Picasso Labs was born nearly 5 years ago with an idea of helping marketers bring art and science closer together. When we started the company, this idea was more divisive than we’d predicted, and there were fervent naysayers who insisted that data had no place in the creative process. The first few years of a company are make-or-break, and, two years in, our prospects weren’t looking great: meetings with marketers that we’d hustled to get for months would end abruptly when they heard our idea, and we were repeatedly written off as some ex-Google nerds building technology where it wasn’t needed or wanted.
For better or worse, I’m nothing if not stubborn. Our company, initially made up of mostly engineers, painstakingly laid the groundwork, 1s and 0s at a time, that resulted in technology that made it possible to extract data out of creative content in an actionable way. We didn’t quite know what to do with it or how to apply it, but we were eventually persistent enough to meet marketers willing to experiment with us. Persistence is good, but luck is better — and our luck struck when we saw that the in-house innovators who were willing to take a gamble on incorporating data into the creative process tended to work the world’s most loved global brands, which gave us a larger canvas than we could have envisioned for mixing data with creativity.
As our technology was being stress-tested, we started noticing lots of areas where extracting data from creative content eventually gave way to better outcomes, but not in the way we’d expected. It wasn’t about automating creative production at all. Rather, it was about enhancing creative decisions with data in a measurable way. It was about answering questions that were previously the result of heated subjective debates. It was about combatting internal bias. And most importantly, it was about upholding a creative and brand identity at unprecedented scale.
In the 5 years since our founding, our technology has analyzed hundreds of millions of images and videos in nearly every language to deliver insights to an ever-growing list of marketing leaders who’ve used our tools to build, maintain, and grow consumer brands. The output of their creativity has literally been flowing through our system day in & out, and the exacting standards that they uphold for their brands has forced us to take a hard look at ours. As a company built by marketers, for marketers, we wanted our name and identity to represent our purpose and to remind us every day why we’re putting in the long hours: to advance creative expression through the clarity of data.
This evolution isn’t just limited to our name and design system. It is a signal of our dedication to continue building products that help marketers and the brands they care about achieve creative excellence. But most importantly, it is a nod of respect to the marketers we work with everyday and a step towards building a brand of our own that’s worthy of them.