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Issue #28 – Mäd Annual Letter 2023

Hi there,

The Christmas and New Year's period typically involves a collective feeling of relief, plenty of merriment amongst friends and family, a pause for reflection, and important downtime to look back and regroup before the working year starts all over again.

No doubt here at Mäd, this also rings true, but both personally and professionally, the end of 2023 has marked a considerable change in how we work and also how I work.

Personally, I’ve become a father – which has been both a tremendous privilege and one of the most significant turning points one can experience. These personal turning points have also been mirrored by shifts in the way we work here at Mäd.

Firstly, regular readers will know that 2023 marked the year we shifted to being a fully remote business. This strategic decision was made as we continue to see growth and opportunities with both new and existing international customers while also maintaining a strong local team and presence. In doing this, we have managed to find a very competitive value proposition in which we enable stunning, user-centric digital experiences that exceed expectations. To reflect this, we made the important decision to update our website to showcase the quality of work we’ve continued to produce despite 2023 being a turbulent year for most.

Zooming out to a macro vantage point, we've witnessed a surge in the power, accessibility, and opportunities of Artificial Intelligence. To capture this growth, we worked on a handful of pilot AI projects and developed a powerful, white-label chatbot that is set up to be trained on any data set. Welcoming 2024, we hope to take what we learn in this space and expand upon the growing opportunities within AI.  

So, while 2023 was not without some significant headwinds in most sectors, we’re proud to have weathered the storm and been very well-positioned to continue delivering outstanding, human-centric digital experiences both in the region and internationally. We look forward to seeing where this new year takes us and capturing the opportunities presented to us.

Kieran Glover – Managing Director

Exploring possibilities for a digital product in 2024? We're here to bring your ideas to life. If you have questions or comments or just want to chat about your vision, reach out to us at mad.co/contact or hi@mad.co. Let's create something amazing together!

Milestones and Achievements.

  • International public sector expansion. In 2023, we had the great privilege of playing a central role in delivering a variety of digital products for the UNDP internationally, some of which were a key aspect of the esteemed UN General Assembly. In the delivery of such high-impact solutions, we have proven our ability to compete on the global stage.
  • New website. Adaptability and innovation have always been at the core of the Mäd ethos. This mindset has shaped our identity and our offerings, ensuring that we fit into the evolving landscape. In line with that, we’ve completely redesigned the Mäd website to reflect our current positioning.
  • Mäd AI. With rising interest in AI among organizations across the globe, we hopped onto the AI train and launched our very own Mäd AI chatbot. Visit ai.mad.co to learn more about the benefits of AI for business, and discover how Mäd can transform your organization with tailored, AI-driven solutions.
  • Work Like Mäd. In 2023, we finally released our long-awaited ebook, Work Like Mäd. It’s based on over 10 years of experience (with many trials and failures in between) and packed with lessons and advice on how to set up and grow a sustainable business, assemble a talented team, find the right projects, and keep clients coming back to you. Get the ebook here, or download a free chapter.
  • Remote work. After seeing great success with a 4-day workweek arrangement, we took the plunge and decided to clear the office and move to a remote work structure earlier this year. Read more about how we became fully remote, and learn our strategies for effectively managing remote teams.

2023 in Insights.

In 2023, we’ve not only executed a full website redesign but also published more than 40 insights and case studies. Here are some of our readers’ favorites:

