Introduction

This is a book about how to succeed in a business environment in which creativity, technology, and media are coming closer together, a convergence that’s happening at the speed of sound. We’ll explore these trends, and we’ll describe the changes your business needs to make in order to take advantage of them. At its core this book is about innovation and success, about the present and the future. But before we can go on and plunge ahead, we need to look at where we’ve been.

Our story begins in 2002, anything but a banner year for most global businesses, not least the then seven-year-old Razorfish. Post-9/11 uncertainty was heavy in the air. Business sections looked like crime blotters, dominated as they were by the fallout from Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and other corporate scandals. Forbes counted 22 accounting scandals alone that year, and that’s not including insider trading and other bad behavior. Making matters worse for Razorfish, no one quite knew what to make of this whole Internet thing. The entrepreneurial fires the growth of the Web had lit just a few years before had been stamped out by the collapse of the house of cards that was the Internet boom of the late 1990s.

In our corner of the world, the Internet consulting and agency business, things were more than a little jittery. In addition to killing off new economy pretenders such as Pets.com, Webvan, and eToys, the dot-com bust had wiped out a lot of enthusiasm about the Internet. The decline of dot-com challengers ...

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