As the year draws to a close, we’re taking some time to look back at the events and accomplishments that defined TWG in 2014.
Things look pretty different around here compared to a year ago – we have new talented people in the studio, new and exciting clients and partners – but the same TWG core beliefs hold strong:
- Software is the best tool to create change that enhances and improves; and
- Collaborating with good people is key to successful outcomes.
We hope you enjoyed 2014, and wish everyone a fun and successful 2015. Here are a few highlights from our past year.
- Our team grew to 48 people in 2014. We built out our internal QA capabilities, expanded design and added some diverse front- and back-end development talent to our studio. Notable new senior hires include Brian Pullen (former CEO of Playground) and Rob Kenedi (former CEO of Endloop). We’re very proud to be able to say we’ve brought such amazing people on board in all departments.
- To make room for all of the new people, we’ve expanded our Toronto studio. We’re still at 425 Adelaide St W, but we’ve taken over the entire third floor which means there’s lots of extra space to meet and collaborate on ideas. If you’d like to see our home, get in touch to arrange a visit.
- We shipped more than 20 substantial products in 2014, crafting everything from large-scale, award-winning iOS applications for TSN to a new mobile design for Toronto Star. We became the technology partners of the CFC, and of New York fashion brand Cools. These are only a few examples of some great work we completed with both new and existing clients.
- We also continued to grow our startup portfolio, investing in Rayku (Edtech startup helping North American students find great math tutors online), Organics Live (subscription service bringing organic food direct to your door), Big Terminal (the web’s largest live financial data source), SwitchMerge (a service to send thousands of personalized videos for lead generation), and the aforementioned Cools.
Rayku Founder & President Donny Ouyang with Tom Walsham, TWG’s Director of Product, and designer Veronica Romero
- TWG Labs, an initiative dedicated to pushing the boundaries of technology and investigating new tools and products, became formalized in 2014. Led by Peter Sobot, labs projects so far include: Our own proprietary ERP tool, Mobius; a series of internal libraries and tools to make our development teams more effective, a .gif photobooth and an experimental iBeacon application.
- We also started experimenting with Smart Watches. If you’d like to learn more, check out this fantastic collection of WatchKit Resources by Brian Gilham, who also wrote this post. You can catch Brian Pullen talking about designing for smart watches at FITC Toronto and Digifest in 2015.
- We also built some free tools to help make people’s lives better. Check out WikiWash, a free tool that helps journalists uncover spin and bias on Wikipedia, and TEDxTheme, a free, open source WordPress theme for TEDx organizers.
- We teamed up with MaRS to host Toronto’s edition of Startup Next: The World’s #1 Pre-Accelerator Program. Sampler, the winning startup from our inaugural cohort, went on to raise a $645k seed round through connections made during Startup Next. We also hosted lots of events for designers, developers and product managers, teaming up with the fine folks at ProductTO, Toronto’s Node.js Meetup and Pixel People along the way.
- The web and mobile applications we built with Sobeys earned us recognition at the Digiday Retail Awards, winning Best Branded Mobile/Tablet App and a finalist spot for Best Retail Brand Website. We were also awarded Silver and Bronze at Strategy’s Shopper Innovation Awards in the Path To Purchase and Tech Breakthrough Categories.
- TSN Hockey for iOS received silver at the international W3 Awards in the Mobile Entertainment Category, and was a finalist at Canada’s Digi Awards in the same category. The app is currently a finalist for Best Mobile Sports Application at the Mobile Excellence Awards.
- TWG was recognized as one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies by the PROFIT 500. We were also highlighted as one of the country’s Top 10 Software Companies in the listing.
From all of us here at The Working Group we’d like to wish you the very best for the New Year. We’re looking forward to connecting with you in 2015. If you’d like to chat about a project or partnership, please get in touch.
Good People Crafting Great Software: About The Working Group
The Working Group is one of North America’s leading digital product design studios. Established in 2002, we work with leading brands and exciting startups to design and build market-defining software products.
We love what we do, and our approach is guided by our unwavering drive to solve problems for our clients. Pairing our domain expertise with yours, we collaborate to craft the right solution for your business.