This is a post from the future to wrap up the Headshift story. Dachis Group, and therefore Dachis Group London, no longer exists. DG’s technology was sold off to another agency earlier this year and the rest of the firm was shuttered.
What happened? That’s a longer story and not ours to tell. VC-funded startups and rollups commonly fail due to some combination of leadership, strategy or product failures (sometimes all three), but each situation is different and it matters more to learn the lessons and move on than to pick over the bones. Perhaps the most interesting lesson for us was that even a new company aiming to operate in a socially-calibrated way could end up creating the kind of bureaucratic structure that can turn motivated high-performing teams into a bunch of unconvinced individuals, sucking their teeth on conference calls. Managing rapid growth while integrating acquisitions and developing new products is a very hard thing to do, and we certainly learned a lot about what works – and what doesn’t – in that context. Lee discussed some of this in his Dare mini talk earlier this year.
Some great people created the company that was Headshift – our role was just to create a space in which they could do it – and we are truly grateful for the heart and soul they put into it. In creating our new company Post*Shift, we intend to build on these lessons and take the mission of creating better, more human businesses to the next level. And yes, the name of our new firm is partly a homage to the one we left behind.
We don’t expect anyone to go back and read the whole archive from the beginning and the definition of our initial mission through to the end, but we have created a representative ‘best-of’ selection of blog posts in case you want to dig deeper, and shared a number of case studies that provide a taste of the work we did during this phase.
Looking back to 2003, we were very early in pioneering the use of social technology to improve organisational structure and performance – a field that was later called E2.0 and then social business – but by the end, this had become mainstream. Now, with social technology and a focus on social networks becoming more common, we think the time is right to focus on the new organisational forms, structures and cultures that are made possible as a result. We think this is the next step towards enabling a new world of work and a new relationship between individuals and institutions, large firms and startups, organisations and ecosystems.
We hope the archive documenting the first phase is useful, and would suggest you head on over to our new home if you want to learn more about the next stage of our mission.