We’re celebrating a huge milestone at ICON this year: we’re turning 20! A lot can happen in 20 years, and our journey here at ICON Interactive is no exception. We’ve expanded locations, had the opportunity to work with amazing clients and have grown our team. But, before we get to where we are today, let’s go back to the beginning.
Rob Cleveland, CEO, founded ICON Interactive in 1996, at the beginning of the age of the Internet. It was still a new space and, in turn, ripe with opportunity. However, Cleveland didn’t realize the impact it would have on literally every aspect of our lives.
“The environment was a free-for-all. There were many people venturing out on their own to start businesses around what would wind up being a global business touching nearly every aspect of our lives. I don’t think anyone realized the magnitude of what we were getting into back then,” he explained.
Given the status of the industry at that time, ICON started solely as a web solutions firm.
“We began as a web solutions agency, because there was nothing else in 1996—no social, experiential, mobile, Internet of Things,” he said.
Then, just four years after the business’ inception, the Internet Bubble burst, threatening everything ICON depended on to stay afloat. While times were tough, ICON did stay in business. In fact, technology did eventually begin to evolve and progress. In turn, clients needed more and more assistance with all of the elements in the digital spectrum and beyond. And so, ICON began expanding its services to accommodate those needs.
Eventually, we were able to add offices in Boston and New York to the team, in 2008, growing our team further and expanding our capabilities.
“This allowed us to expand, and brought really wonderful people to our team. We expanded our geographic location, but more important, we expanded who we are,” Cleveland said.
“Since joining ICON, the types of projects and clients that I work with has diversified,” said Jon Sulkow, creative director, who is based on in our Boston office. “I learn new things about design and life everyday from my team, and it’s very easy to be a creative director with them around me.”
We are now a full service digital agency with over 40 employees. We have specialists in videography, graphic design, iOS development, social media, web design, web development and more. Each team member brings a unique eye and passion to every project we embark on. It’s the people who make up the staff at ICON that Cleveland is most proud of in the last 20 years.
“I’m most proud of the people we have working here. I see a team of people entirely dedicated to their work. That may sound like a standard answer, but it is a great feeling to be with people who take the quality of their work and the success it brings to clients so seriously every single day. I think we all hold ourselves to an exceptionally high standard and, whether I had something to do with it or not, I’m proud of it.”
So where does Cleveland see ICON going in 20 years? That’s hard to say. However, he does have one singular hope for ICON’s future.
“My singular hope is that ICON is a company where the people who work here can see it as a place where they can really grow their careers. I hope that we are able to strike the right balance of personal and professional growth for every employee, creating a company where they can live rich, full lives for as long as they want to be here,” said Cleveland.