1 year in and we're still working it out

We recently turned one. Which seems as good a reason as any to look back on our first 12 months at For The People.

(This review of the year lives on Medium, but you can read a taster below).

Slackbot tells me we’re now 14 people. Which is surprising, because I’ve been telling everyone recently that we’re an agency of 12. Xero tells me we’ve worked with 38 different clients. We’ve used Trello, Evernote, Slack, Float and heaps of Post-it Notes and still feel a lot less organised than we probably should be. We ‘live’ in a house that can probably fit 20 people, but that’s already starting to feel crowded  —  and we have to stay in it for another 18 months. We managed to buy thousands of dollars of European furniture for literally hundreds. We have a dog, who just recently had a rather bad belly… but on the whole is great to have around. 

We’ve been to Melbourne, Hobart and soon the Blue Mountains on trips away. We’ve played team Dungeons & Dragons. We’ve debated the merits of Halo, and the deficiencies of Xbox’s UX. We’ve fell in and out of love with cafes, sugar and cider. 

We have an awesome team. At times it can feel a bit too male (which is something to address), but the diversity of interests, skill-sets and opinions means that coming to work is never dull. We have Experience and Digital Designers, Graphic and Motion Designers, Engineers (although one of them recently called himself a ‘Creative Technologist’), a Storyteller, a Podcast Editor and a Marketer.

It means that at any one point in time we may be described as Product Designers, Brand Consultants, Digital Consultants, PR Consultants, Storytellers, Go-To-Market Strategists. 

The story about the blind man and the elephant seems to fit with our situation perfectly. 

This means we’re still working it out. And I think we’re completely okay with that. We’ve worked out far more in the last 12 months than we had this time last year.

To read more about what we've worked out and what we still have left to solve, you can find the full post here on Medium.

Challenges For The Creative Industry - Jason & Andy At The Design Conference By Analogue Digital

Earlier in the year, Andy and Jason were asked to keynote The Design Conference by Analogue Digital at the Powerhouse in Brisbane. Matt Haynes (mastermind of the conference) asked us to tell the story of For The People and why we started the company.

After a brief personal history, we set out to summarise some of the forces facing businesses today. Things like the ongoing debate about people vs technology and how 47% of our roles will be replaced by robots in 2020. And our own take on the technology revolution (that you can't have it until you have a people one first).

In our industry, we're very much aware of how the overarching dynamics are forcing the change (that's why we set-up after all). The move to more contemporary, adaptive business models, having skin in the game and creating environments that people want to be a part of, for reasons beyond getting paid. 

We finished with some of our own forays into making the change. Putting our money where our mouth is and creating new ways of working with clients - and a shameless plug for 'By The People' – our podcast documenting every step of our own start-up journey.

If you get the chance to go to The Design Conference by Analogue Digital in the future - take it. It is definitely one of the best conferences we've ever been to. 

Photographer: Callie Marshall 

Photographer: Callie Marshall 


The Misallocation Of Creative Juice - Joel Brydon At Vivid Ideas

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Rounding out our event at Vivid Ideas, was special guest, Joel Brydon. Joel is the Studio Lead at ustwo, here in Sydney. If you haven't heard of ustwo before you can thank them for such gifts to the iPhone as Monument Valley or their collaborative efforts in developing watch faces for Android Wear. Like Alex (in the previous talk), Joel shares our views in believing there must be a fresher, better way to bring products to market in a digital world. 

Joel passionately laid down his views on the state of the marketing and advertising agency landscape in Australia. This was driven by 4 hard truths. Truths that we also believe need to be adopted in a new world of client-agency relationships and building products that truly connect with the rest of the world. The air turned blue, but the insights were sharp and true.

Please comment below or share and debate with us on Twitter (@forthepeopleau).


The Industrious Dropout - Alex Chung at Vivid Ideas

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Following Damian at Vivid Ideas was Alex Chung

Alex has an impressive resumé. He recently returned to Australia after a number of years in New York with Big Spaceship and Undercurrent. Not shy with his opinions, Alex challenged the audience to think about how happy they really were in their day jobs and why the pace of change in Australia needs to step it up a gear.

