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R/GA New York, evolutionary anthropology and the Dunbar number


BOB GreenbergBob Greenberg is the mastermind behind R/GA one of the foremost digital agency in the world. R/GA started as a video effects production company back in 1977 and has steadily grown into the digital juggernaut it is today! Now undergoing it’s 4th restructure and just having opening it’s 10th Office in Austin Texas totalling around 1300 employees there seems to be no stopping them. But the question has to be asked! Just how big can an agency get and where do you go to from here?

Bob is a wonderful gentle insightful man and no doubt this too is something on his mind. Having split the way R/GA people work together into units of 150 people ( research shows that this is the largest number of people you can have a relationship with involving trust and obligation) and created the R/GA university  sharing knowledge internally and externally via creative thought leaders from these units have daily information sessions talking about various projects they have going on where anyone can listen.

Some of R/GA’s latest projects have been about building on the work they did with Nike in launching evolving Nike+ into a functional product ecosystem and working with new business partners utilising this model building a series of integrated products one of the latest of which is google wallet release. One of the most interesting and encouraging aspects of this ideology was that it is no longer about creating an app, a technology product, using social or building a website because you can. It is a about listening to customers ‘real’ needs and using your agency knowledge to create the best digital strategy possible and folding in congruent technologies based on those needs. An ideology that I passionately and wholeheartedly agree with.

The biggest question for me is where do they go next? Knowing Bob they are probably riding the wave of a new phase in digital marketing it’s just the rest of us don’t know it yet! Only time will tell.

Background R/GA NYC: 

In 1984, Bob and Richard Greenberg began construction on the Bauhaus complex of R/GA, located in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. At the time, many people thought it was a crazy place to set up shop, because of the neighborhood’s rough-and-tumble reputation. (Many of the iconic night scenes of Taxi Driver were shot there.) Today, although changed, Hell’s Kitchen retains its quintessentially New York grit and personality. Just a few blocks away from transit hubs and Times Square, R/GA world headquarters is situated at the heart of one of the busiest, most vibrant areas of New York City. Organised around a group structure of 150 people across 8 departments including design/technology/strategy and planning …for a creatively driven organisation you shouldn’t be more than 150 people.


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