projekt202 Hiring 100 in Next Two Years

By Jeff Bounds, Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal
Published: Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dallas consultants handle app development, digital marketing and ‘user experience design’

After merging with an Austin firm this summer, a Dallas technology consulting firm expects to roughly double its 100-person staff over the next two years and to open at least one new office per year going forward.

The newly combines business, dubbed projekt202 LLC, should do in the neighborhood of $15 million in revenue in 2012, according to CEO Keith Jacobs. The two companies that merged, Austin’s projekt202 and Dallas’ Captura, each had organic revenue growth of more than 100 percent on a year-over-year basis, he said.

“We were cash flow positive from Day One,” added Jacobs, who ran Captura before the August merger.

Although it does three types of tech consulting, projekt202 hangs its hat on “user experience design,” meaning the development or revamping of products to make them faster, easier and more efficient to use. For instance, projekt202 helped Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. overhaul software that day traders use to buy and sell stocks.

On top of user experience design, projekt202 does digital marketing, the latter meaning pay-per-click or paid search online campaigns, search engine optimization and email and social media pushes.

Jacobs said projekt202 is one of only a handful of companies that offer those three buckets of services. That helps prevent disconnect when the product design of one shop isn’t fully grasped by , say, the digital marketing company that’s hired to market the thing. It also ensures clients need hire only one vendor to accomplish all three of those jobs – and that the customer has the proverbial “one throat to choke” if something goes wrong.

“The more you’re able to surround your client with a variety of services, the harder you make it for your competitors to snatch that client away,” said Greg Bustin, principal at the Dallas management consulting firm Bustin & Co. “Smart companies look for ways to provide their clients with a range of (products or services) that are complementary to the work they’re doing already.”

So far, having the three service lines seems to be paying off for projeit202.

The company has done work for a range of household-name clients, including Schwab, Fort Worth’s Pier 1 Imports Inc. and Expedia Inc.

For Jaguar Hospitality Services Corp., a Plano firm that does purchasing of fixtures, furniture and equipment for the hospitality industry, projekt202 developed a proprietary system that automates many tasks, from estimating how much one of Jaguar’s clients’ jobs will cost to closing out the finished work.

The projekt202 technology also provides Jaguar clients the ability to see how their purchasing is progressing.

“It’s met and exceeded our expectations,” said Jacob Fruth, vice president at Jaguar Hospitality. “They brought a level of design on the client side that’s pleasing to the client and easy to navigate.”

For now, project202 plans to grow at a rapid pace. Jacobs hopes to open at least one office next year in Chicago, Seattle or London.

Most of the new hires are of the technical variety, including back end and user interface developers and interaction and visual designers.

There’s even a place for psychology and anthropology majors at projekt202, who will study how product users behave to create better design.

©2011 Dallas Business Journal