Why I Started Speakeasy

Look around. You can feel it. Platforms are either ruling the industry you’re in (i.e. Uber in transportation, AirBnb in hospitality), or are emerging as a powerful threat (i.e. Houzz in home construction and remodeling, Honeybook in wedding and event planning). It makes sense. In every marketplace, matching has always been one of the biggest problems. Now, platforms are solving this problem. As the digital marketplace grows there is an explosion in the supply of, well, everything. And, it’s hard for anyone on the demand-side to know how to tap into this powerful digital surplus.

In the marketing world, it’s not a new problem. In fact, I’ve been writing about co-creation since 2003 with Beyond the Brand. In it I imagined, “In this new era, beyond the brand, it is the creative citizens — the people and the brands — that will survive and thrive by co-creating from the bottom-up.” The thing was the ecosystem hadn’t developed to the point where platforms could exist and solve problems for brands. Now, it’s possible and with the estimate of 40% of the US workforce being freelance by 2020, it’s only natural that talent platforms will thrive.

I’ve been on a quest for a long time, pursuing the vision I had back in 2003, starting with Radar Communications, then having some amazing co-conspirators along the way, from Alex Bogusky at CP+B to Claudia Batten and Evan Fry at Victors & Spoils and, of course, David Jones at Havas. In all of those cases these partners pushed me to refine and redefine the vision of open systems or platforms as the basis for a global talent network in the advertising, marketing and media space. While we learned a lot, we were just too early.

This time, I think we might have gotten it right, including timing. Welcome to Speakeasy. We’re a tech-lead platform of top experts and talent that are matched with brands and agencies. We provide a new, easier way to answer questions and to get projects done. We’re not an agency, research consultancy or recruiter, we’re an open platform to help agencies, brands, and ad-tech companies match talent to task.

We’re on a journey at Speakeasy to figure out how platforms can change how we connect to people and get work done, always testing new and different ways. Check it out, www.speakeasyguild.com. Join us and embrace the platform revolution.

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