Ways We Work has featured over 60 interviews with individuals doing amazing things in all different industries. While there are tons of inspiring people doing incredible things, we also know that some of the best projects, products and work come from teams. Which has inspired us to tell their stories. Teams are multi-faceted and complex but by taking a photo documentary approach using photography and interviews with team members, we hope to offer a glimpse into the inner workings of some of our favourite teams. We want to put a human face on the products people love by getting to know the team and the process behind them.
Photography & writing by Matt Quinn.
Edited & produced by Amandah Wood.
Sago Sago is an app design company that wants to set itself outside the pack and focus on creating honest, fun apps for toddlers. They are a team of 20 located in downtown Toronto, Canada and they graciously accepted our request to come in and document a day in their offices and give a glimpse of their culture and how they go about making these consistently well crafted apps.
The environment was bright and the staff was incredibly welcoming. As I wandered around the office snapping photos, some of the team were diligently working on their projects while others took some time away from their desks to get inspired or connect with their co-workers. There was this sense of autonomy around the office and the team seemed to know what they needed to do without having to be told. Even though they were closing in on an app launch, the mood was relaxed and inviting. It was refreshing to see.
As one app neared completion another one was just getting started. I sat in on a team meeting where they discussed the scope of the project and witnessed how they fleshed out ideas. The team followed a very organic process of picking a topic and playing out the details of how it would be brought to life. The meeting included everyone from product design all the way to programming. The inclusive process allowed them to bat around ideas and let everyone air their pros and cons of ideas to ensure a sound process and quality end product.
We were also able to chat a little with Jason Krogh the CEO and founder of Sago Sago who gave us a little back story on the company and the team that's helped build it.
Q: Tell us about how you got started. What inspired you to start the company?
Jason: I got started through a series of happy coincidences. After graduating from university I found myself working for a non-profit group creating educational materials for children. I’d always had an interest in computers and design and really enjoyed working with a wide range of experts. I worked with artists, illustrators, writers, educators, scientists and of course kids.
In the early days I did all my work as a freelancer. Over time bigger opportunities started to present themselves and as a result the company was founded so we could start taking these on. We worked on a wide range of interactive content - all within the kids space. For one project our team designed a set of online games for preschoolers. We put a lot of effort into creating them but when we presented it to the kids we discovered most 3 year olds simply couldn’t use a mouse. It’s just really hard for kids this age to make the mental connection between a hunk of plastic on a desk and a cursor on a screen. And at the time there was simply nothing we could do to address it.
This all changed when Apple introduced the original iPhone in 2007. We instantly saw that it offered a completely different experience for young kids and we came up with the idea for what would become Sound Box - a digital sound toy for the iPhone. Sago Sago was founded when we made the leap from an agency to a product company. We went all-in on our preschool apps and we have never looked back.