It all started with a walk.
In January 2006, our founder, Jeb Banner, needed a name for his company. He had succeeded in landing our first client, ready to sign a contract. The contract signature line needed a name. So, in true Jeb fashion, he took a walk. While he was walking he listened to his iPod; and as he looked at it, he reflected on how unbelievable it was that his whole record collection could fit in this small, white box. Then it hit him! This nameless company needed to be like that iPod – small but powerful and leveraging technology. And thus, SmallBox was born.
Joining Jeb as co-founder was Joe Downey, a tech genius with a knack for building user-friendly software. The company grew quickly, forming partnerships and adding team members. By 2009, SmallBox began expanding into marketing services which fueled company growth. The team also became more involved with the local community, launching such projects as Broad Ripple Music Fest, 24-Hour Web Project, and Nice Grants, to name a few. Before long, it became clear that SmallBox was not just about building and marketing websites – it was a company committed to making a difference.
By 2011, we had a large number of dream projects and new ideas floating around the business, but lacked the space and time to explore outside of regular client work. From this need emerged Factory Week, a bi-annual week where the entire company paused client work and went off-site to explore, learn, and share.
Factory Week became a driver of creativity across the business. This unrestrained and experimental time inspired team members to even start new businesses such as Musical Family Tree, AyOkay, Joyful Noise Recordings, Springboard Marketing, BrainTwins, and Yes and Yonder.
During one of these Factory Weeks in 2015, the company pivoted in a new direction. Our team realized something was missing from our tactical, daily work. It didn’t feel human. Enter, Design Thinking. We invested in training and a new line of services consciously serving community-minded clients; and over the course of the last three years, we have actively worked to realize this vision. It has undoubtedly been a challenge as a business to undergo three significant direction changes (1.0 Websites only | 2.0 Marketing Services | 3.0 Marketing Strategy) in just over eleven years, but we believe it was worth the journey.
Our founder’s vision was, and is, for SmallBox to be a 100-year company. One that endures by evolving over time, while staying focused on what matters most – people and community.
Today, Jeb serves the business in an advisory capacity, and has graduated on to his next entrepreneurial adventure, passing leadership of SmallBox to Jenny Banner and the talented SmallBox team.