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September 09, 2010


Matt Daniels

Incredible presentation John. But I would have expected the research point to be on the startup side. If anything, you'd have to believe that more legitimate customer research is executed by startups than agencies, especially in creative development. Agencies are even close to touching the amount of feedback and iteration coming from startups. And it's unheard of for agencies to even consider tools like 5secondtest, crazyegg, customer development (a la Steve Blank), etc.


Great deck. Really impressive stuff.

I can relate to where you coming from. I'm also a Fine Art grad that did the .com start ups before going agency side and running digital departments. I think we might even have had a client in common out of Houston.

If you're ever in San Francisco let me know. It would be great to swap stories.

Phoebe T. Anderson

Great piece to ponder about, seriously, both from the Silicon and Madison side...
East meets West equals greater talent collaboration and blending, leading to more cost-effective, quality and productive services and overall yield to companies served.

Matt Daniels

I really like this presentation. Awesome stuff.

I've had a chance to really read your deck a couple times now. I've found that I disagree, however, with some of the lessons for startups from the big agencies.

To think that a start-up should be worrying about building a brand equity and awareness, consideration, preference, etc. seems like such a waste of resources for a team of <10. Obviously, once they exit the startup model of building a product and discovering a business model, branding begins to make sense as the company scales. Again, same thing with advertising (and what's the deal with using Zappos as a startup analog?).

Now research obviously begins to make sense--but it's in such a different context within agencies. Research in a startup is about discovering customer needs and validating your product. In an agency, however, it's much closer to positioning an existing product with the right communications.

A totally separate idea--startups, being nimble and able to really try anything, are a source of incredible ideas, from strategies to tactics. The really breakthrough digital marketing stuff is going to come from the startups of the world, not the agencies in their recommendations to large companies.


Matt - Great point about the difference in research between startups and agencies.

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