The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

No, not the epic Spaghetti Western starring Clint Eastwood. No bandits, no gunslingers. No buried treasure. So what are we talking about here? The New York Creative Group meetup

We’re talking about the theme of The New York Creative Group’s next meetup – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Life as an Agency Creative Director. It’s being held in midtown Manhattan on Monday, November 18th. And instead of the Man with No Name, we’ve put together a panel of NYC Creative Directors with solid names in the business:

  • Jim Christie, Founder at Small & Curious; previously Worldwide Creative Director at Adobe and SVP Creative, Digitas, NY
  • Augusta Duffey, Executive Creative Director at Gannett; Board Member at VCU Brandcenter (previously at Euro RSCG, Digitas, Ogilvy, IBM)
  • Andre Mohr, Creative Director at frog (previously at AOL, Microsoft)
  • Jason Napolitano, Creative Director at Fjord (previously at AOL, Samsung, Bozell)
  • Peter Nicholson, Executive Creative Director at McKinney (previously at JWT, Deutsch, Publicis, Goodby)

I’ll be moderating the panel, drawing on my previous experience as a principal at an interactive agency and the Digital Media Practice Lead at Adobe Consulting to facilitate an interactive discussion in which these leaders will share their stories and experiences. By the end of the evening, these agency insiders will have painted a vivid picture of how the advertising industry really works.

Join us and hear:

  • What it's “really” like to be a Creative Director
  • The relevant skill sets for being an effective Creative Director
  • The areas of design you should master
  • What relevant trends are affecting the industry

We know how lively discussion can spur a good appetite, so CreativeWorx will be providing the pizza, beer and other beverages. Come enjoy, network and leave with some insights that could make a difference in your career!

To register for the event and learn more about The New York Creative Group, click here. And don’t forget to invite your colleagues and friends….we love a good crowd!

CreativeWorx is proud to sponsor The New York Creative Group….and to be the leading provider of cloud-based time capture, timesheet and productivity solutions for the creative services industry.

Ad Industry luminaries invest in CreativeWorx

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.” So wrote English author Izaak Walton. This week, CreativeWorx was in excellent company as we announced that seven advertising industry visionaries had invested in our organization. As CreativeWorx moves forward in its ground-breaking work of developing a new class of productivity tools for professional services companies, initially advertising agencies, we’re excited to be making the journey in the company of advertising industry leaders who have all been innovators at the intersection of advertising and technology.

These seven advertising veterans bring with them not only significant industry experience but also strong track records as transformational figures:

Jon Bond, an industry pioneer who co-founded Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners (now part of MDC), the ad agency credited with developing the first word-of-mouth marketing model and the first fully integrated agency with a single P&L structure. Today, Bond holds the title of Chief Tomorroist at Tomorro LLC, a “value accelerator” with interests in companies focused on the marketing technology and digital media sectors.

Joe Burton, a thought leader who was global COO of two of the world’s largest agency networks – McCann Worldgroup and OgilvyOne Worldwide (WPP) – prior to becoming an entrepreneur in the social and digital media space. Burton was President of SocialChorus, a SAAS technology platform and marketing services company, before recently becoming President of Headspace, a technology subscription business that combines science and technology to reduce anxiety and improve quality of life in the workplace.

Linda Holliday, a serial entrepreneur, digital media expert, advisor, angel investor and adjunct faculty in the Masters Design Entrepreneurship program at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. Holliday recently founded Citia, a software start-up whose SaaS platform enables medium to large scale enterprises and media companies to more effectively redistribute business content to web, native and especially social and mobile flows. Prior to Citia, Holliday founded and sold MBC (now Digitas Health), a digital design and communications firm.

Sameer Jagetia and Paul Sethi, who are principals of REDBOOKS, the most comprehensive, up-to-date business development and intelligence tool in the advertising and media industry, as well as active angel investors, with early through growth stage investments in the US, Asia and Europe.

Laurel Touby, who got her start as a media planner at Young & Rubicam before going on to become founder and CEO of mediabistro.com, building its database via word of mouth to more than 2 million media professionals worldwide who subscribe to a popular array of educational seminars, conferences, events, forums and industry blogs. Today, Touby is an investor/advisor to B2B startups with a SaaS business model and serves as a TechStars mentor.