And who's responsibility is it? All of ours... If you can't do it in your day job - DROP OUT.

Subscribe for updates below or follow us on Twitter for the rest of the talks and more in the coming weeks.

Damian Talks Dinosaurs And Unicorns At Vivid Ideas

 

A few months ago, we formally launched in Sydney at Vivid Ideas. Our event, The Startup Revolution, challenged people to break with tradition and the need to defend what you have. At For The People, we're fascinated, inspired and lucky enough to work with a number of great startups, in both Australia and overseas. It's these businesses and leaders that have thrown out the dusty old textbooks and have started writing their own rule books for how the world should work.

But, are the dinosaurs destined for extinction? And do unicorns really exist?

First off the blocks was our Co-Founder Damian Borchok, setting the tone with the upcoming fight between dinosaurs, unicorns and how technology and people are disrupting the way we do business.

Subscribe for updates below or follow us on Twitter for the rest of the talks and more in the coming weeks.

Damian Borchok On Dinosaurs vs Unicorns at Vivid Ideas in Sydney, 2015

Vivid Update - Saturday 30 May - Final Speaker Lineup

We're very excited to announce the complete lineup for our talk at Vivid Ideas on Saturday 30 May. Joining us along with Alex Chung from Undercurrent is Joel Brydon, the Sydney lead for ustwo, the dreamers and doers behind the infamous Monument Valley.

Join us at 9am (sorry it's early!) to hear all about the following:

  1. Technology and people are recoding the way business should be done - Damian Borchok, For The People
  2. Culture inside the heart of Silicon Valley vs the heart of Wall Street - Alexander Chung, Author and Strategist (formerly of Undercurrent, New York)
  3. Business needs partners and investors, not agencies - Joel Brydon, ustwo
  4. Q&A Panel - The event will end with plenty of Q&A opportunities from a panel never short of an opinion or three - including For The People (Damian Borchok, Andy Wright and Jason Little) with guests Alexander Chung and Joel Brydon.

Get your tickets - early bird offer still available.

For The People at Vivid Sydney

It's event time again. Having spoken about the For The People journey at Pause Fest in Melbourne, we're on the trail again. This time, we've been lucky enough to be awarded a spot at the upcoming Vivid Festival in Sydney.

The Startup Revolution: The Reinvention Of Business Through Technology, Culture And Design is a topic close to our hearts right now based on various conversations, client experiences and experiments in the agency over the last few months.

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Every industry you look at today is being disrupted. Some more rapidly than others. If you have a car, you’re a potential taxi driver; a spare room, a hotelier; and a spare $5,000, a bank. It’s a world where control is being handed to the people. And leading the way are startups with big ideas, smart technology and a whole heap of common sense.

That's what we're focusing on. We've also teamed up with a recent friend Alex Chung. An incredible thought leader, strategist and Silicon Valley commentator who's arrived back in Australia after 7 years at Undercurrent in New York.

You can find out more at the Vivid site and take advantage of the Early Bird Ticket offer.

Date: Saturday 30th May

Time: 09:00 - 11:00

Location: Museum Of Contemporary Art, Circular Quay, Sydney

Why not stay for the whole day and also book in for Tractor's 'Digital Design At A Crossroads' and AGDA's 'Work In Progress - The Value Of Always-On Projects'.

If you'd like to know what we talked about at Vivid last year you can watch Jason and Andy's talks from the Adapt Or Die event.

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We're launching at Pause Fest

We've been busy. And elusive. Over the last 4 months we've been working out who we are, what we're about and what we should be doing. In Melbourne, at Australia's answer to SXSW, we're going to reveal all. 

Starting a business is quite a challenge. So rather than launch with a huge sales pitch for what we can do for everyone, we thought it only right to share some of the trials and tribulations of the last few months. 

Join us at the ACMI Cube at 15:30 on Sunday 15 February and we'll share our motivations for making the leap and starting our own business, what it's like to hear what everyone in your business thinks of you, why more furniture showrooms should be used as offices and, why it's so much harder selling yourself than your clients.

See you there!