Tuesday, 1 April 2008

McGovern Online is 12 years old

We just noticed. It's the 1st April. It's our birthday. McGovern Online [then known as McGovern & Associates], officially started trading 12 years ago today. We, that's Helen Smith and I, had already been doing some early web work prior to that, but today is the companies proper birthday. So take a bow Master McGovern - you made 12 years.,

That's not a bad record in this fast world of Internet, especially in the New Zealand space. When I look back, many of our then big time competitors have long gone - who for example remembers Webmasters? Shift was then known as SFX, and the big event of the day would be winning a Wammo. Try the Wayback Machine here for that reference.

Out on the bigger world, companies like Datacom still thought the web was for the kids, while others fronted up to the annual TUANZ conferences as if all they had to do was put out their hands and pluck down the apples from the trees.

Meanwhile, the web moved on - the browser wars came and went, and life started to produce a whole bunch of projects and opportunities, most of which taught us something new, with the best of these almost always teaching us that the best clients were the ones who knew you were on their side, respected what you were trying to do for them, and responded in kind.

For McGovern, one of these clients was the law firm, Russell McVeagh. They were our very first client, Better still, they still are - and by sheer coincidence, they chose today to launch their latest web site which we co-created - here

Although on one level a typical big practice law firm web site - it does have a few quirks which are peculiar to this client. First the look and feel - dark and a bit broody on the outside, light and warm tones inside. Moreover, the text sounds like them, and speaks to what they do best - getting the most from their staff on behalf of their clients by being big around teams.

That also means heaps on recruitment pages, and a lot of material directed at local and international recruiting, including an Alumni section, Summer Clerks etc.

I know this sounds like brand marketing - but, believe me, it isn't - after 12 years working with them, I can confidently say, that's how they are.

Less is More
Second - less is more. See for example the partner profiles - you open with a paragraph - if you want more you click for more. That is so them - has been for ever. Or at least for as long as we have known them.

And finally, a connected world - see the practice areas profiles and the links to key information sources - with the Climate Change group being a really good example.

Pat Northey - Champion
And so back to memory lane - way back 12 years ago, our client contact was the wonderful and totally inimitable Pat Northey who ran the firm's library. She was the web champion - and those who remember those early web days will concur that you just couldn't have a client without one - that one person inside the organisation who "got it " - who understood, as we did, that this funny little web thing was going to change everything.

She was quickly joined by Mike Cronin the then IP partner who also " got it " - and who made a point of telling his colleagues the same message - that the web was not a toy - it was going to change the way we all did business - and it was time they listened, and took note.

The Big Thanks
And that's it - the big up - the big thank you - to Pat - Mike - and a whole bunch of other people too numerous to mention,who were the champions in their world - who realised that the web was a place to have fun - and that McGovern were people you could do business with!


Marie Young said...

Hi Paul & Helen,

Happy Birthday to McGovern online and Congratulations!

12 years is a long time especially as you say when your competitors have dropped off... I don't think we've even reached the potential the web has for all in the future.

All the very best to you both and the team at McGovern.

Your neighbors,

Simon & Marie

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