The Chaos of the Ad Industry. What’s your move?

Episode six of our podcast Builders. Jules Ehrhardt goes deep at Betaworks Studios.

Jules is a former owner of digital product agency UsTwo. He ran the New York office for a long time before taking some time off last year to think about the industry and what might be a new way to harness creativity for brands.

Jules at Betaworks Studios with his wall of provocations.

He has written two incredibly well thought out (and long) pieces on the state of the industry under the ‘State of the Digital Nation’ title. In the first piece he talks about the consolidation that has taken place over the last few years. Basically, big boring Management Consultancy and Accounting firms buying up cool and cute little design shops. Read the first article here.

In the second piece he looks more closely at the relationship between creativity and capital. He looks at startups, VCs and new ways of funding creativty — which ladders up to his new idea: a Creative Capital Studio called Factory. Read this second piece here.

But for those of you who don’t have a spare three hours to read the articles (and you really should!) we are happy to give you the best of Jules in a handy podcast. Take a listen right here or on any of your favourtite podcasting platforms.

For this talk Jules does a quick synopsis of the two articles and what he is thinking about for the future.

He talks about what the consoildation actually means for working creatives:

“Has anyone ever done work and had it presented by a commercial person, not yourself. And got feedback. How does that feel? Good or Bad. Shit. Right, Shit. Imagine that on steroids at a management consultancy or a global fucking accountancy firm.”

Jules then shares some more personal thoughts about working in a creative environment.

I truly believe there are only five hours of creativity in a human being in a day.
If you embrace that fact that you are only going to get about 4 or 5 hours of juice out of the orange, then there is no fucking logic in squeezing the orange and getting the pith and breaking the orange cos you won’t have the orange the next day.

This episode then leads to what might happen in the future. You’ll hear discussions about the ways agencies should be paid — for thought, not time. But also how that might change when venture is involved. Could a venture backed agency work just for equity? We’ve seen some people do this, both Anomaly and Red Antler are successful examples of working for equity but they were not set up that way from the start.

Holy trifectas Batman!

Jules calls this concept the Creative Capital Studio. He explains a little bit about how this might work and what he is doing with his recently launched agency: Factory.

Take a listen. As always this was a lively discussion that was fantastic in person. Thank you to Tina Yip and her group STRTGST for pulling the event together.

If you are a member then you’ll see Jules in the Betaworks Studios club space, so make sure you say hi. If you’re not a member, you’re missing out. Click here for all the info including the calendar for all our latest events. Or contact me for a day pass.

This episode is part of the Builders Podcast, the second podcast from Betaworks. Each episode is a live recording of sessions from the studio. You can subscribe to the whole series here. So far we have had excellent sessions on building experiences for instagram, designing for blockchain, Jaron Lanier on why you should delete your social media account and authors Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans speaking about their excellent book, New Power.

We’ll have more episodes out very soon. Until then, happy listenting and happy building.

The Studios Team.