Relaunching Pointless Corp., the Innovation Lab at Viget

Brian Williams, Co-Founder & CEO

Article Category: #News & Culture

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Today, we've relaunched Pointless Corp. -- the innovation lab at Viget.  It's more than a site refresh.  It's a chance to revisit the point of Pointless Corp., which dates back to the founding of Viget itself.

In 1999 we incorporated Viget Labs, LLC intent on changing the way digital products were created.  Pop came up with the company name, which was intended to be a temporary code word, until it stuck.  He pulled "Viget," which means "flourishing," from the Princeton University motto (where he'd graduated 30 years earlier).  More notably, he added "Labs" to reflect the culture we hoped to create.  One of innovation and experimentation with lots of little failures and important lessons adding up to great success for our clients and ourselves.

At the time, "Labs" seemed a fairly uncommon part of a company name.  As our industry grew, we found more and more of our peers launching "Labs" divisions where innovation could happen and internal products could be developed.  Our perspective was a bit different: our whole company was an innovation center.  Soon enough, we found our name creating some confusion, as clients didn't want to just work with the Viget "Labs" division, they wanted the whole company.  To alleviate that confusion and strengthen and simplify our brand, we dropped "Labs" from our public name in favor of simply "Viget".

By 2009, we were a decade into delivering innovative work for hundreds of clients and loving it.  We weren't a services company longing to pivot to products, begrudgingly funding our internal ventures with otherwise unwanted external clients.  We sincerely loved the variety, insight, and challenge that client work provided.  That said, we did have a natural desire to "scratch our own itches" and build stuff on our own now and then, but thanks to Pop's vision we couldn't just tack "Labs" on to the end of our name (it was technically always there).  We were also mindful of our commitment to clients and wanted Viget to be known for great service, so we created a whole new brand: Pointless Corp.

As I wrote at the time, Pointless Corp. is neither pointless, nor a corporation.  It's our way of thinking, talking, organizing, and delivering projects conceived and created by Viget teams without outside clients.  It's our way of harnessing the creativity and drive of our talented team to make real stuff.  Put simply, it's our innovation lab.

We relaunched with the goal of telling this story more accurately and increasing recognition of the relationship between the two brands. If you look closely, you can see that even our beloved pointless bear logo evolved out of the Viget logo.  The redesign also better showcases the projects themselves, in three categories:

  1. Tools like Shorter Order and PowWow that are useful products that we expect to last for years to come.

  2. Stunts like Boom! Carded and OmahaThat that are fun and usually quick to put together.

  3. Experiments like CanScanCans and Tracktor that may be incomplete or in-process but are worth sharing with the world.

Finally, we provided a place for you to learn about archived pointless projects, such as Tincan'd, a super simple group video service we used vigorously for a couple of years before Google Hangouts came along and made it obsolete.

In the coming months, you'll see a lot of good stuff coming out of Pointless Corp. including new projects and major updates to some of our most popular ones.  Keep an eye on @pointlesscorp or join Viget's email list (below) for all the latest.

Brian Williams

Brian is Viget's co-founder and CEO. He does everything from advising our clients to building our conference tables with his bare hands in our Falls Church, VA, HQ.

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