The history of 2930 Creative is both the same and completely different from other agencies. It’s the same in the fact that both Chris and Carly, when starting the company, believed they could do something better and that they had something unique to offer. It’s different because of the way they did it. From the get go, 2930 Creative was a place run by creatives to deliver innovative solutions in a digital world. To paraphrase Obi Wan, 2930 Creative was a creative solution for a more civilized age.
One of the things I most admired from 2930 Creative even before I had the privilege to join was how little they were interested in doing what was expected. For the longest time, we didn’t even have an office. Is that a badge of pride or an admission of where we were as a fledgling company? Why can’t it be both? We were proud that we were scrappy, clawing our way up out of a single bedroom apartment into a multi-room suite in downtown Dallas. As Chris would call it later, we were punk rock.
And we still are punk rock; however, maybe we’ve learned some lessons from the licks we’ve received over the years. We’re not the Sex Pistols anymore, kicking amps over and heckling the hecklers. Over the years, we’ve discovered the institutions that other agencies have can benefit us—as long as we do them our own way. For example, for the longest time, we didn’t want a dedicated account manager because we thought that would hamper the creativity. Creatives first! Anarchy in the UK! Then we discovered that we do need a buffer, as long as it’s the right buffer. We brought Holly on because she understood creatives. It was still punk rock, but closer to something like The Offspring circa 2010s. (Hopefully everyone knows their punk rock history)
The one thing that will never change is our dedication to creativity and our commitment to constantly innovating. That leads me to the whole thesis of the blog post (and hell yes my thesis is in the fourth paragraph! Rhetoric punk rock!). We are embracing the fact that we are the anti-agency. Whereas so many agencies in Dallas and beyond are chasing trends, we want to be the ones with the finger on the pulse. When a new social network rolls out, you better believe we’ll be one of the first adopters. We want to be fearless in our experimentation so when we approach clients we can create solutions for them with confidence.
The simple act of an agency putting out its own content makes us the anti-agency. Look around the creative agency space. Who is producing their own content? Our detractors might claim that we can make regular content for our own brand because we don’t have enough business. Jokes on them, though: we are able to do this because we hustle around the clock. 8 hour work days? We work until the job is done. There are an untold number of conversations in our Slack channel between me and Chris dated after 1 am. We do what we need to. We schlep our own gear.
We have a number of surprises going forward as an agency. Internally, we are restructuring and evaluating what works and what we can do better. We did this last year and realized we needed to put a greater focus on videos and it worked wonders for us. We’re doing the same thing this year, and we’ll do this again and again into the future. Like punk rock itself, we might lose some of our rough edges, but we’re never going to lose the basic DNA that makes us who we are. We might play with sound levels but you better believe we’re going to be rocking power chords.
Yes, life might be easier for us if we conform. We could fall in line with everyone else. But that’s not the history of punk rock. That’s not the crazy creatives that started a business in their apartment, a business that has grown year after year by double digits. That’s not who we are. We’re the anti-agency. We’re 2930 Creative—and we’re not going anywhere.
Josh Duke is the director of content for 2930 Creative and believes that smash is the way you deal with your life.