Lee Hicken in About


'My Catalyst Moment' - Hebe Works

In the early days of Hebe Works we became stuck in a place we did not originally set out to be. We were working to other people’s briefs and ideas, rather than working on the things we knew we were best at and, most importantly, got us excited. 

We had a moment when we stepped back and reminded ourselves why we created Hebe Works in the first place: to create innovative products and platforms that redefined city media and technology. It was an absolutely pivotal moment in the history of the company, when we stopped working for all our regular, ‘retainer-paying’ clients and moved our own projects to the front and centre of our company’s mission.

It changed the direction of the company. Instead of trying to make the best of a bad brief or create a plan for a strategy we didn’t agree with, we could do exactly as we wanted, because our projects develop how and when we want them to develop. The way we worked completely changed. We were on our own timetable and work stopped being work and became a way of life.

Since the moment we took that decision, everything has changed. Instead of being ‘one of many’ we now stand alone, and the products we launch are brand new. We have tripled in size both in terms of team members and turnover.  Without making the decision to focus on our own products we would have never delivered The City Talking media brand or our new technology solution, Solomon, which are projects that will play a huge role in taking Hebe Works to the next level.

What did we learn from this experience? As difficult as it is to stick to it sometimes, remember why you started to do what you do. We took the risky financial decision to build our entire plan around what we wanted to do and what we believed would work, but in order to do that we had to stop working on and turn down things that didn’t fit with that. It has not been easy and, as with all start-ups, it has been a roller-coaster ride, but we wake up every morning knowing that we are working on products and projects we love and that we think can change the industry. And that is when we perform best.

Head here to find out more about 'Creative England Live 2016: Catalyse

Got a catalyst moment you'd like to share? Let us know using Twitter and the hashtag #CELive2016.

  • My Catalyst Moment
  • CE Live 2016