Henry Coggin - Co-founder and Digital Director at Vida Creative
Did you always envisage a career in the Media Industry?
From a young age I was obsessed with computers and the internet. I spent too many of my teenage years building websites for friends and family and even learnt how to launch an internet radio station when I was 14 – which looking back is as impressive as it is cringeworthy!
I always found coding interesting, so studying Software Engineering at university was a natural next step for me. When I was there, I couldn’t wait to finish, I found the theory boring and was more interested in solving real-world problems and creating meaningful stuff – something that absolutely still motivates me today.
What has been your career path so far?
After university I worked at a great agency in Lancaster, and after a few years with blind confidence (aka naivety) set up Vida with my now wife Ellen. The first few years we worked remotely travelling around Europe in our rusty campervan. Business picked up and the constant travelling became tiresome so we made the fantastic decision to find our new permanent home in Newcastle.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Expanding the team I’ve found quite challenging. Finding people that are good at what they do, fit the culture but also bring a fresh perspective is tough! Understanding what motivates others and how they like to be managed was a completely new experience for me and something I’m always trying to improve on.
What is your greatest strength?
Drive! I’m sure it is exhausting for the rest of the team at times, but I’m constantly driving to push and improve. Whether that looks like better results for clients, smarter ways of working or trying to make Vida a better place to work.
What is your biggest weakness?
Impatience! An ugly trait, and something I’m trying to work on…
What has been your proudest achievement?
Maybe not an achievement, but I had a noticeable feeling of pride this summer. We’d been working hard on the Soccer Aid for UNICEF campaign for nine months, and as a team we went to Manchester to see the match. Seeing our work all over the city, and then all over Old Trafford felt pretty special, especially as I’m a huge football fan. It was awesome to have that opportunity to celebrate that project as a team.
How do you see your industry evolving in the next 10 years?
Boring answer, but AI. We’re already using it in the development team to reduce grind work and speed up development. Our design team have been experimenting with generating images in MidJourney. It’s getting better and better, I don’t see it as a bubble and I think if you aren’t exploring it you will be left behind.
How do you like to unwind?
I’m a long suffering Hartlepool United fan and get to most matches. Once a week I play (a pretty poor standard of) 5-a-side football, and we normally do quite well at the The Central pub quiz. Also cycling to and from work is a game changer, gives you some time to get ready for work/decompress on the way home – and no traffic stress.