In 2007, Craig Phares was a Creative Director for an advertising agency. He experienced first hand the red tape and overhead involved in the process of giving clients what they need. “Then I realized I could totally streamline this entire process with a smaller team,” Craig said.
Then Six Overground came to fruition.
“It started with just me – now I have as much as 10 employees at any given time working on projects,” Craig said.
Six Overground is a boutique digital agency that builds platforms for clients. Constructing mostly mobile applications as well as websites, brand identity and server architecture. Craig and his team harness the best in an idea and turn it into a streamlined digital product. Six Overground helps the new guy emerge onto the scene with an integrated platform that encompasses what the new brand is all about.
On a daily basis, Craig checks Hackers News, Sidebar.io, and Product Hunt to stay up to date on technology, design, and the startup landscape. Craig spends his days building magnificent online structures for clients to stand out in a big world – but that doesn’t prevent him from focusing on other important things like practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, dropping the kids off at school and eating dinner with his family.
Setting the Six Overground Scene
“We do very little actual marketing,” Craig explained. “All of our business is currently generated through referrals and word of mouth. Our network is quite large since we have been in the industry for over 9 years.” The success of Six Overground should, of course, be attributed to hard work and perseverance but the business’s environment of naturally cultivating growth shouldn’t be overlooked.
“We have also received a good amount of work from our office space. Since we work in a coworking office, many of the people in the building are in a similar industry, and we collaborate on various projects as they come in,” Craig added.
The collaborative community of Cowerks encourages people to work together, accomplishing much more than what only one person could achieve.
“Cowerks has the unique capacity to attract like-minded entrepreneurs and startups,” Craig said. “Through Cowerks, I’ve already been introduced to successful startup owners, venture capitalists, marketing experts, and talented designers and developers.”
What Makes You Get Out Of Bed In The Morning?
“I really love what I do,” Craig smiled. “Part of the magic of the digital world is being able to watch your concept come to life as it’s built. Graphics that were just static designs start to move on the screen, and people are interested and engaged in what you create. It’s all very exciting.”
In a world full of consumers who know what they want and want it now it can be exhilarating to make people’s dreams come true. Six Overground has the programming knowledge to create perfectly integrated functionality while also the artistic background to help make the final product look flawless. Living the lifestyle of a maker is filled with awesome rewards but serious challenges too.
“As a small business entrepreneur, you never really know how your company will stand the test of time. There’s no job security. We’ve been fortunate enough to work in an industry that is hungry for what we produce, and I hope that continues for a long time,” Craig said.
To combat that insecurity, Craig is seeking out bigger clients.
A good portion of Six Overground’s work comes from local businesses in the area that are looking for digital solutions. “We are always open to speaking with local business owners about the industry in general and how we can help them grow and thrive in this increasingly digital and mobile world,” Craig said.
Up, Up, and Away
Six Overground is launching two brand new internal products this year. The first of which, dropdrop, took off in May and was on the front page of ProductHunt.com the same day. The app allows the user to leave messages at a certain place and time, utilizing geo-caching and a defined radius. (More to come on the second launch later this year).
In 5 years, Craig sees Six Overground focused exclusively on their own suite of software products (and possibly dabbling in physical products). In 10 years, Six Overground has the potential to be a leader in product design, both physical and digital.
“I would love to see some of our internal products sold to interested software companies. This would help in freeing up our time to devote to more of our own work,” Craig said. Craig hopes to focus on continued innovation for the ever-changing needs of consumers.
Craig’s Crystal Ball
In order to get to know Craig a little more, we asked some out of the box questions and put him on the spot. When asked to make a prediction for 20 years in the future (it could be technology, social, economic, or cultural), Craig said, “technology implants will be mainstream.”
Bold statement? Perhaps not.
Craig backed up his prediction with some evidence, “I read The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil last year, and it opened my mind to the speed at which technology is accelerating. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in technology.”
There’s some summer reading for those of you out there still looking.
“Our digital devices are getting more and more personal. At some point, it will be inconvenient to actually carry around a physical device, and connecting to the Internet will be tied directly into our biology,” Craig forecasted.
This guy may be onto something…