Bidding Savvydata a fond goodnight

Many moons ago, I was Creative Director for a small Coral Springs (that’s in Florida) company that created multimedia (they referred to it as ‘new media’ there) presentations for a variety of clients.  They occasionally did some software development too, although their interface design was horrendous at best.  The multimedia presentations aren’t any great shakes by modern standards, but back in those days they were pretty swanky.

Anyway, one such client was Savvydata, a security firm that specialized in digital rights management and network monitoring.  They had a flagship product called RedAlert that automated a lot of these monitoring services, all pretty cool stuff, and they wanted a multimedia presentation/informational brochure for it.  Their fearless leader, one Mike Nevins, was a huge Star Trek fan, however, and he had a vision for his multimedia presentation that included the LCARS interface.  For those of you that don’t know (and I’m sure there’s plenty of you), LCARS is the style of interface used on Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Now, just for the record, LCARS is not a good interface design.  But, being the awesome Creative Director that I am, I did the research and found lots of resources that actually standardized the LCARS style.  Amazed at how nerdy people can be (there were actually discussions raging about the accuracy of the interface standard, based on this episode or that), I applied this to the presentation/brochure.  Between that, countless hours of storyboarding and putting together a whole situation for the presentation aspect of it, using Bryce to model some characters to do sneaky stuff, and wrapping the whole thing by the deadline (100 hour work weeks, anyone?), this was a pretty memorable project.  And the result wasn’t half bad.

Many, many years later I was putzing through my portfolio (don’t ask me how to putz… if you don’t know, you probably shouldn’t know), when I remembered the Savvydata project.  I started digging around to see if I could find the Savvydata site, and wouldn’t you know it, National Auction has the following listing:

Bankruptcy Auction

In Re: Savvydata, Inc.

Auction Conducted in

Fort Lauderdale
, Florida

This was back in 2004, so well over 3 years ago.  A quick search on LinkedIn revealed that the company may still be alive and kicking (or at least, Mike Nevins is…) albeit in West Palm Beach.  Oh well, an interesting little research project that ended in a useless little anecdote, and just serves to illustrate how a company can seem to be doing pretty well (the research unearthed many interesting developments in the life of Savvydata) and then suddenly just disappear.

UPDATE (April 26, 2010):  Apparently SavvyData has a new incarnation!  Lee Lukehart, President of the new SavvyData, asked me to take a quick look and update this entry so there’s no confusion between the new SavvyData and the (now truly defunct) SavvyData from days of yore.
The new SavvyData is a solid development organization that clearly has a grasp on UI development, IA (Information Architecture), and presenting large amounts of data.  Heck, they even offer workshops on it.  Give ’em a look, interesting stuff.