什么职位,任何在Fi工作的成员都必须具备工作的主动性和积极性,不能坐等他人给你任务,而应该随时期待着挑战。这一点非常重要,这也是为什么我们能够吸引到一些非常优秀人才的原因所在。
  2. 专攻之术(不论任何领域):如果你是个设计师,那么你的portfolio必须足够优秀,具有说服力。如果你是个程序员,你应该对于代码如痴如迷,并且富有突破性思维。如果你是个营销高手,或业务达人,你需要理解并且擅长于建立“关系”,善于处理个中的微妙之处,并且,最好你同时还是个“讲故事”的高手! (意味着优异的口头/书面表达能力)
  3. 热情:如果你对自己的工作没有热情,那么Fi一定不是你适合的地方。在这里,每一个人都对自己所做的工作充满热忱和激情。愿意投入很多时间来悉心钻研自己的工作。乐于面对挫折,接受挑战,对成就富有渴望,所有这些都源自于你对工作是否怀有挚爱之心。

Q:您需要经常和客户打交道吗?在与客户沟通的过程中,对您来说最大的挑战是什么?和我们分享几个您印象深刻的经历吧

David Martin:我对自己的定位,首先必须是一个创意工作者,这是第一位的。而后才是一名商务人士。我热爱设计这份工作。我会充当设计师,艺术总监,交互设计师,软件工程师等不同的角色,同时,还会时不时作为一名市场营销专员、或销售经理。不同角色之间的转换让我自己不断保持学习的动力、保持倾听的谦逊姿态,而且,我还能在与客户沟通的过程中,发挥自己的专业所长,更善于从交互和数字互动的角度出发,就事论事地为客户提供意见和建议,这点独到的优势在我看来是非常重要的。

对我们来说,客户并不是真正意义上的客户,他们更像是我们的工作伙伴。我们要做的,是帮助他们的品牌营销得更出色,帮助他们与消费者建立联结。我们非常理解,作为客户本身,他们自己也需要向很多高层主管和相关人士汇报工作,所以,越是理解对方的处境,就越发觉得我们需要提出我们认为正确的,并且有信心能够切实为客户的品牌带来帮助的解决方案和提议给到客户,这才是对客户负责的态度。同时,我们非常真诚并且用心地与客户之间进行沟通,保持和客户之间和谐的关系,这是我们与客户之间建立通畅平等的沟通渠道,让客户真正地理解我们的idea背后的原因和想法,让客户明白我们为什么认为这个idea可行,以及,它将如何发挥作用这一系列的细节过程。只有这样,才能真正解决与客户之间一系列可能发生的矛盾问题。

Q:在您多年的职业生涯中,遇到过的最大挑战是什么?您是如何面对的?

David Martin:与人打交道是最难的。不论我怎样坚持Fi的信念,最终,需要依靠公司所有人由衷的支持和信任才行。Fi的愿景依靠公司所有成员共同的信赖和为此而共同努力才能真正实现。在过去的岁月里,我经历了重重考验,每一次挫折,都教给我宝贵的教训,让我铭记,助我成长。不断给予我在各个领域锻炼的机会,不论是项目执行,策略抑或是创意点子,每一个领域都因挫折/挑战而收获经验,积累阅历,因此,所有经历的都必将是弥足珍贵的。

关于David Martin:

Everyone always looks at the sky and wishes they could touch the stars。
每一个仰望天空的人,心里必然渴望着有朝一日可以亲手触摸天空中闪烁的星辰。

Q: 您个人偏爱的设计风格是怎样的?

David Martin:干净、简洁、富有细节的。

Q:您个人喜欢使用Mac还是PC? 您偏爱的软件硬件都有些什么呢?

David Martin:最近这段时间,我一切工作使用的都是苹果以及苹果的软件,苹果让一切都变得更加简单,不过,我也花了好多年,才放弃了PC,变成一个完完全全的果粉。

Q:您有什么业余爱好? 为什么喜欢呢?

