Shifting Gears — From Just Design to Tech+Design

One of the most important things which makes or breaks a business is the ability to take risks and shift gears by taking conscious efforts.

The advertising industry today demands a rapid change in system, process, thought leadership and approach to make things happen.

We, at Red Baron are a boutique design consultancy and we could clearly see from the last couple of years that as we level up our design capabilities, we also need to branch out into the tech space which isn’t about digital marketing/lead generation, but it’s about having our own software product as a service where we will build products bigger than ourselves and ride the next wave of technology.

Fast forward to today, we have incubated Kon-Tiki Labs. It’s a boutique software lab that will develop text and voice led conversational interfaces for driving a never done before and smarter way of storytelling for the brands and businesses.
Read more about the platform here.

As our relationship with technology continues to evolve, we will see a fundamental shift in humankind which will change the way we live and work. Kontiki Labs will venture into uncharted waters to define and revolutionize each of these intersections, when there is a shift in human-computer tech advancements.

We knew from the beginning that Kon-Tiki has to be positioned as a software platform and not only focus on building just one odd project. The thought is always to be a marathon runner than a sprinter in these matters.

You must be wondering, why the name Kon-Tiki Labs?

Kon-Tiki was the name of the 1974 expedition from the Polynesian Islands to South America when Norwegian explorer and writer, Thor Heyerdahl, dare to prove to the world that an expedition of its nature and scale could be successfully undertaken on a raft made of papyrus, using savoir-faire and technology available in the pre-Columbian era.

Since taking risks, daring to dream large and making the impossible happen is in our DNA, we took inspiration from the Kon-Tiki expedition.

Our mantra has always been — never be complacent and always be paranoid. Paranoid of becoming obsolete and not keeping up with: first, our vision, then our values, and finally the market which is ever growing and demanding.

One of the other mandates that we have consciously taken up, is to be fast and get things out in the market. It’s not a good practice to wait for building the perfect product and then launch. A product is perfected as it becomes intelligent and by learning things from its users and their behaviour. Taking inspiration from the lean start up approach which we discovered during our Lean Startup Accelerator program in UC Berkeley, we have already rolled out the world’s first magazine bot, Get Goya. You can still hop over here to try it out

It takes a lot to be brave enough to make something like Kon-Tiki happen, especially when we come from a creative background. The decision to create something like this has not been easy by any means. The solution is to continue to be agile and keep our eyes and ears open and be foolish enough to think that we will ride this wave of chatbots and VR and AR. If not, be ready to become obsolete in every 3–4 years. We cannot continue to live in a bubble.

But in this tech-driven era where do the “ad guys” go?

We go two ways —

  • Brace the change and optimize it by blending in the tech + creative led organization. Be partners to your clients and think of ways that will make both of us smarter by giving some real value in return.
  • Continue to reiterate “Yes sir” and play the same old same old record of half-baked services like 360 degree marketing, social media, UX, content, (throw in some more jargons) blah blah blah..

Choice is yours!

Connect with us hi[at]kontikilabs[dot]com or with me directly at payal[at]kontikilabs[dot]com, if you want to share your thoughts and explore this world of conversational user interface. :-)

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And on medium here.