10 years ago, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and triggered a global recession, the Large Hadron Collider was switched on in Switzerland and failed to end the universe as we know it, Obama was elected president and also failed to end the universe as we know it, and Echo-Factory opened its doors for the first time.
Things were … different. We worked, literally, out of a commercial garage in Upland. We crammed ourselves – three or four at a time – into barely-air-conditioned offices the size of broom closets. We drank a lot of Rockstar energy drinks. We hosted an art/design competition in Chinatown and got creative directors from Nike and the Skateboard Mag to show up, mostly by pretending to be a much bigger deal than we were.
We convinced a massive aerospace distribution company to sign on as a client – again, mostly by pretending to be a much bigger deal than we were. Now, 10 years later, we’ve helped them to become a much-more-massive aerospace distribution company. So, I think it worked out for both of us.
After a couple of years, we looked around and realized that we had become what we were pretending to be. Not a big deal, but an agency with some experience under our belts, doing good work for our clients, helping them grow, winning some awards and even growing ourselves.
We said goodbye to our Upland garage and moved to a nearly reputable office park in Rancho Cucamonga. We added more office space, hired some more talented people and attracted a whole host of additional clients looking to grow.
We helped them grow.
And then, after a few more years, it was time to move again. Our clients were tired of the drive out to the suburbs, we were tired of the drive out to the suburbs, and so we put down our roots in Pasadena and threw ourselves headfirst into the city’s tech, startup and entrepreneurial life.
We kept busy. We kept doing good work for our clients. We grew. And then one day earlier this year, around the time that we started our 8,000th job for a client, we looked up and said, “Holy s*#t! Has it really been 10 years?”
The Part Where We Thank Everyone and Get a Little Choked Up
We’ve been talking about ourselves as if “We did this.” So let us be clear: We most certainly did not do this on our own.
We did this with the help of people who came to work at Echo-Factory and gave us their creativity, their brilliance, their late nights and their ability to meet impossible deadlines and conquer hopelessly ambitious projects.
We did this with a group of advisors, friends, fans and family. People who saw what we were trying to do and offered to lend us a hand. People who gave us the indispensable advice, wise counsel and invaluable introductions that have been essential to our success.
We got here with the help of a group of people too numerous to mention – whose kindness and support we will never be able to truly repay, but which we will try to pay forward.
If you know us, you know that we are not the swanky, self-congratulatory party-throwing type of agency. But we are absolutely the “stop by sometime for a drink” type of agency.
So here’s your invitation: If you’re someone who’s had a hand in getting us here – a past or present client, a partner or contractor, someone who has us listed on your resume, a friend or an advocate – stop by for a drink. Things usually get real casual here around 5:30 p.m. We’ve got a keg from Last Name Brewing, a car door bolted to the wall full of harder stuff and even a few pre-release samples of the next big thing in functional beverages, if that’s more your speed.
We would love the chance to say thank you and raise a glass to our past, our future and the people who helped us get here.
So, until then, here’s to the past 10 years, here’s to the next 10 and, most importantly, here’s to everyone who made it possible. Thank you.