  • How and Why We Redesigned Our Website. A company’s website is often viewed as the virtual equivalent of a business card and a place for audiences to engage with the brand. The website can also make or break a potential client’s first impression of a company. With this, we did a strategic web redesign to reflect the essence of Mäd and what we do.
  • AI: The Next Frontier for Organizations. AI-based solutions are driving a paradigm shift in how companies operate and succeed. As businesses navigate this rapidly evolving environment, harnessing the full potential of AI becomes paramount.
  • DFDL: Unleashing Digital Potential in the Legal World. In our ongoing collaboration with DFDL, we embarked on a mission to refresh their website. Leveraging our expertise in creating intuitive user experiences and aligning digital strategies with business objectives, we optimized DFDL's website and brand positioning to deliver exceptional client experiences.
  • Elevating Diagnostics: Aventa Genomics Brand and Website. Mäd collaborated with Aventa Genomics to create a distinct brand in the genomics research space, and execute an end-to-end website design and development project. Our goal was to create a user-friendly, intuitive web experience aligned with Aventa’s mission to advance cancer research and patient care.
  • The Future of Search is Now: How AI is Shaping the Next Generation of the Internet. Search engines have been revolutionary in the growth of the internet, shaping how we seek and discover information. Today’s AI advancements are set to further transform search, as search engines start using AI capabilities to create personalized, intuitive search experiences.
  • Public Sector Innovation: Leveraging Digital Technologies for Better Service Delivery. The public sector is vital in serving people worldwide. However, challenges like lengthy processes and outdated tools make it difficult to meet citizens' evolving needs. Digital technologies offer solutions, helping public sector organizations optimize their work and enhance service delivery.
  • Navigating Uncertainty: How to Future-Proof Your Organization. Operating in an ever-changing world calls for a strategy that stands the test of time. This is where future-proofing comes in, serving as a guiding principle for navigating the business environment of both today and tomorrow.
  • Introducing Large Language Models (LLMs): Empowering AI with Language Understanding. Large Language Models (LLMs) have revolutionized natural language processing in AI. These models possess an unmatched scale and powerful capabilities, enabling them to understand complex language patterns and produce human-like text.
  • The SANE Business Analysis Framework. Evaluating a company helps to get a picture of its performance and address both challenges and opportunities. At Mäd, we developed our own framework for business analysis — SANE. It helps us maintain a sane balance for our business, even within a mad world!
  • Business Model Innovation in the Digital Era: Creating New Value Propositions and Revenue Streams. In an evolving business landscape, staying ahead means reimagining how your organization captures and delivers value. This is defined through a company’s business model. As organizations become increasingly digital-driven, their business models must be adjusted for success.
  • Interview with Thomas O’Sullivan. We had the fantastic opportunity to meet Tom O'Sullivan, the CEO and Director of Cambodia's leading real estate portal — Realestate.com.kh. We chatted about Tom's story, how Realestate.com.kh achieved its successful standing, as well as effective leadership and working with humans.

From the Web.

The Mäd team has been operating on a 4-day schedule for over a year, and it's been a game-changer. But how do you actually make it work? This HBR article dives into the practicalities, from schedule hacks to productivity boosts. See how other companies are thriving with shorter weeks, and get tips for navigating potential challenges. (Read about our experience embracing a 4-day workweek.)

At Mäd, we take a human-centred, user-first approach to everything we do. This is also the case with the technologies we embrace — like AI. McKinsey & Co. explore how empathy-driven design, collaborative intelligence, and ethical development can unlock AI's true potential, and outline the key principles for making AI a true partner in progress.

In a world where endless inputs and information overload bombard us from all sides, traditional time management and productivity advice of "getting on top of everything" just doesn't cut it anymore. Instead, one author suggests we embrace a paradigm shift: becoming better procrastinators.


Thank You!

In closing, a heartfelt thank you to each one of our readers for your unwavering support.

We extend our gratitude to our clients, teammates, friends, and family, as well as the exceptional partners from every company we've had the pleasure of collaborating with. Your trust drives our mission to deliver value to companies across the world.

As we welcome the new year, the Mäd team is eagerly anticipating all the exciting projects and opportunities for collaboration in the upcoming 2024.

We hope you had a wonderful holiday and wish you all the best for the year ahead. Until next time!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at mad.co/contact or hi@mad.co. Our team is always here and ready to help.

#workwithmad

If you would like to #workwithmad then send us an email at hi@mad.co and let's Make It Happen.™

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