Ape Unit — an Exploration
Ape Unit has grown over the years from a digital agency into a network of designers, developers and strategists. We could tell you about our successes, triumphs and best practises which results most probably in a rather boring and one sided view of events. Rather, we would like to explain how not always knowing the best solution has brought us this far.
Ape Unit started in 2010, founded by three friends from Kreuzberg, Berlin. The initial value proposition of Ape Unit was built around the combined skill set of the founders, with a can-do mentality, that you kind of need if you start a new endeavour. This exploratory mindset and courage to dive into the deep — initially maybe there out of necessity — became the actual blue print of Ape Unit’s mindset and strategy.
Over the years we have learned an important thing. The best way to design and build for humans is to engage with the outside world and leave safe paths behind. Applying an exploratory mindset makes you ask: ‘what if?’ even if it would be more comfortable not to ask. Sometimes there is already a paved out solution and the direction seems to be set in stone. Still, this can lead to dead ends or systems and designs not adapted to the world that is supposed to use it.
The outside world and humans in itself are complex systems that can do unpredicted and non-logical things. Building and designing for this non-linear but exciting world, can only be done if you include this world from the very beginning. This mindset requires us to acknowledge that we do not know upfront the best solution for any project we embark on.
As the years passed by the amount and scope of projects grew, as did our team. We grew from people being just from Berlin to a network of people coming from all parts of the world. With more people involved, our skill set and curiosity only expanded. In order not to force people to fit in the value proposition shaped around the founders, we decided to open up our business model and create different units for the desired directions. This resulted into the creation of a digital task force, called Unit 4, a blockchain focused unit, called Unit 8 and a navigational consultancy focusing upon emerging technologies called Sunsten.
Within the different units, we value room for experimentation, just like the early days of Ape Unit. Our curiosity enables us to interact with the world and understand it better instead of just guessing how it would be. Emerging technologies like blockchain are in need of this kind of curiosity that tie the technological exploration together with the real world.
There are many challenges ahead and many questions to ask, so we are pretty sure we will be around for some time more. If you want to know what our answers are to questions that arise around (emerging) technologies, we invite you to follow our blog. A new path we have taken.
Out of experience and with confidence we say: to some questions we do not have the answer yet, this drives us forward. As things unfold, we will discover together. Join us on our path of exploration.