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Wayne’s weekly wrap-up: a new beginning for Octane

The question of when is usually of shrinking importance and it’s often the why that we remember mostly instead.

The when would transport me back to around 1996, maybe even a little earlier. Originally, there were 3 of us, college lads all.

The why would be self-sufficiency and the desire to be answerable to no one. However, being fresh out of college meant that was a goal best left to qualities acquired over time rather than some bullish youthful urge, which was no substitute for the real thing.

We wanted to run our own new media design business and make a name for ourselves. Whatever our intentions were at the time, as the years past, our lives diverged and all three of us set upon largely separate paths.

After only a little less than 4 years, I decided to set out on my own, and looking back, my hand was forced somewhat by circumstance, and I didn’t exactly get the timing right in my mind, certainly not as I’d imagined.

So there I was, June 1999 and at the tender age of just 24 running my own business.

7 Years

Right now, Octane is in its 8th year of trading. By any reckoning or reasonable measurement, 7 years for a new media design agency is a long, long time.

I’ve seen just about everything and to a greater & lesser extent, I’m all the stronger for the experience.

I’ve seen much bigger, famous and renowned agencies go to the wall. I’ve lived through more famines than feasts and survived them all.

2006 was nothing short of a disaster for me. Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Made all the more frustrating because most of the crap and nonsense was beyond my control, leaving me to simply make the best of what I was left with, which was invariably very little.

2007 is a new beginning for me. I don’t want to dwell too much on what happened the year before. Now is the time to look forward.

For almost 6 years, I’ve been allied to a local print design agency. After a couple of years of deep thought, it was decided by mutual agreement that I ought to move into their offices and work in situ doing their work as well as my own.

So on Tuesday 16th of January I went from working at home — which has been at times the working equivalent of solitary confinement — to a vibrant, very sociable working environment.

Within the day of arriving, my workload tripled and has continued at pace since then onwards.

Head down for now but not forgotten

So for all those that would expect to see me commenting on their ‘blogs, you’re not forgotten.

I’m writing this article from my iBook, which is struggling like crazy to do all of things I need it to do while my G5 sits in an office, asleep and in similar mode on weekday evenings, too. Which prior to the 14th wasn’t the case.

All of which will change within the next month or so as I take possession of a brand new MacBook Pro, due to serve various duties, such as on-the-move workstation, home entertainment and presentation platform.

Things to come

Out of the tumult of the move and increased workload, I’ve made sure that I’ve set time aside for my ‘blog, and this will continue for what I hope to be quite some time to come.

If in the meantime you have any ideas about what you might like me to write about, please let me know and I’ll see what I can come up with.

I’m always happy for fresh ideas from people and all proper credits will be made to those providing the input.

And thanks again for sticking around. Always appreciated…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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