A ‘New’ business concept

A ‘New’ Business concept
Start a new kind of business part agency / part incubator. Been toying with the idea of setting up what I can best describe as a commercial framework which would allow a whole bunch of folk to work together on creative and commercial projects. The notion comes with the reality that there are whole bunch of ‘famous’ digital, marketing and creatives who are for one reason or another considering their options or out in the open and but not particularly interested in jumping into something big.
I have said repeatedly over the years that I wanted to build ‘a next generation media neutral agency with strategy and creative at it’s core and the ability to deliver across all channels.’
I’ve also said repeatedly over the years that if you want to get there then you wouldn’t start from here (adland) and that it was most likely to evolve from something with digital DNA unafraid of appreciating the better disciplines of the old world.
Still kind of believe that, but had an thought the other day that the problem isn’t in the digital or the analog it’s in the term agency. The word agency has so much inertia attached to it that whatever your intentions are at the start you will at some point be subsumed by that very inertia you hoped to avoid.
It’s an interesting problem.
You want to create something which does great work and is in scaleable yet avoids it’s own history. Back in the day we talked alot about collectives , obsolete was in essence a collective pretending to be a company, as was antirom & tomato.
In fact, to be fair, I modelled obsolete in my somewhat naive notion of what tomato was at that point. It kind of works for short term projects but if you want to do anything long term the  lack of continuity is a problem – and a big one. That’s where structures come in or at very least frameworks! So basically what I’m thinking has structure but not necessarily walls, has  clients but is not an agency, creates businesses and manifests content.
  • pro – already got the network to do ‘it’
  • con – ‘it’ needs to be well and truly thought through
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    • filip
    • February 4th, 2010

    http://addictlab.com/index.php/Labbies it wasnt managed that well, but had friends, including my girlfriend and some creative characters that got their career started through addictlab. The idea of bringing talent together for specific projects worked great, but the owner stopped taking care of people and the talent left… as did the clients (Used to do alot of work for Diesel amongst others). Nothing new but, a great collective of creative people.

    I think your idea is spot on and me and some friends have tinkered with the ‘collective’ or ‘Fluid’ Agency idea for awhile, but we’re too poor and far apart to do anything about it at the moment. =)

  1. I think that is Phenotype! Or at least it is what Phenotype tries to be when clients dont get in the way. To be fair I think I may have stolen this idea form You and Old Lateral.

    I have said repeatedly over the years that I wanted to build ‘a next generation media neutral agency with strategy and creative at it’s core and the ability to deliver across all channels.’

    most likely to evolve from something with digital DNA unafraid of appreciating the better disciplines of the old world

    A pint is required.

    • Sunny
    • February 4th, 2010

    You’d have to get some capital, but I think there is a very good core idea here. Get some cool but not-too-expensive premises where your hand-picked freelance/independent friends can rent spaces and encourage them to work together by having good social spaces and communications channels. When I worked at The Loft in Edinburgh, we found that there was an increasing trend towards people collaborating to put in bids for big projects, even though none of the companies consisted of more than a couple of people (and most were single people).

    As long as there are enough good people and you think about allocating space so that all the various specialisms that might be needed are addressed (although, of course, someone doesn’t need to be in the building to collaborate) then you can let the structure emerge by itself.

    If you’d like to brainstorm more about this, let me know.

  2. I think we should take this idea, mash it up with the film idea, mash it up again with the dot com idea, mash it some more with considering a move to Brooklyn, and then I think we have a winner. It’s a lot of mashing, but that’s the way you make things taste better.

  3. There’s no money in music. Any kind of TV/Film is long-term pain and frustration, and no money. Games ditto. You’d hate being an employee. You’ve done agency.

    You need re-invigorating. The Collective is what you need to do. You don’t even need premises. Just sub-let a desk in a soho office (with a meeting room you can book) where a good admin person answers the phone/email, does the books and keeps track of The Team’s whereabouts and diaries. James Caan literally rented a cupboard in someone’s office in Mayfair, just for the address, and took potential clients to The Ritz for meetings. I digress.

    Structure and continuity is an issue, but it’s the people in the team and their experience that will win work, the rest is just logistics.

    Oh, and doing The Collective thing means that you can dabble in all of the above.

    • Sophie
    • February 5th, 2010

    I have tried something like that I thought with my old company… but being early days, it also involved training for the creative folks new to the web.

    I would be interested to continue to hear about the idea. I am family girl too now and only just getting back into the grove. After a couple of voluntary projects, I am working on my first lead since baby was born. I will keep you posted if i need to put a team together.

  4. I’d be keen to see this actually happen and work. We’ve been talking about this kind of entity before, we’ve seen a zillion 360 degree/media-neutral/collective type set-ups emerge, only to put their money where their mouth is and end up producing ads. I don’t assume that you want to do ads, digital or not.
    So what would you do differently, what would it take in terms of not regressing into doing the standard stuff, what kind of people would it take, what kinds of clients would it take to do this – which I genuinely would like to see happen?

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