Old friends of Foolproof

By Marc Oldman

What better way to celebrate 10 great years in business than by catching up with old friends of Foolproof. So I dusted off the personnel files of old colleagues and took a walk down memory lane – ok Facebook, since many of our former staff are scattered around the globe.

As one of the longest serving Foolproofers I was well placed to undertake this project, having had the privilege of knowing and working with them all. I was even part of the interview panel for many of the earlier ones – long before the days of in-house HR and line management functions.

Many former staff members now hold influential posts in other agencies, are working client-side, or have struck out on their own but all are using their expertise and experience to make the world a better place. Many were kind enough to share with me some of their fondest memories. I was reassured that so many of the things cited – cake Fridays, Wii contests and the team trips – have survived the test of time and continue as a larger team, just as they did when we were only a handful.

Almost without fail, the most commonly missed attribute of Foolproof was the people. Foolproof and its people have, and always will, thrive on the fast pace, the ambition, and the opportunities Foolproof offers – both during and after employment. I learnt that having Foolproof on your CV really means something.

We’ve always had an international team. Even when I joined in 2004, when we only had a Norwich office, we were pretty international employing staff from The Netherlands, Canada and Australia. We’ve continued that trend, and pride ourselves on attracting the best people from around the globe. We’ve further capitalised on our international experience and reach by opening up our first offshore office in Singapore.

The single most common reason for leaving Foolproof - and I kid you not - is emigration to Australia. I was absolutely thrilled to hear that several of them recently met up for a celebratory party of their own. In true Foolproof style we did our bit and arranged for a few bottles of bubbly for them.

Here’re a few former Foolproofers we caught up with and where they are now.

Annemarie van Egmond

Where are you now? I’m living and working in Sydney where I am a Principal User Experience Consultant at Objective Digital.

What do you miss most about Foolproof? All the people with their work hard, play hard attitude. I’ve met some wonderful people of which many I am still in touch with now.

Dan Sorvik

Where are you now? I’m in Sydney Australia working as a User Experience Consultant with Objective Digital. I’m doing similar work, but with more eye tracking involved. We are the Tobii re-sellers here so I get access to all the sexy new equipment. I am still working hard and playing hard, which should come as no surprise.

Fondest memory: Shooting champagne corks from Pete’s window into the courtyard of our Munich hotel after a full day of pretzels and beer and himbeergeist.

Ben Whattam

Where are you now? I’m a Planning Director at a Design Agency called Imagination. I draw a rather large number of circles and squares (which Foolproof gave me a great foundation in) and help our clients grow and develop their brands and product offerings through brand experience.

What’s your fondest memory? From 66 Bracondale. To Pat’s Cafe. To Jim Moore. A sausage sandwich. Cavell House. Seebohm House. An ice-bar in Paris. Folgate Street. A wonky Mr Wood in Jersey. Disney land in Hong Kong. A Master Chef. A “Little” Neil. A Balcony in Magaluf. Paul Street. A bit of Cognitive Dissonance.

Patrick Goffin

Where are you now? Stamford Interactive in Sydney. Client Services Manager within our small six-man Sydney operation. We’re Australia’s largest specialist User Experience Consultancy with 35 full-time employees.

What do you miss most about Foolproof? What else but the people, plus the international field trips were always good value.

Laura Keeley

Where are you now? In Perth - making the most of the Mining Boom! I am Senior management accountant for NRW, one of the leading civil and mining contractors in the Australian resources and infrastructure sectors.

Fondest memory: The Citrus sisters – Didn’t stop laughing for hours! Kirsty, Gill, Nicky, Jemma, me.

Souleymane Camara

Where are you now? Created Boun Consulting, a UX company for research and design with principal focus: the emerging market - sub-Saharan Africa.

What’s your fondest memory? The beach parties; the BBQs; But most importantly, the wealth of experience, interesting projects and the mixed skills.

We have a number of job openings currently available so why not be part of the next 10 years.

Marc Oldman

Whilst most people have the luxury of describing what they do, it’s easier to describe what I don’t. I don’t do marketing or client servicing, and I’m certainly not a designer or a researcher. I’m the guy that’s responsible for the teams who do everything else. That ‘everything else’ being, in the main, Facilities, People, IT, Finance, Resourcing and Project Management.

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