“Creative stack allowed us to go to the next level – we needed bigger, varied technical skillsets that were truly scalable to deliver on a range of creative digital projects.”
— Founder, Jump Media. Steve Walsh.
We have produced some really secure, stylish, and modern platforms across many different industries.
Many. Ongoing partnership.
Most of these are NDA’s, you’ll understand as you read on.
From our initial test project and basic scope through countless smaller projects…right up to this point – taking on several huge clients with exacting demands, design and security – Creative Stack have been there to help us deliver.
” At Jump, we have a saying that ‘awesome is our only standard’. Through that value, we chose and continue to choose Creative Stack. ”
— Steve Walsh.
What Is Jump Media?
Jump is a 5-year-old marketing agency that connects businesses and organisations with creative people – we are the link for creative←→digital: delivering web and application-based projects, video and animation, content and social, PR, design and branding. A full-service marketing agency.
For 3 years, Creative Stack has provided lots of the development capacity for us to complement our agency’s talent.
We work in many industries on varied projects. Including a lot in third, public and charity sectors. Creative Stack has helped to deliver on an awful lot of projects, which is a testament to their range of technical expertise, broad and industry-specific knowledge.
Pre-Creative Stack. Steve Walsh Media —> Jump Media
Jump is intertwined with my personal story. The name is synonymous with my gymnastics career; I was a Great Britain trampolinist, moved into freelance sports journalism, and then founded my own PR firm when I stopped competing.
After freelancing and building my business for two years, I landed some big inquires which stretched our capacity. It was the opportunity we need to grow the business into a full-service creative agency.
Our early work with these clients was really the springboard for Jump, we won more contracts once we were known for that level of work. We consistently aimed higher from then on.
Similar to my journey as an athlete; constantly refining myself to reach peak performance, a lot of our progress at Jump can be attributed to the mindset I gained in professional sport and applied to business. To establish ourselves as a creative agency, we needed to do increase our quality in multiple areas: starting with asking ‘what is the best?’ and working backward to where we were at. Then, figuring out how to bridge that gap and finding a way to do that – to make it happen.
The rest is history and hard work: we are now 5x the size we were in year one. My team is great, they really embody our value system, including my favourite value ‘awesome is our only standard’ – a testament to their commitment, talent, and determination. Together, we always find a way to deliver.
The Need For Creative Stack
Knowing your limits is really important in sport, It’s the same in business: you have to know when you hit that point and need help to make progress.
In our case, we needed to push through the barrier of high-level customisation with unique development to back it up. Our-in house WordPress developer was honest with us; his skills didn’t extend to the new projects we were bringing in.
At this point, we had no experience with outsourcing tech. I’d heard the saying ‘we’ll be your out-sourced-in-house team’ banded around freely but I knew it rarely worked that way. I’d also heard of so many people being conned in those false economies – it looks like the right thing to do but actually costs more in the long run.
Yet, we really needed some experts to ‘bridge the gap’. We needed people who felt right, people we could rely on to deliver and who would work with us to adapt our creative marketing. Just like an in-house team would, but avoiding the ‘out-source-in-house trap.’ Which is a big ask.
Added to that, we needed to be able to flex our capacity – scaling up and down – as needed, which is a superpower in business.
The time pressure was also mounting at this point. Yet, the way Jump works, we have a high level of trust in our people; our team and any contractors, so we needed to take our time to be sure we were making the right choice.
Finding Creative Stack
A recommendation and a bit of research later, we talked to Greg Whitfield (Founder, Creative Stack). When we discussed our problem and shared visions, I was struck by our similar values: succeeding in order to give back, to help people.
Essentially, we were accomplishing the same goals through different means with similar values. And sure, the pricing structure fitted our needs.
We trialled Creative Stack on some basics, they impressed. We progressed to a full-blown partnership, completed that urgent project and exceeded our client’s expectations.
Since then, we’ve been growing the size and scope of our ambitions together: we’ve built lots of smaller platforms and progressed onto really unique, complex apps. Recently, we completed one of our most exciting projects ever – it sits on some of the most secure servers in the world.
