I'm in Amsterdam working at our FrogPond all week. It's sunny and the spirits are super high heading into this weekend's World Cup final.
It sort of feels like it did back in 1999. I moved here in the winter of that year with Karin Drakenberg, a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and together we started StrawberryFrog on the Canals of a city we had never lived in before.
Our start up client was the Smart Car. Quickly thereafter we added to our team other expats who helped StrawberryFrog grow and take on the biggest and most remarkable clients in the world.
While Karin wrote the business plan, I created the agency idea, culture and name...and together we brought in the first clients, mainly our former clients from Sweden, and got it all going.
On a sunny day like today, many fond memories come back of StrawberryFrog Alum: passionate souls who made impacts and who helped shape StrawberryFrog into the global agency it is today.
The culture of StrawberryFrog from the start fostered an environment of fun and family and a challenger spirit that attracted good people.
People who are a part of our unique history include alum like Mark Chalmers who went on to found digital agency Perfect Fools, which has gone on to be wonderfully successful, Brian Elliott who started his own advertising shop Amsterdam Worldwide, Dylyan Ingham who also founded his own agency with his wife, also a frog alum, Chiara Donati. We had an incredible soul in the name of Roy Antoine who made such a difference and who left this world too young. Others who made StrawberryFrog what it is today include alum like Roisin Robothan Jones who helped us crack Rims modern strategy which led to BlackBerry as a brand name and Gavin MacDonald who's leading an agency in Singapore. Frog alum Jim Haven and Matt Peterson went on to start the successful agency Creature. Helen Pak returned to Canada and started her own agency. Andy McKeon another SFrog Alum moved back to Australia and created his own agency too. Fransje Schoenmacher is leading strategy at UK digital maverick agency Lean Mean Fighting Machine, another former Frog. Roberta Bantel is CSD at La Communidad and Vanessa Dolan is keeping things moving at Dutch agency BSUR. We were the first agency to hire interns from a fledgling Swedish digital school called Hyper Island such as Erik Holmdahl who is leading digital efforts at BBH USA.
Many of the early Frogs are still with our agency today, continuing the legacy such as Heather Fullerton, Corinna Falusi, Jon Wall and Barry Smith, Kevin Mckeon, Ilana Bryant, Belinda Lopez and Coots---who are joined by many new talented Frogs that are shaping our destiny in Amsterdam, New York, Sao Paulo and in the near future StrawberryFrog Mumbai.
Many incredibly talented people come to mind as I'm walking the canals with my cheese sandwich. It's nice to be working here today.