David Martin:我喜欢飞机。因为它让我常常觉得,自己是一只拥有翅膀的小鸟能自由飞翔。每一个时常仰望天空的人,心里必然怀抱渴望和梦想的,想象着有朝一日可以亲手触摸天空中闪烁的星辰。不过,我知道要做到这一切的话,我必须去当一名飞行员。哈哈,这是多么不现实的幻想啊!


Photo from Kontain, all rights reserved

对于中国:

Q:最后,说说您对于中国的印象如何?您对中国的创意广告设计行业的朋友们有什么要说的?谢谢

David Martin:中国在许多领域拥有杰出的成就,伟大的进步和革新,同时,仍然拥有巨大的潜力,所有这一切都毋庸置疑,令人震惊和充满期待。从商业的角度来说,中国拥有极其巨大的动人市场,但是,我认为在数字化方面,并没有在最近几年有太大的发展和应有的进步。所以,如果有机会,我很期待能够和那儿的相关人士共同努力,促进中国的数字化发展。所以,我想说的是,Fi来到中国,并不遥远,或许,指日可待。

 

编者结语:

对于David所说的话,既是一种激励,更是对我们的一种启示。作为中国的数字领域成员,今天的我们,置身国际化的大背景之中,面对国际化的挑战,我们微笑面对,谦逊学习,不断进步。非常期待诸如Fi这样优秀的国际一流的创意伙伴与我们进一步的接触,交流和学习!

最后我需要特别感谢一些人: 感谢David Martin对于本次采访做出的合作和交流。非常感激。另外,特别感激Fi全球市场营销与公共关系主管Ragini Bhalla对于本次采访的大力支持和协助工作。更要诚挚地感谢Fi斯德哥尔摩办公室的成员Michael Stratton在本次合作过程中的热情配合!非常感激!

Special  thanks go to Mr. David Martin(CEO of Fi), Ragini Bhalla (Director of Marketing & Communications • Fi), as well as to  the support from Michael Stratton (Fi Stockholm)。

 

以下是采访的原文稿件,供各位参考:

DamnDigital: Media Interview
David Martin, CEO

(Questions about Fi as a company, clients, talent recruitment and personal aspects)

1、Please give a short introduction of Fi to China’s readers.

David Martin: Fantasy Interactive (Fi) is a new breed of global digital agency. We specialize in interactive design, mobile & app development, social media and rich media for some of the biggest brands in the world such as Google, HTC, Red Bull, CNN, Fox and Porsche.

At Fi, we’re highly passionate and experienced about interactive design, strategy and technology. We love what we do, and we all bring a special skill set, experience and passion to the table. From our CEO to producers, interactive designers, developers, UX strategists, technologists, business and marketing teams, everyone at Fi has a direct impact on projects.

The agency was founded in 1999 by CEO David Martin with one vision in mind: creativity and imagination reign supreme. Whenever a brand comes to Fi, our team of creative designers, strategists and developers conceive, collaborate and produce game-changing ideas to help brands connect with their customers online. The result is an experience that engages communities, builds brand loyalty and creates a one-of-a-kind user experience.

In the 12 years since Fi opened, our agency has grown to include a robust staff in New York, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Stockholm. While we’ve previously stayed under the radar, we’ve let our design philosophy and personality drive the business. As a result, we were featured as “one of the hottest digital agencies around” by Advertising Age and “Agency of the Year” by .net Magazine.

2、What was your decision to start up Fi? How do you think Fi is today? Have you really expected the company you brought up would be like today’s is? What do you imagine for Fi in the future?

David Martin: To be honest, I was really frustrated by the clumsy and awkward user experiences I was seeing on websites in the 1990s. And I wanted to do something different. So in 1999, Fantasy Interactive came to life. In the last 12 years, I’ve listened; I’ve learned; I’ve stumbled; I’ve talked; I’ve understood; I’ve misunderstood; I’ve shared. It’s been a tremendous learning experience. But it’s also helped me clearly define our agency’s voice and be aware of what Fi isn’t.

