James Hilton

‘Relevance’ is a word James Hilton uses a lot – over the course of an hour it crops up a good dozen times. Everything digital agency AKQA does needs to be relevant. It expanded into the US and Asia because that was where its clients were coming from. It was relevant. How does it decide which technology to use for a new project? Well, which one is the most relevant? Who’ll work on the project? The most relevant people, of course.

It’s a simple rule but it’s worked for AKQA. After 13 years in business, the company, still independent, now boasts more than 700 employees in London, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Shanghai and Amsterdam, and last year generated an impressive $150 million in revenue – up more than 40 per cent. Its client list includes such high profile names as Coca-Cola, Nike, Xbox and Sainsbury’s.

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