That I’d be where I am today
I never could’ve predicted that Sphere would be the success it has been – or even that it would still exist. It’s crazy to think, but back in 1998, I started the business with just $1000 while I was still living with my parents. Despite having no staff and no clients, I took out a $23,000 a year lease on an office. There’s nothing like blind optimism!
How far the internet has come
When Sphere started, there was no Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. In fact, I didn’t even have a Sphere email address until about a year after opening. The rise of social media allowed us the freedom to move budgets away from mass media that was very expensive at the time, such as TV. I can still remember the buzz I’d feel in the early days when you’d go out into the real world and realise that people actually knew exactly what the brand was up to and what it was doing online. It was a sign we were dealing with a powerful new media.
The level of competition in the industry
In many ways, this is a brutal industry. The competition between agencies is intense, so it’s no wonder that so many fail. For example, I can’t think of many other industries where businesses would be willing to pitch for free in the way this industry does. I believe the pitching process is rarely the best way of selecting an agency – but the competitive nature of the industry means that I can’t 100% rule out pitching for work.
It’s already become boring to talk about AI, but just like the internet transformed the industry (and the world), so too will AI. It would be reasonable to fear that change, but I choose to embrace it. Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learnt in my career is you never stop learning. You need to keep evolving.
Working from home
Speaking of evolving, I’ve had to evolve my opinion on working from home. I love having everyone in the office. I think it makes work easier and is the best way to build agency culture. That said, I’ve come to accept that a little bit of flexibility is good. We’ve made sure we have systems in place so that people can work from home when they feel the need. Of course, I like the fact that most days, we have our full team in the office, by their own choice.Write a comment