A little bit of background on the image shown on this post. It’s a picture of Sebastian Padilla, one of Anagrama’s - www.anagrama.com - co-founders and creative director, back in 2009.
I ( Gustavo ) was the one taking the picture. My role at that time was officially Operations Director ( a.k.a. do everything that the creative people in the team will not do ).
It was a nice era, we were starting out as a new branding agency and 2–3 projects were flowing easily through our simple work process. One week around 2010, I started showing up for work and started noticing I was spending the whole day responding to emails, working on an Excel sheet trying to figure out how much to charge for our services and going back and forth between Apple Pages and Apple Mail making sure I was writing everything correctly so that I would not send a quote with information that could get us in trouble. It was a LOT of work. I began to make mistakes, the amount of work began to feel overwhelming and soon I was hating my situation and position in the agency.
That is when I decided to try to figure out how to automate all of my repetitive tasks. I started looking for a solution that would allow us to follow up on clients, keep track of quotes, income, expenses and projects but was not able to find anything that was easy to use or that did not have an excess of buttons and options…We tried a couple of software packages and open source solutions available on Github, but we failed with them all… I had a background on software development so I decided to start developing ZED.
I started with a very simple software that could help me build quotes based on a set of pre-established services. I just had to add the services to quotes and then modify the text if needed. I soon had a large database of clients with quotes…. I thought, what if I added a status to quotes just so I could be more efficient with my calls. It worked! I logged in the system on a daily basis and could see a list of clients with quotes pending approval and I could optimize my emailing and calling times.
I was happy again and very excited to try out automating all of the management work in a creative agency. Most of the features were added as our agency kept growing and I observed and talked with people having trouble with repetitive and management tasks.
Fast forward 8 years later and Anagrama works like a well oiled machine managing more than 100 simultaneous projects in more than 50 countries around the world. We decided to share our tool so that other creative agencies could also take advantage of the benefits of focusing solely on their creative work and abilities.