Six decades as a digital disruptor

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Six decades as a digital disruptor

Okay, we know what you’re thinking...Widen has not been involved with digital for nearly 70 years. You are correct. Digital imaging didn’t become a thing until the 1960s and ‘70s; however Widen has been on the leading edge of technology in all of our years in business since 1948.

We were recently invited to speak on a panel at the Tech Breakfast Club in Chicago on the topic of making more of your marketing assets, which spanned a broad range of topics such as digital asset management (DAM), online video, content marketing, visual storytelling and more. Of course, I enjoyed sharing tips and tricks on how to automatically collect user-generated content via social media as a means of increasing audience engagement to build your brand.

At the breakfast chat, we were asked to share some of Widen’s experience as a digital disruptor given our leadership position in the DAM space for over two decades. (Look for this series from Tech Image coming soon.) In preparing for the question of how has Widen been a digital disruptor, I asked our CEO and CTO the same question. Between the two of them combined, Matthew and Gary possess enough years of experience in digital as Widen does in business. Here’s what they had to say...

8 ways Widen has been a digital disruptor

1.  In the mid-1990s, we freed customers’ files from service providers – like agencies, prepress shops, printers and photographers – who were charging ridiculous amounts of money for file retrieval by creating software solutions that empowered global customers to manage, access and share assets themselves.

2.  Also in the mid-1990s, we started offering Software-as-a-Service during a time when everyone thought it was crazy to use a service over the internet (and some still do).

3.  We began connecting software solutions using API connections in the early 2000s, knowing that we focus on what we do best and "hook up" with the other best-of-breed tools using open standards.

4.  We were an early-stage adopter of third-party cloud services against all recommendations by internal IT and global IT teams.

5.  We continue to be early-stage adopters of disruptive forces in the tech space, such as the internet of things and use of wearables, by empowering our developers to experiment with ways we can help connect content across all customer touchpoints.

6.  Our marketing leadership has been offering free educational content and knowledge to the market as part of early content marketing efforts with the release of in 2004 before most solution providers came about.  

7.  We’ve adopted a mantra of “one Internet, one file” since 2008 by encouraging the central source of truth and no downloads to maintain connections to one master asset used across all digital channels.

8.  Our thinking, our environment and our culture always encourages employees to destroy what we’ve built and replace our current offerings with other high-value services. We empower employees to think disruptively.

As an added fun fact, even before we were a software company, we used the best digital technology from the beginning of the digital age. In the early stages of digital technology in the 1970s, scanning consumed a tremendous amount of data. We moved on to using digital technology by scanning onto magnetic tape in the early 1980s. We added digital processing of files other than images – type, logos, tints, etc. – in the early 1990s. We moved on to digitally type and layout information with Macs in the mid 1990s to web-based digital services in the early 2000s.

We’re interested in your take. If you’re a Widen customer, what’s your experience with us as a digital disruptor? For anyone else, how has your organization been a digital disruptor? Leave us a comment to continue the dialog.

Contact us to talk more about Widen’s experience in digital imaging and digital asset management and how we can help your business.

Topics: Culture & Company

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