[email protected]
Episode 137 October 2, 2018 | 35min

Turning The Digital Product Studio On Its Head: In Conversation with Jules Ehrhart

Navigating the intersection between creativity and capital

Show Notes

What Is Creative Capital, Anyway?: This week, Paul Ford and Rich Ziade meet with Jules Ehrhardt, founder of Creative Capitol Studio FKTRY, the author of the term ‘digital product studio’, and an advocate for authenticity. On this episode, we talk about the problems with the old-guard agency model, where creatives are going instead, and how creativity is commodified and sold like sausage links.

Jules — 3:15: “I think one of the problems the industry has is that people who are representing the industry and interfacing with partners and brands or clients, they don’t actually have a deep empathy and understanding for creativity.”

Paul — 5:25: “Sometimes we’re just delivering bad news to people. Like hey, that’s actually going to be hard and expensive. I hate to say it because I can see how optimistic and enthusiastic you are, but building things is really hard and it’s going to take a lot of time. That’s actually been really effective for us.”

Jules — 7:35: “There [are] enough people out there in this city, in this country, in the market who have been sold wonderful things and been disappointed. So for me, the only place to be is real, and in a world of perfect information — which we don’t live in — you will find your place and you’ll find that work.”

Jules — 8:45: “Our expertise is working with you, deploying our processes to get to a better place. You say that and it’s completely true, but then they’re going to reflect on this super-polished bullshit that they’ve just been presented by an agency. […] Yes, there’s a degree of sales if you want to call it [that], but it’s true, even in the honesty you’re actually doing the job of sales.”

Jules — 11:20: “The perception of this space [as an agency], there’s definitely a contagion effect from the worst practices of the industry.”

Jules — 13:05: “That was one of the miss-steps of the add-on marketing industry of pretending to do digital product work by just basically redressing case studies. In fact, rather than building product teams and product processes and getting away from the creative director model top-down, they’re going bottom-up.”

Jules — 17:45: “You’ve got tech companies providing a compelling alternative for creatives and people are increasingly going tech-side for better salaries and different conditions.”

Jules — 19:27: “I’m pushing something called ‘creative capital’. You can raise venture capital or you can raise creative capital. So for me, creative capital is a subset of Sweat Equity. What you do and what [teams I’m building] are capable of doing is making a pivotal impact upon a business.”

Jules — 21:05: “We [the creative class] need to understand how angels work, how VCs work, how investors work, how pension funds work, and everyone else — we need to understand their language, their business models, build relationships and understanding so we can build and forge these new models where it’s not a zero-sum game, it’s a game in which we can all win.”

Paul — 29:30: “The model is [to] name it, make a market, prove it’s real, and the rest of the entreprise — at it always does — will see it and go, ‘oh, that’s working, we should do that so we don’t get too far left behind.’”

Jules — 29:45: “I believe that we in the creative class should be exploring the intersection between creativity and capital.”