10 Things Not To Do When Making the Transition to Digital

Published on .

At the Creativity and Technology [CAT] Conference, some of the esteemed board members of Boulder Digital Works [and friends] offered to share some their experiences in trying to help that shift to happen, moving agencies that are focused on what we have come to call 'traditional' work towards the brightly shining future built of zeroes and ones.

Making mistakes is one of the keys to learning [the other key is, of course, being successful] but we have an understandable tendency to not want to share our mistakes in public.

So we decided to share some of the mistakes we have made and seen, in the form of 10 Things NOT to do.

[Disclaimer: These mistakes in no way reflect anything specific that has ever happened anywhere to anyone. They are rather a distillation of many peoples' experiences, across many, many agencies.
See? I told you we had a tendency to not want to share mistakes in public.]

Boulder Digital Works is committed providing the digital education students and practitioners need to keep up with the ever-changing landscape we find ourselves in.

It is an inherently collaborative approach to an inherently collaborative world. In the spirit of which, each member of the BDW workshop brought five rules to the session and the participants "formerly known as the audience" supplied their own via Twitter in real time.

From this embarrassment of embarrassing riches the assembled throng voted on the top ten, that we collectively offer up for your edification.

Feel free to say we're wrong – but if you do, offer up your own in the comments, that way we all benefit. Thanks.

Top 10 Things NOT to do – as voted on by the attendees of CAT New York.


1. Try to create work that operates at the speed of culture with an organization that operates at the speed of procurement.
2. Never ask why, just ask what.
3. Endlessly argue about story versus utility, never come to an understanding of the value of both.
4. Always preach, never practice.
5. Make sure everything you do is always based on paid for media.
6. Never prototype anything – just talk about the idea.
7. Focus on the shiny new technology, not the business objectives.
8. Set up a separate group called interactive and keep them separated from everyone else.
9. Hire a Messiah /change agent. Make them solely responsible for evolution.
10. Think about technology last. In fact, just leave it to a production company to worry about.


Collaboratively generated by members of the Boulder Digital Works Board, including @faris, @mrhowell, @scottwitt, @prindlescott and the attendees of CAT New York.

Submit your own additions to the list below.
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