It was a packed house at the Fine Line Cafe as MIMA members eagerly awaited the reigniting of CATFOA (i.e., Conversations About the Future of Advertising). This cafe Q&A between Rick Webb, venture partner at Quotidian Ventures, and Tim Brunelle, former MIMA president, was particularly riveting, talking about the business of ideas, starting up/founding an agency, and all things related to managing an independent agency — a topic, as it turned out, that many MIMA-goers related to.
Here are the key takeaways and best sound-bytes from this month’s event.
Relating to Vision
- When starting a business, you need to know WHY you’re starting something. You must have a clear reason for existence – a strongly defined vision. After all, if you can’t tell anybody why you exist, why should they work with you?
- Vision is why you exist. Mission is the tactical plan.
- You must tell your vision to everyone unrelentingly forever. Make it clear to your employees your vision through every decision and conversation. Everything ties back to it.
Relating to Employees
- You might know why you started a company, but people that join you don’t. Always communicate your “why.”
- Be transparent with employees about which type of projects have the best margins. It’ll help them advocate for you and stick through busier times.
- If the team believes in your company and your projects, your team will work better together.
- Titles don’t always matter. Creativity comes from everyone, not just the creative director.
Relating to Business
- Digital agencies have to evolve to the traditional agency model, not just borrow from it.
- When a 15-year-old creates a better YouTube video than your million-dollar ad, you’ve failed. You need to create something they can’t do.
- You’re going to expand what you were originally doing, which means you’ll get into areas you’re no longer good at. You have to keep learning.
Relating to Growth
- There can be no growth without process. But a process can either kill your company or make it thrive. You have to find the right balance.
- The best practice is to kill a process step every time you add a new one.
- It’s best to implement processes at the start of a company, but allow them to change over time as the company grows. If you start a process at the beginning vs. in a stage of chaos, it’ll be easier and it’ll allow you to grow.
If you missed the event, you can watch the whole conversation below. And remember to register for our next event coming up on August 19.
2015 MIMA Event: July – Conversations About The Future Of Advertising from MIMA on Vimeo.