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Swedish cloud based agency UP THERE, EVERYWHERE celebrates tenth anniversary and ten million euros in sales

Julian Stubbs, CEO & Founder UP THERE, EVERYWHERE

Julian Stubbs, CEO & Founder UP THERE, EVERYWHERE

It's the 10th anniversary of UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, The Global Cloud Based Agency, founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2011. Interview with Founder Julian Stubbs

'We're the world's first global cloud based agency. There's truly no other agency on earth like us.'”
— Julian Stubbs, CEO & Founder UP THERE, EVERYWHERE
STOCKHOLM, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, February 23, 2021 / -- January 11th, 2021, marks the tenth anniversary since the creation of UP THERE, EVERYWHERE – The Global Cloud Based Agency. We interviewed Julian Stubbs, UP CEO and founder of the agency.

INTERVIEWER: Julian, a ten year anniversary and ten million euros in sales. That's a nice coincidence.

JULIAN: Yes, well it's closer to eleven million euros in sales but ten and ten make a better headline!

INTERVIEWER: Then will it take another ten years to get to €20 million euros in sales?

JULIAN:I hope not. Actually we've had a couple of real growth spurts during the ten years, and in the last three years we have doubled our size. We believe with our business model we are capable of doubling in size again more easily. Our strategy is a really simple one: Everything Everywhere. Basically offering an ever wider range of services, wherever our clients want them. This will really fuel our growth. Added to this we made our first acquisition back in 2019, when we bought the UK digital agency DPC, now DPC+UP. We have a number of other similar initiatives we're looking at.

INTERVIEWER: Can you take us back to the original inspiration behind creating UP back in 2011?

JULIAN: My business partner, Eric Dowell, and I have both worked in the brand and marketing business all of our careers. In the summer of 2007 we decided to sell our small 50 man agency based in Stockholm, to a larger international agency group. They had over 600 employees, and were an international marketing agency, with offices in 18 cities around the world.

What we quickly noticed was that although their offices spanned the globe, they were in effect operating as silos, individual profit centres, which were actually only focused on their own individual monthly results. This is similar for most of these so called multi-national agencies. We believed this approach wasn’t to the benefit of their clients, and it wasn’t even to the benefit of the overall business or the employees.

Eric and I grew to believe that traditional agencies were becoming outdated. Dinosaurs. This wasn’t to criticise the work they produced, but it was about how they did it. The business model was increasingly expensive and inflexible. We also noticed that the agency we had joined, as with many agencies at that time, was not set up to use the latest cloud based tools as best they could for running their business in an efficient way.

INTERVIEWER: So it was about creating a more productive way to work. What more?

JULIAN: Well, a realisation came at about the same time that I personally felt I wanted a change in how I worked. I’d been a typical agency workaholic, putting in 50, 60 even 70 hours a week. On top of that I noticed I spent an increasing amount of my time in unproductive travel. I’d spend two hours a day simply getting from home to an office, like the other fifty people in our particular location. That didn’t seem very productive. I calculated that in a typical working year I’d spend the equivalent of two weeks driving a car on my daily commute. I’d sooner spend the two weeks on a beach! There was also a trend we noticed, that more and more people, people like me, wanted to improve their work life balance. At that stage I had a young son, and I was keen to spend a bit of time with him every day and simply kick a football around when he finished school. There had to be a better way to work and get a more balanced life.

INTERVIEWER: What happened next?

JULIAN: So in late 2010 Eric and I decided to start a new type of agency. It would be built around the simple idea of allowing people to work in the most productive way possible, when they wanted and where they wanted - provided they delivered to the projects' objectives, and worked within our cloud based ecosystem. Our new little company started with just the two of us, myself based in Stockholm and Eric, by now based in New York - so we were global from day one.

So in January 2011 we launched UP THERE, EVERYWHERE - the Global Cloud Based Agency. We started to build our agency in the cloud, by using the few cloud based tools around at that time to communicate, transfer files and run projects securely. We called this new way of working e-ployment, giving people like us the ability to live and work in the cloud from anywhere - digitally.

INTERVIEWER: You’ve talked before about the importance of work / life balance, what influence did that have?

JULIAN: That was fundamental! We watched the growing trends of people searching for a new way to balance their work and life. More and more people were becoming self employed but still wanting to have some of the advantages of traditional employment - such as colleagues, shared resources and the ability to work on larger projects together in a team. A distributed team, working globally.


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