{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m running an indie advertising company with no backers or investors at all; we can’t afford senior or talented people because of this. The objective is to keep my company free to make brave choices without the burden of responsibilities to the investors or networks. I want to achieve what Wieden + Kennedy has achieved. Any tips or suggestion on what is the important things I should do to make my little shop can have the same badassery as W+K?", "post_id": "6057ee510d9401002a6cc9df", "reply_count": 51, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }
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Have you read up on the history of W+K? I'd highly recommend it. Shoot, maybe even reach out to Dan Wieden. Or David Kennedy? First off, they didn't get badass without talented people. They hired a couple of younger, eager people. Some of the earliest employees were folks they had worked with at their previous gig (see: Susan Hoffman). And that says a lot about Mr. Wieden and Mr. Kennedy. People wanted to work for them. Even though they were not famous ad royalty, yet. Second off, they didn't start out badass. They started out tiny. They took on a nothing business, a tiny little client that could barely pay them anything. It was a new shoe company that had no real idea what it was doing. And then they focused on doing great work. With the people they had. The good people that wanted to work with them because they knew them and liked them. Also, worth reading. The Rules: http://wklondon.com/2008/08/rules/

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Thanks for the book recommendation GCD 3.

Here’s some data I’ve always found fascinating that came out of a study done of the most award winning advertising agencies. 80% of their overall work is just as transactional as everyone else’s. Make sure the logo is correct and put everything through proofreading. 20% was considered better than that. This work was more conceptual, more disruptive and/or achieved a significant business objective and press. This is what you build your agency reel with and make case studies from. 20% of that 20%, or just 4% of the agency’s total output is where they win all of their awards. 80/20/20. Identify the last two 20’s early. Dedicate extra resources in the form of freelance or your best FT’s to those assignments and you can become Wieden. Sounds easy. Only problem is figuring out which assignments have the best chance at becoming one of those 20% pieces.

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Thanks for the insight; it's similar to what I do regarding the 80/20 theory.

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As a CEO/owner of an indie/small shop, first you have to know where YOUR time is best spent vs where money is spent. Whatever your company output is, are you leading that charge? Was the company started based on the work you’ve done or simply the desire to start and run an ad agency? It’s a little hard to give advice without knowing where you fit in the picture.

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