Birthday Memories: Pivotal Moments for Mutual Mobile
May 8, 2014
The road to a company’s fifth anniversary is filled with countless twists and turns. Mutual Mobile is no exception. The founders have moved their offices from a two-story house to a twenty-story building. They’ve landed some huge accounts, while narrowly missing out on some others. They’ve worked with some of the country’s most talented professionals. And they’ve loved every minute of this wild entrepreneurial ride. Which pivotal moment do they remember the most? We asked, and they were more than happy to answer:
John Arrow, Chairman of the Board: Hands down, the most pivotal moment at Mutual Mobile was when we landed Google as a customer in 2010. Before that, we’d worked with great venture capitalist-backed companies, did project-based work and were thrilled to get that experience, but Google was a critical brand to work with. And the fact that they reviewed our work and our people, and decided we were best suited to create this product, that was a huge vote of confidence. Plus, they are incredible to work with.
Mickey Ristroph, Co-Chief Executive Officer: When you start a business, it’s very easy to say yes. There came a point when we looked around and realized that saying yes to more clients wasn’t saying yes to us. It didn’t help us make the impact we wanted to make. To me, changing that mindset and having a much more refined view of our identity and the type of work we wanted to lead was a pivotal moment at Mutual Mobile. There’s a cultural match today, between the company and the client, that is equally as important to us than the actual scope of work.
Tarun Nimmagadda, Co-Chief Executive Officer: In the earliest days of the company, we had people with strong tech backgrounds. We soon realized that in order to make exceptional software, we had to put an equal emphasis on design and engineering disciplines. Once we started recruiting people with great design and user experience backgrounds, we were able to transition from working with small and medium-sized businesses to global corporations. Audi was one of the first major companies to test our theory. They tasked us to build and ship software that went to hundreds of dealerships across the United States. That scale was a turning point. It was a huge confidence boost for our team.
Sam Gaddis, Chief Innovation Officer: WPP investing in Mutual Mobile was pivotal in that it allowed us to recommit to our vision to focusing on breakthrough products. Over the past year, we’ve doubled-down on hackathons, emerging technologies and growing our user research practice in an effort to meaningfully navigate what’s next. As a result, we have also adapted our “sales-centric” model to something closer to that of an agency, where we proactively seek out “dream” clients we’d love to collaborate with. That’s a pivotal change, and one that ties into that cultural match Mickey talked about.
Who knows what pivotal moments will occur at Mutual Mobile over the next five years? Between emerging industry technologies like wearables and beacons, the widespread adoption of mobile devices and the booming growth taking place in Austin, the founders have never been more excited to see what the future has in store.