Why Creative Stack Ongoing?
I’m not the kind of guy who gives, or likes to hear, that great ‘golden side’ – I like honesty which helps me to take the right steps with Jump.
So, responding to challenges, working out how thing’s didn’t go as planned, tackling hard conversations…on both sides… has been, in some ways, the best part. Creative Stack and Jump have worked together to get to a better place and use those lessons to evolve as businesses.
” The biggest compliment I can ever give is – Creative Stack deliver every time.”
— Steve Walsh, Jump Media.
We’re not the type of business that wants to build an empire for empire’s sake; we need to be able to scale up in the good times and down in quiet periods. Some of the projects we take on are really varied, and when we don’t have the capacity to recruit or train developers, it’s a no-brainer for us to out-source to Creative stack. They are our ‘out-sourced, in-house team’ that scale with us as needed, in a true sense of how it’s meant to be: a no-fuss, honest partnership.
“…Creative Stacks resourcefulness, flexibility and ability to scale with us are among the reasons we continue to trust them with our ongoing needs.”
— Steve Walsh, Jump Media.
Working With Creative Stack
We also don’t have a normal bureaucracy-ridden tech relationship: usually, tech teams and developers don’t want to talk until a full brief and project scope is confirmed. In reality, that doesn’t work for us – our clients need a ballpark.
It’s a pain from the tech side as we can’t provide all the technicalities. So that’s really a testament to Creative Stacks flexibility, as they can work with us in the way we need: to commit time, effort, specifications and a ballpark with little information. They really help us to convince our clients that we can complete their projects on time and on budget.
From the beginning, we have always had the reassurance of working with Alex. He’s one of Creative Stack’s technical project managers who guide us through development whenever we need support. His efforts also help us to align our workflows through shared project management systems.
Sometimes, we need very complex things put in layman’s terms or help with explanations. We usually pass our interpretation and understanding back to Creative Stack, and they’ve always helped to get it right on many levels.
“We’ve usually needed support to extend reassurances to our clients throughout the dev process. On a few occasions, the Creative Stack team even flew in at the last minute!” — Steve Walsh, Jump Media.
It goes without saying that they deliver quality work and understand that we need to be upfront with our clients. Transparency is exceptionally important, even in unpopular conversations where we discuss ‘…can’t do X because we will compromise on Y’. Through those, Jump has the confidence to convey realism to our clients. These honest conversations remove ambiguity from decision making so that Jump doesn’t have to deal with sticky situations, i.e. where we could need to cut corners.
Reality Meeting Expectations
#1 Cost, #Quality #3 Time.
As in every project, you can only deliver the quality of the budget; a ratio of quality : cost. But, I believe that most timelines and deadlines are relatively arbitrary – you can always find time to deliver more quality. Through Creative Stack’s continual efforts, Jump is known for that.
” When briefs are relatively vague and ever-moving targets are present with extra requirements added into the development last-minute, Creative Stack still succeeds to meet deadlines and react – delivering on time at the right level.”
— Steve Walsh, Jump Media.
Certain organisations can add a lot of pressure and political influence to any process…but we managed to work with that. By being considerate and working with that client, we were able to deliver something outstanding. All from two, relatively, small businesses.
“When the nature of a project requires complexity and tight security, I know I can rely on the Creative Stack team.
— Steve Walsh, Jump Media.
In a few of our other projects, we provide the technical specifications and brief…and they just come back ‘done!’ – As if you’ve taken your washing to the laundry and it’s delivered to your door.
Projects completed to that standard save us time and money as we don’t have to get too involved in the process. Plus, we know Creative Stack always considers the future of all their platforms, apps and systems by taking the security and stability of our projects seriously from the beginning.
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At Jump, we only choose to work with people who align with our value system and let us do things our way; to express our creativity. You could bring us 1 million dollars and we’d say ‘no’… if you aren’t the right fit. That’s to say that we work with the Creative Stack team because they are.
Going forward, I feel confident about Jump’s future – we have great people around us who continue to help us learn to adapt to an ever-changing technical landscape. We have that flexibility as long as we work with Creative Stack.