1. Give me a brief history of your company. Firefly Digital wasn’t the first digital marketing firm in Lafayette, but it is the oldest. After innovating and pioneering the desktop publishing phenomena in Acadiana through the early ‘90s, Mike Spears and Bill Dalton set out on a new adventure in 1998 when they launched Firefly Digital - to pioneer the digital marketing frontier.
In Internet years, that was a long time ago; Mike often jokes, “Back then, we couldn’t give away a website.” Blazing a trail for future pioneers, the duo instilled in their new venture a philosophy that work should be challenging, interesting, fulfilling and fruitful. They knew it was never going to be easy, but together they founded Firefly Digital, likening it to the marvel of its namesake. “The firefly is a curious creature. In one regard it’s a scientific marvel, yet it’s one that has inspired mythology and the imaginations of children and adults alike,” Mike notes. “That’s very much the nature of Firefly Digital, where there is an unusual relationship between the creative and the technical, the left-brain and the right.” Mike and Bill realized the power of the Internet and the web would extend beyond engaging marketing websites. They recognized a business revolution was coming and how the web would transform business, governments, organizations and individuals around the world. From the beginning, Firefly has been helping Acadiana businesses and organizations transform the way they engage and interact with their customers and stakeholders, by creating websites, e-commerce sites and database applications and platforms.
2. What would you tell the rest of Acadiana makes you special?
Firefly has always been on the cutting edge of Internet and web technologies, yet what distinguishes us most is our ability to think like business people. We bring to each project a mix of marketing, creative, and technical expertise, which gives us the ability to understand the way our clients work and compete - how they think. This allows us to create custom solutions that get results.
3. What are you most proud of?
Over nearly two decades, Firefly has reinvented itself many times, in part out of necessity, but mostly out of a passion for learning and innovation. Through its metamorphosis, Firefly pioneered, engineered and created some of the world’s technology firsts: online animation and interactive web applications using (Macromedia) Adobe Flash; The Website Gadget, one of the world’s first content management systems for non-technical people; and the first mobile phone website (when WAP 2.0 was introduced) in the state of Louisiana.
4. Where do you see your business in 10 years? What are your plans for the future?
In our business, looking out more than 18-24 months is very challenging. The Internet and web are incredibly fluid and services are becoming more and more specialized. While website design and custom application development have been our strength and will continue to be an important part of our future, Firefly is currently pursuing venture capital funding to expand and develop education technology solutions to diversify and specialize in a very promising and fast-growing national market.
5. 1A is “Focused on Forward” – meaning we are taking an active role of improving the community we live in. Our members are Focused onForward, too! - What does Focused on Forward mean to you? How is your company Focused on Foward?
Helping others successfully get to the future is our passion. From inception, Firefly has had a focused-forward mindset. Since 1998, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses, directly and indirectly, evolve and succeed through the adoption of web-based technologies. Built on learning and innovation and a strong commitment to community service is at the heart of our culture. Over the past 18 years, Firefly has contributed to some of Lafayette’s most important advances, including the inception and growth of Zydetech, LUS’ Fiber to the Home initiative, TechSouth, the LITE Center and the advancement of technology adoption by local businesses.
As a local company ourselves, we always strive to be involved in our community. We often contribute to local non-profits through pro-bono work, and we assist fellow local enterprises and foundations through our social media platforms by advertising and promoting local events, fundraisers and organizations. We also participate in local events such as ArtWalk, Downtown Alive and other fun and exciting affairs.
In 18+ years of business, our community service work has been an investment in the foundation that Firefly is built upon. We value Acadiana as our home, the community in which we live. With every year that passes, there’s not doubt it’s worth the investment.