I wish I could tell you that I knew from the day I opened our first office in Stockholm that we’d have 4 offices, but it’s something that’s happened naturally and gradually. As our projects grew, clients signed on and our expertise grew, I knew that growth was an important step for the agency. Over the next 12 months, finding the best people out there to deliver amazing digital work is still one of our top priorities and we may even consider opening a new office, but time will only tell.

3、Fi is hiring globally now, is it difficult to find the right person? What are 3 most essential factors you believe are most important to the value of talents?

David Martin: Finding talent is one of our top priorities. Because we’re so protective of our agency philosophy and culture, this isn’t always easy. That being said, we’d rather be selective and gradual in our recruitment process, and find the right person who is entrepreneurial in spirit, enthusiastic and a master at what he/she does (and loves doing it).

So a person’s geographical location or visa requirements don’t really matter to us. If we see something special in you, we’ll make that investment to make you a part of the Fi team. In fact, over 50% of our staff across all 4 global offices comes from all over the world. We’re multicultural.

Three of the biggest traits we look for in candidates are:

  1. Proactive Attitude. I can’t say enough how important this trait is. No matter what role, each person at Fi has the kind of personality that doesn’t wait for obstacles to occur; they anticipate it. That’s unique and a big reason why some of the biggest brands approach us.
  2. Talent (in whatever their expertise is). If you’re a designer, your portfolio should be exceptional and speak for itself. If you’re a developer, you should be versatile and agile in code writing. If you’re a marketing or business professional, you should understand the nuances of relationship building and be a master storyteller (written and verbal).
  3. Passion. If you don’t love what you do, this isn’t the place for you. Everyone at Fi spends a lot of time working on projects, not because it’s a chore, but because they love it. And we laugh and eat gummi bears too.

4、Do you deal with clients often? What is the biggest challenge on dealing with client by your impression? For example, sometimes we have a great idea and believe it would works well, while client see it with risks and feel unsure, in this circumstances, we have to choose from persuading client have a try or give up ours.  Would you like to share some of your experiences with us? Thanks!

David Martin: I’m always going to be a creative first, and a business person second. So I enjoy working alongside my designers, art directors, interactive developers, software engineers, marketing and business managers. It lets me have my ear to the ground and help our people deliver truly interactive and intuitive digital experiences for clients.

For us, clients aren’t clients. They’re partners. We’re here to make their brands better, smarter and more engaging. And we’re aware that clients have to answer to many people at the top. At the end of the day, we’re going to be fearless and passionate with our ideas because we know it will help clients, not hurt them. Because we’ve worked really hard to create a “cozy” tone and relationship with our clients, they understand how we think and typically let us do what we do best.

5、What is the biggest challenge you’ve been faced with in the years of your career on Fi? How you faced with it?

David Martin: Dealing with people. At the end of the day, my vision for FI no longer rests on my shoulders alone. It rests on the amazingly talented people at this company. Over the years, I have encountered multiple hurdles and mountains that I’ve had to climb. But each time, I learned something new and used that lesson to improve processes, strategies and ideas.

6、What is your personally favorite style of interface design? (Other than Fi)

David Martin: Clean, simple, detailed

7、Which do you prefer to use personally, Mac or PC? 

David Martin: These days, I’m all about Apple because it’s made my life much easier. But it took me several years to become an Apple convert.

8、What is your hobby? Why it is attractive to you so much?

David Martin: I love flying planes. It makes me feel like I’m a bird. Everyone always looks at the sky and wishes they could touch the stars. Well, I get to do that as a pilot. It’s unreal and spectacular.

9、Last but not least, what impress you about china? Anything want to share with china’s creative people? Thanks

David Martin: The sheer success factor, the growth, the potential of China is pretty incredible. China has done enormously well on the business side, but there hasn’t been as much digital growth in that region. So I’m looking forward to helping make that happen. Fi China may not be too far away.




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