Without our founder and CEO, Steve Devries, Sayvee wouldn’t be the company it is today. Steve originally created Moving Pixel Productions (and later, Sayvee) to help clients with hosting their website—later turning it into a Kelowna marketing company. Steve also oversaw the creation of DealerXChange, a software platform designed for dealerships to manage their inventory and leads easily. He’s also our main salesperson, driving leads back to the Sayvee team for them to act on.
Steve is an easy-going guy, and it’s reflected in the workplace. He’ll often come up from the coding “dungeon” downstairs (aka his “home-away-from-home”) to share some great (and often funny) stories with the team about his escapades. Read on to find out his answers to some in-depth and seriously-not-serious questions!
So Steve, how was Sayvee founded (and became the awesome digital marketing agency it is today)?
It began as many conversations between myself and my partner at the time about how we can make a difference and really help solve problems that organizations face. Sayvee started in 1999 under a different name: Moving Pixel Productions. Bear in mind that this was pre-Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress. In those days, social media was basically creating videos, putting them onto VHS tapes, and sending them out to dealerships (via mail) so that they can stay in touch with what’s going on. The only way you’d be able to know if people “liked” your content was if they either called you up or told you in-person.
From there, we started investing more time into marketing solutions for various businesses and achieved one of our biggest successes through marketing the McKinley Beach brand.
The decision to rebrand “Moving Pixel Productions” to “Sayvee” happened not too long ago in 2016. At that point, Moving Pixel Productions had grown to around 10 employees and it was time to change our name (and website) to something that more accurately represented the company. The rest is recent history.
In ten words or less can you describe your favourite part of your job?
I enjoy helping solve problems our clients face.
If you could write your own job title for what you do here what would it be?
Chief Problem Solver. With marketing, it’s important to stay on top of any challenges that arise as quickly as possible, especially when it comes to clients. That being said, we strive to prevent any issues from happening in the first place.
Alright now we get into the real questions. First up: what’s the strangest dream you ever had?
I very rarely remember my dreams. I used to have a recurring dream as a kid that I was being chased on a track by a monster and I could never get away, and just before he reached me I would wake up. I can’t say that I’d recommend the experience.
Okay so no holds barred, what would be your ideal lunch?
Bánh mì, but I can’t really eat that anymore sadly. With all the sensitivities I’ve unfortunately accumulated, my diet options are pretty limited. That being said, my ideal lunch (accounting for my eating restrictions) would be toro sashimi with miso soup.
Surprise! Your lunch contains a note that challenges you to a duel, what would be your weapon of choice if it was a fight to the death?
Uhh, gun of course. Probably a beretta pistol. I’d like to think I’d be pretty good at quick-drawing.
On a less challenging note, what’s one of the top five TV shows you’ve ever seen?
Ray Donovan, I like the conflict he faces and his attempts to fix things in his own life as well as other people (oftentimes with interesting results).
If you had to be trapped in a movie, what film would you want to be trapped in?
Baywatch, particularly the slow motion parts, I might be moving slowly, but I would look super hot. You also can’t go wrong with California beaches.
What would you name your private jet if you had one?
Should Be Fine—A bit of an odd name choice I know, but let me explain. I would choose it because it’s what I am known for, well apparently anyway. Most people know me as the optimist that thinks everything will work out (which, to be fair, it often does).
What’s one song that motivates you to get through your work day?
I am really into Bob Moses right now, so it would have to be any of his songs. I like to think of them as my “get s**t done jams.”
What’s the craziest/weirdest conversation you’ve ever had?’
These would have to be consistent “What if,” questions from my wife (that have now been passed down to my children). For example: what if you only had one day to live, what would be your last meal? My answer to that question today would be:
- Drink: Forty creek and ginger ale
- Appetizer: Grouper tacos
- Main Meal: Beef wellington
- Dessert: Cheesecake (because why not?)
Let’s switch back to marketing, what’s one of your favourite ads you’ve seen?
I think near the top of my list is the cat herding ad purely from an entertainment perspective. I don’t remember what it was that they were selling (not a good sign that the marketing was terribly effective), but it was funny. Have a laugh at their marketing efforts here.
What’s one aspect of your job you’d like to see improved upon to make it easier?
A tool that handles all the needs of an agency. We have gone through so many project management tools and CRMs, it’s not even funny. Even now, for project management, we use one tool for all the input, and another for prioritizing tasks for staff. If I had free time, that’s what I would build without a doubt.
Any secret tidbits about major future plans we could see coming to Sayvee soon?
Well, if I told you then they wouldn’t be secret anymore. You’ll just have to wait and see.
Thanks for the time Steve! Look forward in the coming months to more interviews with the simply superb, savvy, and sublime Sayvee team!