In the recent BBC2 documentary Mind The Gap, TV presenter Evan Davis was looking into the economic gap between London and the rest of the country. But what Drum Network member and founder of digital agency Studio Mashbo Gavin Sherratt took from the programme is how London really works.
Proximity creates productivity. The closer we are to each other the more opportunities to develop crossovers there are, which then leads to connections to new projects and business.
Agglomeration Economics are used in urban economics to describe the benefits of firms residing near each other (“agglomerating”).
Here at Studio Mashbo we specialise in the development of web applications and Responsive Website Design. We aim to surround ourselves with other developers who work in our field, but also those that compliment what we do in other ways. We are a PHP focused agency so it's always handy to have some good trusted contacts who are .NET focused.
We have the skills and the knowledge to develop mobile apps, but regularly meet and share ideas with other app developers. Having these "competitor” digital agencies close helps us focus our core strengths and builds a strong community.
We love to meet design, search, marketing, video, photographers, writers and PR agencies and individuals, having these around only makes us stronger - we are experts in digital development, not a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none.
Winning Work – Good Neighbours Matter
Good neighbourhoods, with accessible developers, designers and creators, helps build a talent pool. A digital love-in perhaps, but if we can contribute to the digital community it's going to benefit us all as a sector, a city and a region.
Google are building a new home at Kings Cross in London for a reason. They would have got cheaper land, construction fees and business rates anywhere else in the UK, but they're fully aware of the highly-skilled talent pool ready to sit at their desks as soon as construction is complete.
The North West has it's own resources, but it's now a case of retaining this talent to build our own digital sector neighbourhood. We should be regularly grabbing that catch up with the MD or a dev from another digital agency, the more that we give the more that we'll grow our own agglomeration economy.
Bridging the Gap
As a part of our focus on economic growth we have spread our wings by developing hubs in Manchester and London, getting involved in new neighbourhoods and new circles of friends and ambassadors to become Studio Mashbo superfans.
Don't 'mind the gap', build a bridge over it.