Questions Regarding Creative Business
So, blind (creative business) was started and formed in December of 1995 as a corporation, and the reason why I started the company was I had worked at a couple of places. I worked at an ad agency, and I worked at a punk, rock music label and I didn’t feel like I could express who I was in terms of what I’ve learned in school and to display the skills that I had and it.
It’s always been my dream that I knew that I was going to start a company ever since I was probably 11 or 12. I already knew that I thought it’s going to be like a car washing business or then it became I’m going to sell candy or ninja stars or whatever it is I was I wanted to hustle.
The Beginning Of An Entrepreneurial Spirit
So it turns out my former roommate at Art Center. His dad was an investment banker I didn’t even know what that meant but I knew he knew about business so I asked my roommate in the same ‘Edward’ I said can you call your dad I want to talk to him. And I want to ask him about what’s in a business plan.
How much money do you need because he looked at the proposal I worked on all night and it’s probably like eight pages? He looked at it he’s like, how much money do you need, and it says so in the proposal and I just came up with a wild number and the number was $100,000.
I just asked for $100,000 completely arbitrary and I looked at it like how much money do I need to keep a company going for about six months if we get no business because the assumption is it takes time to ramp it takes time for you to get clients to close clients. And to do the work and for there to be cash flow so I just wanted to give myself a cushion and so that’s what they call them in the business world runway like how long is your runway so I looked at it I needed six-month runway.
He wrote a check for $5,000 at 5%, it’s a pretty good run check and he says I’m going to give this to you as a good-faith gesture that we’re going to move forward this is no contracts no percentages.
Starting A Creative Business Company
I don’t remember how old was and I told my office mate I’m going to start a company and they’re like you barely know anything. And that was the beginning of the company now it’s gone through a lot of different iterations. But that’s how the company began and it was started in my loft in downtown LA in the brewery. And it was a 2,000 square foot space and that’s how we ran it I literally slept upstairs walked down the metal stairway and the office was there that was a big wide-open space to accommodate a lot of people.
It was cool so that’s how the company started so how did we get the company out of that garage. I know exactly when that moment was when we were just kind of a hobby like a couple of people working together scraping two nickels together, making some money from when I knew like there. It is that’s the moment because I kept in my mind maybe one day somebody’s going to ask me that question I need to know when that moment is.
A Memorable Moment
And that moment came very clearly when we did our first national TV spot and it’s hard to get those things, and that was about I think a year into the business. There’s a catch-22 is that they won’t give you a big TV campaign unless you’ve done one well so how do I get one now luckily for me back when I was still in school, I developed friendships acquaintances with people and I worked with a film student and she had asked me to help her design her titles for her spec TV spots.
So when she got out in the world she was a hustler and she worked with people then she introduced me to somebody and he was an editor. And these editors wanted us to help them design their logo and I did that and so then when they were cutting a commercial they said can you do this?
Of course, I said yes I can do this and that’s how I got that. So like I said there you might be hearing a theme today about these two connection points. It’s not like one-to-one like that but you do that you help people and then they come back and help you, and so a lot of our first clients our initial job leads came from people that have helped.
Journey Of Creative Business Throughout Cycles
Many service providers had to reinvent themselves three or four times. During that cycle, this is the biggest reinvention of the company that they’ve ever gone through. We started in graphic design I learned about what you guys call motion design now but it wasn’t even a term back then. I’m a graphic designer so I have to learn about motion, I had to learn about storyboarding, and I have to learn how to tell stories through a sequence, and that’s a whole new skill set so each time we would reinvent ourselves.
So the first phase was like we were only animating titles and that’s what I’m good at I’m good with typography. You guys are all presumably if you’re a graphic designer you go with typography. You go with your core skill. But I wanted to do more than just move to type around we’re good at it and I wanted to do the whole spot so then we started to learn about animation because that seemed like the natural next extension.
Proving Our Clients
We had to prove ourselves every single time we got on a call with a client. There are times when you need to do the live-action and truthfully you are not ready to do it. But you have t do it anyway. You will learn each time when you do a little bit better. An after some time, it becomes regular routine. And of course, you’re going to do the live-action naturally like editing, shooting, animation, typography. Each one of these things takes you to the next level.
How The Creative Business Industry is Going?
The industry is not going in a great place. It’s not trending upwards it’s trending downwards. And what’s happening is that people do not watch commercials anymore. That is one of the biggest segments. Many service providers primarily work on commercials. And maybe commercials are not even really that effective so few of you own a TV. Few of you have cable and many of you have a DVR. And you’re skipping past all the commercials. We don’t want that anymore. There’s something called pre-roll that you see. But there’s a lot of programming.
Now agencies have to restructure and agencies are our clients so what are they doing to survive in the marketplace. The media is going away not in the way it used to be. Nobody wants to pay for a slick expensive commercial anymore. What’s going to happen so they start bringing in and building their own design company. Their motion design studio. Within the agency, they’re building their own production company. Inside the agency that leaves studio owners competing against the internal team. And that’s not a good place where you want to be.
We’re afraid as creative business people to just ask questions. We’re not taught these tools that’s what is needed to learn. The last the biggest transition some of the services providers have gone through is consulting. Many are moving away from being a service provider. After service providers, it’s really what they are and they want to move towards the consulting side.
And so we have to learn all new skills. We’ve been undergoing this learning transformation process for the last few years. Many service providers are positioning themselves as business design consultants. They want to help you grow your business. They want to help you build more effective campaigns. Also, they can help build creative business content that people want to watch. That’s also going to get you results.
Working With Creative Business People
It is very easy to work with businesspeople. You think well how many kinds of people are you going to work with. Well, you have built creative business people – and oddly enough creative business people are the worst people to work for. And here’s the reason why it’s better to work with business people. It is understood you’re in business and to be in business you have to make money. You have to charge with things and nobody does work for free nothing of value is for free.
You get what you pay for. So they understand those kinds of things. So if we say to them you spend a hundred dollars with us and it’s 100 thousand dollar project it’s money well spent. To make sure that after you spend the hundred thousand dollars you’re in the right place.
You know you just didn’t get in your car and start driving. You had a plan to know where you’re going. It was very well known about the side streets, you knew all those kinds of things. You were going to get to the destination. Now, why are creative business people some of the worst clients to work for? Why do you guys let’s just turn it to the room but everyone has their vision?
I prefer to work with business people they’re logical I can say well this is out of scope we’re going to move the deadline. They understand that because they have experience. With that their expectations are also more realistic. I’m not saying all business people are good nor all art is difficult to work with.