BowerBird Launches in North America — Thank you Melbourne.
Today is a pretty big day here in BowerBird world. We’re about to launch into North America! Even as I write that, it still amazes me. Twelve months ago, we were meeting with anyone in Melbourne who would give us the time of day. Now we have more than 3000 BowerBirders, and publications from all over the world sourcing projects on a daily basis.
All of this was only possible because of the support of the Melbourne architectural community. In this post I want to share some of the stories about the people and practices who helped make BowerBird what it is. A little thank you.
Tandem Design Studio
James Murray from Tandem Design Studio has been supporting us from day one. He used our prototype, MediaMap, and he was literally our first user on BowerBird. He endured all the bugs that come with early stage software and kept subscribing even throughout the whole process.
James, to say thank you, we’ve just cancelled your subscription and given you a free lifetime account.
We sometimes joke that Fooi Ling Khoo from OOF! is our unofficial ambassador. Photos of her projects, The Hello House and The Acute House, have been plastered on everything ‘BowerBird’ for years. Her work is stunning and has allowed us to craft a community around quality architecture and to say to all our architects and journalists, “you’re in the right place”.
Six Degrees were the first practice to subscribe to an Annual Studio Plan. This was our largest plan at the time, and for us it was a huge vote of confidence. We couldn’t believe that someone trusted us enough to buy BowerBird for 12 months upfront! Now the Studio Plan is one of our most popular plans, but in the early days of creating a startup, these milestones feel huge.
ArchiTeam was our first partnership. We trialled this little idea of creating BowerKits (online press kits) for each of their award entries. This allowed us to get more architects on the platform and it helped ArchiTeam members to get media coverage they wouldn’t have been able to get by themselves. They worked collectively as a group to raise the profile of architecture. That process worked and it allowed us to work with other organisations like the Vic Chapter and Open House in the same way.
Our favourite maverick at the Australian Institute of Architects who fought to make BowerBird part of the Victorian Architecture Awards Program. Not only did she help BowerBird reach widespread adoption in Melbourne, she took Victoria’s architecture out to the world. The media coverage that was raised through this process was over 300 stories. It may be the largest media campaign the Chapter has ever run.
When Cox Architecture asked us “Do you have an enterprise plan?” We said, “No. What’s that? We can make one!”. Cox wanted to upload their entire portfolio to BowerBird. This would be our biggest account and it would mean building dashboards and tools to deal with potentially hundreds of projects and interactions with journalists. What amazed us was that Cox wasn’t just testing out a new tool, they were investing in the future of it. They knew BowerBird was initially designed for small architects, but could see the potential for larger firms too. They wanted to work with us to make the platform better. Thank you so much Carly and Celeste from Cox for your faith and support.
One last thank you
In all of these examples, having people believe in BowerBird, and truly supporting us through the growing pains has been an amazing and humbling experience. It makes us wake up each morning excited and ready to tackle the next challenge. Melbourne, we couldn’t have done this without you.