Happy 21st Birthday TBG
Celebrating 21 Years of Interactive Greatness
Twenty-one years ago, before there was a World Wide Web, John Berndt started his freelance design business with a keen sense of curiosity and a lack of fear of the new technology. Fast forwarding to the present and close to 400 major Web and interactive projects later, it's hard to imagine all of the thousands of small decisions that went into building the excellent national 28-person Web consultancy that is TBG (The Berndt Group) today. It's not exactly a blur, but, well, a lot has happened in the last 21 years!
Our official company timeline captures some of it, but as you can see, we got so busy that after 2009, three years ago, it's a blank.
(Ahem, we'll be updating that as soon as we get a chance!)
One thing is for sure though: if TBG was a person, it would be someone you would probably want to know, someone you'd find inspiring to be around, and someone with a keen sense of creativity and problem solving; and as of this year, it would finally be able to purchase alcohol without awkwardness!
That's right, our longstanding enterprise has reached its age of majority—keeping in mind 21 is about 2,000 in Web years. We felt like celebrating our history and success this year, not to inflate ourselves, but to have a chance to reflect on the time that has passed, and what qualities have made it possible for us to be the longest standing Web firm in Baltimore and one of the oldest in the country, and to figure out where we want to go from here.
How did we do it? Of course the secret on a certain level has been a matter of chance: in the excellent people that have joined our team over the years and often stayed for unusually long periods of time, and the great business opportunities that have come to us. But much more than that, we've done everything we can to try to create a culture that makes the best out of the challenges of the Web and of being a small professional services firm, frequently competing successfully with large national consultancies. It has never been entirely easy, but it has often been fun, and the chance to work with very smart people and solve real-world problems from appreciative clients is always intensely gratifying.
Some of the cultural aspects we’ve focused on have not exactly been typical of our industry.
Our focus on content—specifically intellectual master of ALL of the major dimensions of Web development seems rare outside of the larger national consultancies.
Our financial and staffing conservatism (not overspending, not growing large and then collapsing in size at the next downturn) has made for some very hard periods of work, but ultimately allowed to us to have the luxury of a great, largely consistent group of people to work with—the value of those connections between tightly knit teams being something that can't be overstated.
Our commitment to our clients (finishing every job, even under unexpected adversities) has sometimes created economic pressure, but has felt right, and in the final analysis, given us enviable stability, with strong mutual loyalty to our clients.
Last but not least, we've always tried (and much as the economy will allow) to strive for some kind of work/life/fun balance, and to encourage activities outside of the workplace, realizing that broader people are just better in every way. You can see this in the photo galleries on our Facebook page. If it was not a stimulating and inspiring place to work, we don't think any of us would be here for as long as many of us have been!
Through 2012 you’ll be hearing more about our 21st Anniversary, as we celebrate the first phases of our history, and hope for many more positive transformations to come. 2012 will also be a year of redesigning our website and launching several major new initiatives that will partially redefine the company and expand its offering. We hope you'll follow along with us, and continue to be a part of our history, and the TBG family.
What's really next for TBG now that we are passing through that "age of majority" thing? First off, kicking back with a cold one and toasting turning 21! Then back to the responsibilities of adulthood…
Which food truck to hit for lunch? Buying a house? Marriage? Kids? Running for office? World domination? Only time will tell!
Whatever it is, we will put our best foot forward and have fun with it!
TBG (The Berndt Group) is a prominent national digital agency located in Baltimore, MD with clients including Valspar, Stanley Black & Decker, Penn Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, the Office of Government Ethics, and many others! TBG is focused on providing leading solutions in the areas of Web strategy, user experience, content strategy, CMS implementation, and mobile interaction.