How a wall of post-it notes created an award-winning company
Twenty years ago our founders Sam and Inigo met whilst working at a CMS software company. They quickly realized that their skills – deep technical expertise and an ability to help business people understand today’s technologies and apply them sensibly in their business – were complementary and could form the basis of an exciting new venture. They laid out on post-it notes all the ways that they felt they could bring value to scholarly publishers and the knowledge economy – 67 of them – and the company name and purpose was born.
We entered an industry in a state of flux. Publishing has always been a catalyst for change in the world, but now the world was pushing its own changes into publishing. Back in 2007, the internet was a very different place – the first iPhone was released that year, and ‘to google’ had only been added to the Oxford English Dictionary the year before. In Publishing, the digitisation of the scholarly record was well underway – Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform having been launched a decade previous – but there was still a big gap between the opportunity that new technology presented and publishers ability to take advantage of it. We knew we could add value into this space for the publishers but, importantly, for their users as well.
The first organization that placed its trust in our fledgling company was the British Standards Institution (BSI), for whom we created a tool that allowed the public to review and comment on draft standards documents online. This was closely followed by a new system for Pharmaceutical Press, to help their staff create and manage structured drug interactions content. This was an important piece of work as it allowed Pharmaceutical Press to create and output content faster and more reliably than before, and removed a major risk to the business as any errors in the interactions published could be directly detrimental to patient care.
As a result of these early projects, word got around that 67 Bricks were technology experts who really ‘got’ publishers and could be trusted with their content and data. Our business took off.
Since then, we’ve focussed on a bespoke, consultative approach to digital problem solving, and have been fortunate enough to work with a number of innovative companies to tackle diverse issues such as improving discoverability, supporting existing and new business models, enabling better reuse of content and delivering increased revenues. Working in partnership with clients such as Emerald, De Gruyter, Wiley, Taylor & Francis and The Economist Intelligence Unit we’ve developed award-winning solutions to the ongoing challenges of digital transformation in publishing.
As we look to the future we invite you to work with us to discover the next big ideas to enable your business to survive and thrive in this ever-changing landscape.
Information products for the data-driven world
We help publishers become data-driven product companies that deliver compelling user experiences