How Aerolab took flight in 2016

New home, new website, new clients, amazing projects and an Aerofamily that doesn’t stop growing. These are the adventures we lived in 2016 🚀

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You can’t change the way the wind blows. You can, however, adjust the direction of your sails 

Five years ago we knew where we wanted to be and we had no clear picture of the journey ahead. We wanted to earn a place among the industry’s leading digital agencies.

The fast paced nature of our work can sometimes make it hard for us to find a moment to slow down and look back at all we went through in 2016. At Aerolab we don’t like to weigh the good and the bad of what happens, we’d rather take everything as a learning experience and use it to improve and grow constantly. With that in mind, here are some of the learning experiences we had this year.

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product Consiglieri 

'The godfather' - Paramount, 1972
‘The godfather’ – Paramount, 1972.

It’s nothing personal. It’s just business

We’ve never felt this phrase applied to us. We keep getting excited and going all in for each and every project we get involved in, just as if they were our own. That’s why we feel like we’re part of the results and accomplishments our clients achieve.

This year we made the decision to formally add Product Thinking as a service to our portfolio. We get to weigh-in with all of our experience, know-how and expertise before embarking on a project. Our clients know a great deal of their business, but not so much of ours. We’ve decided not to sit idly by waiting for a brief but to get involved and help make one side by side with the client, making sure that their business and our processes are aligned in order to get the best possible results.

A solid example of this are the 10 Commandments of product design (part 1 & part 2) that we defined to optimize the way client gave their feedback on projects.

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Our playground, our offices

'The Sandlot' - 20th Century Fox, 1993.
‘The Sandlot’ – 20th Century Fox, 1993.

Believe it or not, we’re now settled into our 4th office (not counting my mom’s house where pajamas were the norm). We started off out of a crowded Studio Apartment and we now have our own space, made from scratch to fit our needs and improve our work. We’ve got a modern open floor, lots of conference rooms, a dining room full of cool illustrations, a yard with a grill and a well-worn ping pong table, all making our office more and more awesome. <3

How much we enjoy our new Headquarters is a reflection of the work we put in building them. We’ll never forget going full ninja mode on conference calls from the kitchen table, those winter flus when a single sneeze would take out the whole team or the titanic ordeal of having to carry a two meter blackboard up nine stories of stairs. As I said earlier, without all those experiences we would have never realized what it was that we wanted and needed for our new home.

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Spread the word

'Close encounters of the third kind' - Columbia Pictures, 1977.
‘Close encounters of the third kind’ – Columbia Pictures, 1977.

Taking a second to look back also helped us understand how we wanted to show ourselves. Aerolab has it’s own unique personality (No, we’re not crazy. Well, maybe a little, but in a good way) and this year we had the chance to start writing about it and sharing what we do and how we think through our blog and Medium.

We want to encourage the growth of the community so, instead of posing as creative gurus (although we do have a certain amount of hipster beards, thick glasses and lumberjack shirts in the office), we decided to get involved by hosting talks and organizing workshops more often. We believe there’s no magic formula to keep secret but rather we make the recipe by collaborating with each other.

We’ve made the decision to add educational value to everything we do, that’s been shown throughout the past year and is going to be a recurring thing in upcoming months. We intend to expand on this in 2017, so stay tuned.

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Mom, dad, i’m coming home late

'Ferris Bueller's day off' - Paramount Pictures, 1986.
‘Ferris Bueller’s day off’ – Paramount Pictures, 1986.

Have I already mentioned that Aerolab is now five years old? As crazy as it may sound, it’s just like when you are young. Sometimes it’s hard to get our foot in the door and make sure that the grown ups listen to what we have to say and give us the opportunity to prove ourselves. We were used to working with startups, with all that involves, and in 2016 we had the chance to work with several more ‘traditional’ companies that, luckily, gave us the opportunity to show off our abilities and to live up to our potential.

With growth comes risk. With how hectic things can get it’s easy to lose sight of our true north and to slowly drift away from the identity we once set for our company. We’re lucky to say that we’re closing out 2016 more mature, more prepared and more Aerolab than ever. We still have that startup soul that set us apart from the rest and we keep innovating, experimenting and iterating with the way we work.

Alphabetically, we’d like to thank all those that put their trust in us this year: 

AB InBev, Banco Galicia, Bluesmart, ClarĂ­n, Experiencia Manager, Fox Sports, Jampp, LifeLock, MercadoLibre, Natania, Nearpod, Qwil, Scratch, SlotMasters, Swarmsales, Taringa!, Tranzport, Udacity and Vanjet.

And to those that are still on the fence, we’re here and we’re waiting for you. 😉

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Our work is never over

'Star Wars: Episode IV - A new hope' - Lucasfilm Ltd., 1977.
‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A new hope’ – Lucasfilm Ltd., 1977.

Somebody once pointed out that when presented with good news I maintain a stone cold poker face. The polar opposite of the Grinch-like smile that takes over my face when I’m in front of a challenge or a problem that requires action. And I wondered, why’s that? No, it doesn’t have to do with my plan to steal Christmas.

This has a lot to do with Aerolab’s philosophy of turning problems into opportunities. We are constantly exploring new paths and we don’t stop until we’ve reached our goals. This is possible thanks to the amazing group of people that make up our team and help our kite soar higher and higher with each passing day. It would have never happened without them.

There’s a quote by Winston Churchil that says: ‘kites rise higher against the wind, not with it’ and I think it explains quite simply why I smile. I know that the harder the path ahead, the more and the better ideas we explore, the more we grow as a company and as a group of people. That’s why we choose to keep on on this journey, facing new challenges and learning new things every day.

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2016 by the numbers

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Text: AgustĂ­n Linenberg
Edit: Bautista Aguiar, Guillermo Vidal Quinteiro