90 on the Clock with Cremalab
By John McGrath, KCPT, and Bobby Burch, Startland News
With a team of sharp, trendily-dressed bohemians, Cremalab is where speed meets creative dynamism.
The Kansas City firm, founded in 2009, transformed itself from a design shop to a company that now uses a toolkit of tech and ingenuity to boost clients’ businesses. It identifies a problem, postulates solutions and adapts along the way — all with acceleration at the top of mind.
In other words, think of Cremalab as a startup within your business. And that approach is paying dividends for the company, which expects to grown up to a team of potentially 30 employees in the next year, Cremalab founder George Brooks said.
“We’ve grown completely by word of mouth,” Brooks said. “People experience working with us and enjoy working with our wildly creative team. And the end result is hopefully better products, better experiences and better experiences working with our company. And the return of that is more work, which means that I have to grow a team to support that work, which is exciting.”
Located in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District, Cremalab provides clients with design, web-development and business strategy services. It has worked with such partners as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Endurance Lending Network, KCnext and Neighborly to hone what Brooks calls a compelling “product experience.”
“The big thing we’re trying to do is solve problems,” Brooks said of creating product experiences. “If we can validate that the problem is real, it has a market, and suggest a solution and iterate to an absolute business line, there’s a good possibility of success.”
Here’s a bit more from our conversation with Brooks:
On the future of web and design …
There’s definitely the Internet of Things. We’re going to see more and more connected devices where we’re connected to our phones, to our wearables and to our houses. … Also, just thinking about applications and platforms are now ecosystems. It’s not a standalone app anymore. That app needs to be experienced across multiple devices and multiple interfaces. We’re trying to think about the ecosystems of those businesses and solutions not just on the one app experience.
On tapping into KC’s mission to become the most entrepreneurial city …
I think what I’m excited to do is create an environment where we can learn. I think we have a team of people that do think differently, but the reality is that they’re learning really fast. That’s really what it comes down to. If we can teach our city, teach our tech community and teach our entrepreneurial community to learn fast, then I really do think we have the ability to surpass some of these other famous entrepreneurial ecosystems.
On comparing Kansas City to other tech hubs …
I think the thing that we need to grow in is our talent. We need to continue to grow our tech talent, our funding talent and just our experience. We need to get a few things under our belt so we can start to say ‘Let’s take what we learned and invest it back into our community.’ And I think that’s happening. You’re seeing some of those successes happen that will come back to invest in the community.