news that Macquarium join Synoptek is the start of a new chapter for a technology-focused “OG” service company in Atlanta. But there are earlier chapters in the company’s story worth checking out.
Because from its headquarters on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, the company actually Help shape the web and its media as we know it.
Macquarium’s homepage states that the company is an agency working to “transform customer experiences in the digital world.” Behind this logo is a story It reads a bit like an unexpected epic tech story, one with many twists and turns that touches on many of the tech services we all use today. It’s also a story that has involved the birth of many new companies and products over three decades… and it even includes a bit of Hollywood flair.
But before the tech adventures, there was only founder Mark Adler in the dorm room at Emory College working for a video production company.
In the early 1990s, the World Wide Web was nothing more than brochure software that “didn’t have much benefit,” Adler told Hypepotamus. But there was a need for great graphics and content, something from Adler and Macquarium She was an early pioneer.
After moving into multimedia production (think writing CDs and creating early animations for clients), Adler purchased a dozen Silicon Graphics supercomputers and moved his eight employees to the Midtown office in 1994.
“It was the genesis of the Internet. Everyone needs a website,” added Adler.
That was about the time when Macquarium He got his first two major clients for the website, The Weather Channel and Cox Communications, through connections made in an MBA class he audited for when he was still a college student. company She would go on to build the website of the International Olympic Committee and many other high profile clients throughout the mid-1990s.
But Macquarium certainly didn’t stop there. To better serve customers in the rapidly evolving digital space, Macquarium created some of the first iterations of the digital products we take for granted today. And here begins the epic tale of technology.
Adler and his team built the first content management system (CMS), known as Dynabot, in 1996. The goal was to create a self-service “dynamic bot” for customers looking to change the content of a web page. He. She It was so important in the early days of the web that it was memorialized in a Smithsonian time capsule in 2000. It would eventually evolve into a Product Information Management (PIM) tool.
Macquarium has also built Antfarm, a site-specific tracking and analysis tool. Adler said this was Macquarium’s “secret sauce” and gave the company a significant competitive advantage as they were able to “track what was happening with the [customer’s] dollars” long before other digital marketing tools like Google Analytics hit the market.
In 2002, Macquarium entered the nascent world of online transactions (what we know today simply as e-commerce). After establishing the database and technology and building the necessary shipping capabilities, she launched misterart.com for consumer products in arts and crafts.
It was a concept that Adler started playing with while still a student at Emory when He saw the unique commercial underpinning of bringing such products to an online marketplace. The site eventually grew into what Adler described as a The “Art Related Companies Consortium” in the Early Days of E-Commerce.
Over the years, Macquarium has also created a browser-based point of sale (POS) system and helped dozens of household names—from Chick-fil-A to UPS—build their interactive media needs.
Between building formative, customer-facing technology, the team has made its mark in the digital media space. With the launch of animation studio Fathom Studios, the team created the first independent CG movie, Delgo, starring Freddy Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt. (I’m telling you, there’s a built-in Hollywood flair.)
His short film Chroma Chameleon has won awards for its cinematography and artwork as well.
While Macquarium has opened offices in Houston, San Francisco, DC, and North Carolina over the years, Adler has always maintained the company’s headquarters outside of Atlanta.
“You want a center of excellence where you can gather the largest number of people in the same area,” he told Hypepotamus. “Atlanta was so great because it was so easy to recruit people. It’s about talent. I don’t think there is another city in the country that can compete with Atlanta at that level, and I think every other company understands that as well because you see this mass migration of these companies to Atlanta” .
There are additional chapters in The story of the Macquarium that should have been left in the editorial room for this piece, but extracting 31 years of history for a fast-growing company is no small feat.
This next chapter, ushered in the announcement this spring that The company has been acquired by Synoptek, and it is definitely an iAn important milestone for a storied company. It is also a unique moment in the public business scene in Atlanta. You’ll be hard pressed to find a file A digital customer experience agency that has had such an impact on Atlanta’s tech ecosystem or done more to put the city on the map for its tech and media talent.
So it is a story worth sharing.
Photos courtesy of Mark Adler