Iíve had quite the ride with Cult Collective. Weíve transformed brands and grown a legendary annual marketing conference. And now my business partner, Chris Kneeland, and I have uncovered a new working model that I have got to put all of my attention into if I am ever going to realize its full potential as a global force. Thatís why I am officially stepping down as President of Cult Collective to spearhead this new venture called Communo.
I am officially stepping down as President of Cult Collective to spearhead a new venture called Communo.
Communo is a work model ecosystem created for craftspeople and agencies alike. Not too many opportunities come along in this world that foster both. Itís happening now, and itís the future. Iíve sung the praises of this member-driven, talent-sourcing concept before, encouraging people to try a swig of the Communo Kool-Aid that Iím downing full time now.
Success Was Not Enough
Too much comfort makes me edgy. Iím a guy who walks around on the very tips of my toes. Anxiety and unease are unpleasant, but I also seek them out. It’s a sickness really. But one I embrace.
Some may say itís shortsighted of me to leave Cult, because the agency turns a sizeable profit and works with some of the biggest and bravest brands in the world. Weíve worked hard to develop best practices that benefit our clients as well as our internal culture, but I was uncomfortable in my comfort of the known.
Maybe itís the dad in me that sees the world from a new perspective since becoming a father. Perhaps the shift happened when I turned forty. Iím a little more sensitive than I used to be. I could even use the word, ďmature.Ē Maybe!
I still stand behind Cultís mandate, 100 percent. Chris and I built our leading engagement agency from the ground up. From ZERO! With a team of ridiculously talented men and women who are still kicking ass. And while Cult has undoubtedly helped many businesses turn their destinies around, I found myself looking for something that could touch more people and impact change on a bigger scale, and not just at the C-suite level here in North America. It was time for me to move away from simply making a dollar toward making a difference.
From that desire to reach more people, Communo emerged.
Iím scared. Iím not even going to pretend Iím not. Iíd be paranoid youíd see right through me to my own paranoia if I tried to pretend. But Iím also confident. I have an amazing family and supportive friends and mentors who believe in me, even when I feel overwhelmed with fear of the unknown and second-guess the plane Iím flying while building it.
Communo is going to be globally successful, because people and organizations are waiting for it. How can I be so sure? A few proof points:
Employment has changed: The days of the 9-5 workday, culminating in an engraved watch and pension on your 65th birthday, are over.
The agency business model is broken: As long-term retainer clients are replaced by shorter-term, project-based work, traditional agencies lack the agility to scale their workforce on-demand without the burden of additional overhead. Communo provides a solution.
Typical co-workspaces donít encourage collaboration: Most co-workspace models serve as a catch-all for contractors and small businesses searching for affordable leases and an engaging atmosphere that beats working from home. These facilities and their random tenants lack a shared synergyóa missed opportunity that Communo Compounds address.
Carefully vetted neighbors for collaboration: Our shared spaces offer the same flexible leasing arrangements, and great digs, but they are only made available to vetted marketing and communications professionals who can benefit from working around other industry professionals. Iíve seen the data; Communo members who lease space in our Compounds benefit from more cross-pollination among fellow members than those who work elsewhere.
Communo members who lease space in our Compounds benefit from more cross-pollination among fellow members than those who work elsewhere.
Talent marketplaces fail freelancers: Yes, Iím aware that sites like LinkedIn and Upwork offer sourcing services. But their models are inferior to Communo. Millions of people bid to the bottom for the same projects, and the opportunities are not curated. Thatís not elevating our profession. It’s driving it into the ground in a race to the bottom, and Iím going to stop it.
Communo is a different beast: For agencies, Communo provides the best talent as just-in-time resources to keep overhead down and deliverables top notch. For professionals, Communo offers the best platform to get the work you love to do, and do the best, while giving creatives and makers the autonomy and freedom they desireóWorking for himself or herself, but not by themselves.
Career Security Lies in the Balance
Strength comes from confidence, and confidence comes from having options. Communo provides a better way to build a viable career and a sustainable business.
I value my personal time to a fault, so nobody understands better than I do the significance of leading a balanced life, where work is only one part of a fulfilling existenceóCommuno is your ticket to that balance by providing a way to do high-quality work while maintaining independence.
On this new path, I bring a mixed bag of emotions, and thatís okay. It gives me energy. Fuel. I not only feel Communoís success on a visceral level, but Iíve got the proof points to back up my claims that Communo is right. Communo is now. Communo is whatís been waiting to happen.
If we donít do something, weíre all going to be out of a job anyways.
So that’s my new gig, Are you in?
Is for the #gigeconomy; specialist creative or marketing professionals who possess the niche expertise and entrepreneurial ambition to grow their business.
Provides bespoke facilities, tailored coaching, and a proprietary #platform to access a curated, global ecosystem of talent. This enables individuals and businesses alike to deliver greater value and exploit bigger opportunities than they could alone.
Shares resources to create the same near-limitless bench strength and opportunity flow afforded only by large, dominant service providers and agencies. #knowledgeworkforce
Knows that division of labor expedites wealth creation. By uniting collective expertiseóthrough a #sharingeconomy model like Communo ó our talented professionals enjoy the same scale advantages as the big few.
If youíre interested, Iíve got nothing but time now to talk.