Arts & Entertainment, Business, Science & Tech

How to Start an Agency, Specifically This One

Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein

Lesson time 10:39 min

To close, Jeff and Rich explain the importance of cultivating a company culture that embraces freedom and encourages forgiveness so your team can do their best work.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Make the Inside Like the Outside • Create a Culture of Humor and Forgiveness • Foster a Company of Makers


[MUSIC PLAYING] JEFF GOODBY: How to start an agency, specifically this one? - Rule number one, don't start it unless you trust the person next to you. - - I trust him with my life. He gets me. I get him. That's a good start. - You'll learn more than that. - [MUSIC PLAYING] Goodby, Silverstein is complicated. It's many things. It's personalities. It's heart. It's intelligence. It's storytelling. It's humor. Oh my god. It's not an advertising agency. It's about how do we communicate to people. - It's an opportunity for people to communicate things that they think and feel about the world. And we do use those things for commercial purposes, obviously. But I think that the most important thing is that they actually are true and they connect to people on the outside. If it just happened here and it was just inside this place, I don't think it would be the same. We talk about that a lot here. We talk about the inside reflecting the outside. How is the inside like the outside? So we try to have a diverse staff. We have-- half of our partners are women. That made a really big difference in our company-- half of the partners are women-- and our productivity went up like crazy. I think one of the other important things here, besides pointing out that the inside is like the outside, is that we celebrate the people that are here. You can see, there are beautiful pictures of our people and the dogs that are here, frankly. We have 42 dogs in the office every day. And that, I think, adds a lot to the casual kind of feeling of what we do here, and strangely, helps the creativity. When clients come here, it's on California Street. There are cable cars in front of it. It's on a big hill. It's exactly what you think San Francisco's supposed to look like. And that's actually been a really positive thing for us. [MUSIC PLAYING] Forgiveness is important to creative work, because we're all insecure people. The thing that makes you a creative person, I think, is a certain openness about life. And openness, often, you make mistakes when you're too open. You blurt things out. You do silly things. Many times we're dealing with people that are eccentric, you know? And they make mistakes. And you have to be able to forgive those people. - You have to set up a place where you can be open enough to say something that is kind of silly or stupid or wrong, and people go, "Oh, OK," and we move on. It's not a corporate environment. I can't imagine what that feels like. I can't imagine being afraid of what to say. No one should be afraid of saying anything in this company. - And we have structure. I think whenever we've had a problem, it's usually when somebody was too passionate, and believed in something too deeply, and forced it on a bunch of other people, you know, made a scene at a shoot, made a scene at a meeting, was too forceful, too aggressive. - But you know, on the other hand, we are so resp...

About the Instructor

As the minds behind the “got milk?” campaign, the Budweiser lizards, and countless other ads that have permeated pop culture, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein never stop reimagining the possibilities of advertising. Now they’re sharing how they make the beautiful and edgy work that’s seen by millions. Learn how to come up with great ideas, tell funny and compelling stories, and dazzle at your next pitch or presentation.

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Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein

Advertising icons Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein teach you how to break rules, change minds, and create the best work of your life.

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