E-Commerce

On the cutting edge: Razorfish

Razorfish is changing the way businesses work, look, communicate, and compete. The firm has been a trendsetter among consulting groups that help clients enter the digital economy.


We push technology beyond its expected limitations because that’s where quality user experiences and competitive advantage emerge.

Chris Strazzella, Razorfish


Digital technology is at the front lines of business success in today’s economy, and if you aren’t a part of it, the competition is way ahead of you. To compete, you have to change your perspective, as well as the way you communicate with co-workers, suppliers, clients, competition, and the untouched market. Razorfish, a provider of strategic, creative, and technology solutions, claims that’s what they’re all about.

The vision behind Razorfish
Razorfish was formed in 1995 by Jeffrey Dachis. The mission is a simple one, to reinvent today’s businesses using digital technology. Their vision of themselves, however, is much more in-depth.

According to Susan Madden, managing director of Razorfish Boston, the company’s people, culture, and values define what Razorfish is all about.

“We have the most remarkable people who are truly passionate about what they do and are dedicated to thrilling our clients. They are flexible and innovative in partnering with our clients to develop the highest quality business solutions,” she noted. “Our values of honesty, teamwork, learning, creativity, and quality are not just concepts that hang on the wall but are the guidelines by which we run our business every day.

“Our breadth and depth of capabilities also define Razorfish,” Madden said. “It’s this range of capabilities that enables us to be the leading global services provider of groundbreaking digital solutions.”

Paving the way
Razorfish is helping businesses to enter the e-commerce arena by introducing them to their five phases of business integration:
  1. Clarify
  2. Architect
  3. Design
  4. Implement
  5. Enhance

Razorfish helped transform Charles Schwab into an example of e-commerce success for other online brokerages.


Chris Strazzella, a talent scout for Razorfish, pointed to one of their biggest clients—Charles Schwab —as an example of his firm’s business integration process at work. The challenge that Schwab set in front of them was to make the company into the world’s largest online financial services company. The how behind that what, according to Strazzella, was to reinvent Schwab into Schwab.com. This two-year course of action included the implementation of:
  • Investor on-line classes
  • E-mail services on stock alerts, ordering status, and trade confirmation
  • Uniform navigation
  • A new outlook on customer service

In the end, noted Strazzella, Razorfish achieved above satisfactory results for Schwab. Among their accomplishments:
  • Schwab retained its leadership in the finance industry
  • Schwab is used as an example for other online brokerages
  • Up from number five in 1999, Schwab was chosen as the number one on-line broker by Gomez.com

A fish of a different color
In such a competitive industry, what makes Razorfish so different from other consulting firms? Quite a bit, according to Strazzella.

“Because the ability to deliver end-to-end solutions is becoming more common in the digital consulting industry, Razorfish not only partners with clients to develop strategy and visual design and implement technology, but we also deliver digital solutions that provide intentional user experience across a range of platforms, devices, and networks,” he said. “We’re involved in the broadband and broadcast markets, designing and building commercials, movies, and TV segments to create brand campaigns.”

Not all consulting firms are willing to work with both established companies and startups, and that fact further separates Razorfish from its competition, Strazzella added.

“We’re enabling world-class organizations to reinvent themselves by transforming their products and services into content that will drive their success in the digital economy,” he said. “We’re also working closely with emerging dot coms to create solutions that differentiate them quickly in the marketplace.”
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