Americas

From Fuzz Productions to Monstarlab⁠— a Q&A with CEO Americas, Max Oglesbee

December 14, 2021

A headshot of Max Oglesbee against a grey background. Max has short, neat hair, dark rimmed glasses, and a dark blue button down shirt.
Max Oglesbee, CEO of Americas, started this role in March 2020. Photo by Brian Harkin

Max Oglesbee, CEO of the Americas, began his new role at the onset  of the COVID-19 pandemic. In just under two years, he has navigated the transition from Fuzz Productions to Monstarlab, expanded operations into Bogotá, Colombia, and Vancouver. We spent some time with Max to chat about these recent changes and what opportunities he predicts will appear in the next fiscal year.

First, can you tell us a bit about Monstarlab and the transition into the Americas market?

Monstarlab has grown from its founding in Tokyo in 2006 to 1,300 teammates in 18 countries around the world. 

The entry into the Americas began in 2019 with the acquisition of Fuzz Productions, an award winning agency located in Williamsburg Brooklyn.  Since 2019, we’ve expanded our footprint in the US, as well as opening an office in Colombia, and now Canada.

Throughout the process, our focus has remained the same: to leverage the latest technology to help our clients grow their businesses and make their customers happy.

Our Bogotá team was joined by our Founder + Ceo, Hiroki Inagawa, and other US team members this December.

What has been the most exciting part of the transition from Fuzz Productions to Monstarlab Americas?

Our mission at Fuzz was simple: to be a great digital agency for our clients, helping them to create innovative digital products and experiences.  In Monstarlab, we found a company with the same ethos, and so the integration of the companies has been natural and straightforward for our team members and our clients. 

One of the most exciting aspects of the transition has been the willingness of Monstarlab’s global leadership to welcome us into all aspects of the global company strategy and execution. 

As we identify new opportunities to add value to our client’s businesses, the global reach of Monstarlab is a game-changer in terms of our ability to attract top talent, and to build new teams in places like Colombia where there is a fast-growing engineering and design culture in a timezone that fosters easy collaboration with our clients.

Looking towards the next year, what are some exciting changes that we can expect for Monstarlab in the Americas?

The team is hard at work on some really exciting client projects. In 2022 we plan to launch a few high-profile projects in Food & Hospitality where we’ve had a long track record of success, as well as IoT enabled Health & Wellness products that will improve people’s lives.  We’re building on our data and analytics capabilities, which will deepen our client’s understanding of their digital portfolios.  

As we further integrate our teams globally, we are creating opportunities for our team members to work in geographically unique team structures.  For example, we’re helping a US based client to thoughtfully adapt their already successful App business to the China market; separately, we’re helping a multinational corporation create new Covid-safe workplace technologies for their offices by bringing a first-person POV to service design that’s specific to each region.

Do you have any predictions for the tech industry overall for FY22?

As technology has permeated all aspects of life, and the pandemic has increased our reliance on it, everyday people are realizing the importance of being mindful about how we engage digitally.

Creating digital products with our clients, core principles are sometimes at odds with one another – for example, how do we balance usability with security, personalization with privacy? 

The tech industry overall will need to continue to mature in the way we navigate these complexities.  My hope for the tech industry overall in 2022 is that we put people first, creating software, platforms and experiences that improve quality of life and encourage healthy engagement.

 

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