Paul Woolmington, a champion of innovative and disruptive thinking, who held global leadership positions at Young & Rubicam and Ammirati Puris Lintas before co-founding the forward-thinking agency/consultancy Naked Communications Americas. Today, Woolmington brings the same traits that won him a place on Fast Company magazine’s 2010 list of top 10 most creative people in marketing services to his role as an entrepreneur and investor in the media, advertising, digital, marketing and communications industry.

What motivated these investors? In the words of Joe Burton, “With transformation in the professional services industry being driven by big data and rapid insights, ad agencies and other creative services firms can’t afford to run on the three-month data delays that were once typical. Mark Hirsch and his team at CreativeWorx understand that and have developed innovative solutions that help these organizations run better on an automated basis in an increasingly complex environment.”

We’re proud to have developed TimeTracker, the first automatic time capture solution tailored for the creative services sector. The CreativeWorx open platform provides advertising agencies and other professional services organizations with the real-time operational visibility and analytics they need to continuously improve their profitability.

And there are more great solutions to come as CreativeWorx works hard to retain its title as the leading provider of cloud-based time capture, timesheet and productivity solutions for the creative services industry.

It’s a journey we’ll make in outstanding company.

Why CreativeWorx? Why TimeTracker?

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On April 1, I walked away from a career at Adobe.  I loved it there.  It’s a fantastic company and a great place to work, highlighted by the annual rankings in Fortune and other publications.  Adobe has incredibly brilliant and talented employees, many of whom I call my friends.

So why did I leave?

I’ve been asked that question many times by my family and friends...after having asked that of myself.  Why leave such a tremendous organization?  Though it was difficult to leave my colleagues, ultimately, it was an easy decision.

Simon Sinek presented an inspirational TED Talk (based on his book ‘Start with Why’) that gave me some insights.  It’s a great 18 minute talk.  If you have a chance, I strongly encourage you to watch it.

I believe that employees are frustrated by corporate systems and inefficient processes. Everyone has some horrible war story about time-consuming, unproductive processes they endure simply to do their job.  I certainly have my share.

I also believe these inefficient processes can be eliminated - and the benefits for doing so will be tremendous:

  • Improve quality of life for employees

  • Increase productivity by enabling employees to focus on what they do best

  • Increase company profitability

In hindsight, I realize that each of the software companies for which I had worked previously was focused on streamlining operations for a particular business.

My calling is different.  Looking back at my high school and college years:

  • I developed tools to help developers be more efficient

  • I developed office scheduling and payment systems for dental offices on an Apple III

  • I developed a dBASE solution that helped the Finance Department of ITT move away from Lotus 1-2-3 so that they could automate reports and handle larger volumes of data.

In 1999, I founded and ran a company that provided automation tools for the production departments of advertising agencies, broadcasters and Fortune 1000 companies.

It was always about seamlessly leveraging technology to create efficiencies. And it still is.

So to answer my friends & family: I saw an opportunity...an opportunity to make a difference.  A huge difference.  An opportunity to make the world a better place for employees who are frustrated by the often burdensome processes associated with big corporate systems.  Systems from SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, Tibco, Peoplesoft, Salesforce and more.  Systems that developed organically over the years.

Our vision is simple: We want to eliminate those frustrating inefficient processes.

We’re starting with the service professionals who need to capture and report their time.  CreativeWorx has developed a patent-pending solution that elegantly and privately automates this process for the individual.

We have an extraordinary team of super smart people who like each other.  They don’t just like working together, but actually like each other.  I can’t tell you which is more true: that they’re smart or that they like each other...but I’ve learned over the years that both are critical to long-term success.

And, the CreativeWorx team extends beyond our employees.  Our investors and advisors are impressive people as well.  From captains of industry to former ad agency founders, Presidents and COOs, we’ve got tremendous expertise to solve the problems at hand.  But rather than rave here about our amazing investors, let me save that for a future blog.

Coming back full circle, the answer to “Why CreativeWorx?” is simple.  Standing in front of us is an incredible opportunity to change the world for the better...and we’ve assembled the right people to achieve that vision.  I’m thrilled to be leading the charge, but certainly appreciate that there’s a full team of talented people making this happen.  Stay tuned...there’s so much more!

It’s time to embrace technology to empower professionals to focus on what they do best.  Our mission is to enable extraordinary productivity gains - both for the individual and the organization - by simplifying everyone’s work life.

Keep an eye on our blogs for more about this.  And launching next week is our new blog series: CreativeWorx Countdown to Success, a blend of insights and advice that we hope you’ll find both thought-provoking and useful.  Please let us know how we’re doing!