Birthdays are certainly a time for retrospect and UpShift’s eighth birthday has given us plenty to think about. Firstly there’s the celebration of making it this far, working with fantastic clients, building a talented team of staff and creating a portfolio of cool digital/ brand/ engagement work we can be proud of.

But like most things in life UpShift has been a journey worth reflecting on.

Aaron, Matt, Paul and I originally met in 2011, while we were all working in the local government sector. By the end of 2012 we had become frustrated with the status quo and decided to try our hand at building our own business with a fresher, more human approach to print and digital communications and engagement.

In March 2013 Aaron, Paul and I took the plunge and UpShift was born. Matt joined us in 2014 and we continued to grow our team with designers and developers. While the first couple of years had a strong focus in local government we started to do more and more digital work for businesses, organisations especially in the space of websites and e-commerce.

2016 saw our first environmental app project and a move away from the local government sector into more significant digital development and e-commerce work. This era of UpShift saw a lot of work with wineries, real estate companies and tourism operators.

We found ourselves working on bigger development projects creating custom applications to connect people with data and information in a human friendly way. What does wood treatment, water quality, railway engineering, crabs, food safety, plastic pollution, court legislation and medical technology all have in common - we’ve developed apps for all of them!

It wasn’t all code crunching and development, during this time we created some beautiful brands and worked on some really interesting community engagement projects around the top of the South Island.

During this time we’ve certainly grown as people too. Running your own business brings a range of challenges - some exciting, some frustrating. We’ve learnt a lot, and sometimes I wish I could apply some 20/20 hindsight to our earlier decisions.

Which brings us to 2021 and why we’ve just built a new website.

Our previous website was built in 2017 and focussed more on our traditional website builds than our larger project work. While we still love building a good website, our focus in 2021 is more on application development, quality brand creation and larger community engagement projects.

The beginning of the year is traditionally quiet for us, so it was a great opportunity to rework and reimagine what the UpShift website should be. So we got cracking and launched the site just before the traditional March tsunami of work hit the office.

If you’re interested in what we’ve been up to recently please have a look around. I hope you enjoy our work.


Banner Photo by Raychan

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