Q + A

Q+A: Small Planet Digital

Small Planet is a New York-based digital product agency focused on driving business success by creating extraordinary experiences for mobile and other connected devices. In addition to product strategy, design, and development, they provide marketing services and ongoing application support to some of the world’s leading brands and organizations. They’ve called DUMBO home since 2009. We recently sat down with the team to learn more.

What goes on at Small Planet?

We help companies and other organizations figure out how to improve their businesses through digital experiences, and then we build them. Typically, that means designing and developing applications for smartphones and tablets, but we’ll create experiences for pretty much anything with a screen, from watches and set-top boxes to heads-up displays.

We’ve been in DUMBO since 2009 and have partnered successfully with organizations like Planned Parenthood, Girls Who Code, Oakley, NPD Group, FanDuel, Fujifilm and Disney.

How did you land in DUMBO?

When our CEO Gavin Fraser founded the company in 2009, he knew the founders of Freeverse, early pioneers in Mac and iOS gaming. They happened to be in DUMBO and loaned us some desk space to get started. We loved the neighborhood and when the space next door opened up, we jumped at it. Six years and three expansions later, we’re still here!

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What do you know about your neighbors in the building?

We’ve met a few through our dogs, who like to make a run for it every chance they get, especially Murray. Turns out our neighbors love dogs, too, judging from all the dog toys that get  brought back to our space. We also know quite a few of our neighbors by reputation and through the business we’re in, and have worked with some of them.

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Sounds like the neighborhood has been handy. What role has it played in your business?

Well, we love being here. For one thing, it’s a great place to work — easy to get to and beautiful once you get there. And there’s a great community of like-minded folks right here, whether it’s companies that do similar or complementary things, like Huge and Big Spaceship (who both happen to be in our building), or forward-thinking partners, like Planned Parenthood’s Digital Innovation Lab, and BBMG. Finally, we’re getting a lot of support from folks like yourself and Brooklyn Tech Triangle.

What’s changed during your time in the neighborhood?

Well, there’s obviously been a mind-blowing amount of development in the neighborhood. It’s completely transformed during our time here and it continues to change. So, lots of new buildings. But at the same time, the city and the neighborhood have worked hard to integrate the waterfront into the lives of the people who live and work here. From the promenade to Brooklyn Bridge Park, it’s gotten very easy to find a little patch of nature and clear our heads.

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What do you miss about the neighborhood?

Almost all of the changes have been for the better, but we do miss the Wild Wild West days, when there were two or three food trucks parking in random spots around the neighborhood every day. There’s a small group of us who particularly mourn the passing of the Calexico cart. And the parking used to be easier, too. But we should all be taking mass transit or riding our bikes, right?

What are you looking forward to in the future?

More opportunities to build the tech and design community in the neighborhood. There’s very little you can’t get made or done here and that’s great for business. Also, with the massive influx of residents and workers, it will be nice to see some more amenities and services in the neighborhood. Finally, I think we’re all looking forward to the food market on Water Street. We’ve been living with the construction for a while, it’s time to chow down!

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