Not an Agency

The old agency model is dead.

Whoa, that’s an aggressive way to introduce an agency. But it’s true: The large-scale, complicated hierarchies and superstar creative directors that were once key to agencies’ successes are now exactly what’s putting them in the ground. As agencies struggle to “go digital” and adapt their existing structure to a world that no longer has time to hang around and wait for them to get it right, we ask “Why should a project take a whole year, when it could take 3 months?”

The lovely team at AJ&Smart Berlin, we’ve got people from Finland, Ireland, Australia, UK, Russia, Brazil, Poland, a real-life German and someone’s child.

The fast-paced, agile approach to product design (called Design Sprints) has already proven itself as the right way to make the most of the available resources, be it time, budget or team. Companies need to move fast, ship products, learn from the market and iterate – that can’t happen if the creative agency is still figuring out how to include every member of their 100-man team.

A scene from the concept phase of a 1-Week Design Sprint. We create dozens of potential directions before deciding which ones to prototype and test.

In 2011, Irishman Jonathan Courtney and Aussie Michael Smart founded AJ&Smart with the philosophy “Solve Problems, then Decorate.” As the antithesis of the traditional Design Agency, AJ&Smart has been lean and digital from day one. Using a core team of just 10 employees; AJ&Smart is dedicated to creating the best products and services, without wasting your time or budget. Oh, and we love Pierce Brosnan.

Share The Meal, an app project we worked on for the World Food Program, pretty much won every product design award you can win in 2016, like the SXSW Mobile Innovation Award.