Think Big

The journey to create a successful creative agency… I’ve been down this road 4 times since 2005… with moderate success, but never really finding that BIG win.

My first attempt was REBELUTIONS… a grassroots branding company.  We found some success by servicing clients like Sprite, Nissan, ESPN and various record labels.  We also carved out a great local niche by executing grassroots promotional campaigns for various local brands like NBAF, Hands On Atlanta and the Alliance Theatre.  Eventually, some energies differed and we never found the BIG fish that would allow us to focus 100% on developing the company.

Then I launched Juice Bar Creative.  I went solo with this one, and started out offering my graphic design and web development skills to local businesses.  At the time, more and more agencies were going digital, and the project made sense.  I eventually found enough work to delegate gigs to other designers and developers… so I built a team.  It was DOPE… and fun.  But again, no BIG project came along to make the dream really real.

Next was HERO.  HERO went from being HERO Creative to HERO Interactive to the 360 HERO.  It was a loose partnership between an awesome marketing professional, an experienced engagement specialist, a dope software engineer and me (whatever I am).  And we got some wins… again.  Clients like AARP, Kodak, Smirnoff and the Source magazine, to name a few.  But the direction wasn’t clear… and the team wasn’t on the same page, most of the time.  It just couldn’t and wouldn’t work.

And after that came #APT3115 (aka Apartment 3115)… a digital product development team that became a full-service digital agency focused on “urban tech”.  Our niche was developing tech and digital properties for clients with a focus on the multi-cultural audience.  It was a dope experiment that I learned a lot from.  And my business partner went on to launch a dope tech-dev team.  We actually landed a few BIG fish clients, but I don’t think the tech world was ready for us… and we weren’t ready to win.

I went back to the drawing board… and my long-time business partner, Bem Joiner, and I came up with this… The Tomorrows.  We saw three holes in the business and entertainment worlds… 1. the agency model was dying, 2. the record label model and artist development model was suffering and 3. everything was going digital.  Seeing the BIG picture allowed us to create this unique entity… not an agency, a collective… an extended team that provides a lot of services… essentially, we are “the connect”… to everything.  And this is going to be BIG!


– Ian Ford

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