Been on the road the last few days screening “After the Factory” in New Orleans and Austin tonight. We’ve been having some good conversations– in NOLA, particularly about looking at the devastation via Katrina and how folks from Detroit/NOLA can learn from each other in there ability to see through the struggle. Powerful stuff. Tonight will be great to have another film added to the bill in “Lemonade: Detroit”, directed by Erik Proulx. Next week we’re in Boston (MIT!) and NYC (see all the dates here). As I move along via trains and planes, I can’t help but think about coming home and getting back to work– in a good way.
DL! has been growing up these days. What started with creative work doing projects of our own (t-shirts, murals, films, etc) has morphed in to a situation where now people are coming to us to design stuff for them. I kind of like to think of DL! these days as a creative agency and social brand. We’ve grown a ton in the last 4 months or so taking on about 300% more work than we did last year. That’s pretty cool. And it’s leading to us being able to take bigger steps in the community which is obviously important– like building that race car track for the kids at the Georgia Street Community Garden.
But all I can think about is more! MORE! How can we continue to grow, to be inventive with the way we blur the lines between a traditional creative agency and a social brand. The next step of course is getting space– an office. And all I can think about is how we can put a refresher on the traditional agency model whereby it’s not just strictly production space where we make films for clients. What if it has some sort of user-generated component? What if it had a cafe attached to it with a performance space like 1515 Broadway? What if it became a hacker space where people could dissect content from pieces we developed to fuel their own projects across a variety of disciplines? What if the “office” became some form of a new-wave civic center pairing traditional consumer behavior (buying/selling) with philanthropy (commoditizing goodness)? At the end of the day, how can we create a valuable retail and experiential model abutted to that of a traditional ad agency? I know some of this stuff is vague, and slightly unclear. But that’s by design.
Stay tuned. How will DL! grow up and stay relevant by refreshing the way we do business and perhaps inventing a new “system” for others? I ask all these questions so that all of you can hold me accountable for moving forward with it down the road. And if you’ve got some thoughts– give me a jingle.
See you in Austin tonight if you can make it for the screening of “After the Factory” and “Lemonade: Detroit.” Tickets and info on the event (tonight, 7pm) here.