HELLO WORLD, I’M BILLY NEWELL!
About 25 years ago I started to work for Philips Media—a company that was introducing an innovative product, CD-I, to the market. CD-I was one of the very first set-top boxes that could bring games, information, and even video, on discs to users worldwide. I was at the doorstep of the media revolution and it was like a dream come true. I got to work on creative projects and technology with some of the most talented people in the world. Clearly, I had landed in the best possible place to start a career in multimedia.
I started working as an associate producer, handling production budgets, and schedules, and oh yes, delivering CD-I products, Compact Disc interactive…what? Yep, that is the kind of reaction I used to get back at the beginning of my career. You work on what? What is interactive? At times I used to tell people that I worked for an animation company (we did work on animated products), because it was easier to explain.
As the years passed technology started to move at an incredible pace. Faster computers and smarter peripherals every year, Mac vs. the PC; these were the constant themes of the early 90’s. And then, there was the WEB! I was lucky to transition to the web very early on and two talented entrepreneurs, Josh Greer and Thomas Lakeman, gave me my first shot. Together we built products for great companies like CAA, Intel, Warner Brothers, USPS, and so many more.
As often happened in the late 90’s our company was bought by a bigger company iXL (not iXL learning), and soon enough we were, let me say it politely, combined with the BoxTop and SpinCycle teams! Ah nothing like good planning to make a merger work J ! I went through the process of going public, leaving to start a new venture, and actually cashing in on some stock options! And then literally, I went to the next thing to learn even more.
My former boss from Philips Media, Sarina Simon, needed help in the production and operations front for a new educational service for kids, families and teachers. I left iXL to work for Knowledge Universe. Michael Milken was our main investor. He was great to work for; spending time with him was an invaluable learning experience. I loved my time with KU, but after 4 years, we sold our service to LeapFrog and it was time to move on.
After working for many companies, I was not sure what to do next. Lo and behold, a brilliant idea came to me, “start your own business”. After all I had a degree in business, I had taken care of sophisticated businesses for their owners, why not me? I joined forces with Sarina and the next thing you know I was in Lima, Peru!
My family and most of my friends are from Lima, so going back to Lima was actually pretty cool. After using freelancers to deliver the first project, we opened our own shop in order to ensure we could achieve the quality of service we wanted to bring to clients. I have been operating North South Studios ever since that fateful day back on September 25, 2004.
Having a software development company that functions like a small agency has provided me with amazing opportunities. I have worked on business oriented sites, learning products, interactive toys, games, mobile applications, implemented CMS’s and LMS’s, worked on Digital Rights Management, video streaming and more.
I think this is an exciting time for tech. We have an opportunity to revolutionize the way services are offered and delivered worldwide. Publishing content about your experiences, entertaining others, and monetizing your assets has never been easier. But with such amazing options, the road to success is indeed filled with peril at every corner. I hope this blog helps readers save time and money, and contributes to their success. My goal is to make this a valuable timely resource for entrepreneurs, technical directors, project managers, and media executives.
For more detailed information about my background, visit my biography on our company website