Thursday, May 6, 2010 | 3:48 p.m.
Jarrod Lopiccolo, co-owner of Carson City-based Web development and digital marketing firm Noble Studios, has always harbored an inherent interest in art and architecture.
It’s a predilection he intended to put to professional use when he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from UNLV. That was before he realized he could successfully apply his architectural training to a rapidly growing field he considered more vibrant and energized.
“Architecture is built around standards and laws that have been created for a very long time, and the field was not growing at a pace that was exciting,” said Lopiccolo, 29, adding that whereas architecture is about building the physical, website development entails building the virtual. “When I graduated, I worked at an architecture firm in Las Vegas doing presentations for large resorts, and everything was done on the computer anyway, so it was just a natural transition into presenting information in a virtual format. In the architecture industry, the tools you use are practically the same tools you use to create a website, like Adobe and Autodesk and all their software suites.”
Before co-founding Noble Studios in 2003, Lopiccolo was a newlywed looking to settle down and start a family. He and his wife, Season Lopiccolo, who now handles content development and business operations for the company, viewed Northern Nevada as an untapped market with a strong base that would allow for eventual expansion, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area.
So the couple relocated to Carson City, Lopiccolo switched career gears, and Noble Studios was founded in a small home office. During its first year of business, the company landed about 10 clients and reported less than $40,000 in gross sales. Today, Noble has 12 full-time employees and 10 contractors, provides services for some 400 clients, and occupies about 2,500 square feet of commercial space near the Capitol Building.
Since its inception, Noble Studios has grown an average of 100 percent in terms of gross sales each year until 2008, when sales leveled out in the throes of recession. In 2009, the company brought in $860,000, a figure Lopiccolo anticipates will reach $1.5 million by year-end.
Besides expanding both in size and numbers, Noble Studios has also broadened its reach, having successfully infiltrated the Bay Area market in 2008, and secured monthly service agreements with international brands such as Autodesk. Last year, the company became an official license holder for making iPhone applications, and has also emerged as a regional leader in the rapidly growing field of User Interface, which allows individuals to more effectively interact with their digital devices. The company is also making a push to be a leader in SaaS (Software as a Service), a model of online software development.
“We want to stay on the leading edge, where we can say we’re experts in a brand new technology that’s been proven, which is different than the bleeding edge, which has a tendency to implement solutions that haven’t been proven yet,” Lopiccolo said, adding that Noble Studios owes much of its success to its corporate culture and its hand-picked employees. “If you get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus, then you can determine which route you want to take. Success is not measured in dollars, it’s measured in happiness, and I want this to be a living business driven by passion about the industry.”