ADC Startup is designed to inspire the creative community. To spark the next generation of million dollar ideas. And to connect ADC members with the proper resources to become the builders of tomorrow. Below is my notes from the January 10, 2013 presentation.

EMCEE: Cindy Gallop

Founder, MakeLoveNotPorn and IfWeRanTheWorld

  • Fear paralyzes
  • Working for yourself is the safest thing to do b/c your future is in your hands.
  • If you work for someone else, you have no job security. –Seth Godin
  • The tragedy of our industry is that it’s full of intelligent people who spent their energy on someone else.
  • Owning the future requires taking a financial hit and none of the big ones are willing to do that.
  • Porn Youth and Brands. The biggest influence we don’t talk about.
  • In order to predict the future, you have to make it. – Alan Kay
  • You’ll never invent the future if you care what anybody else thinks.
  • Too many people think o business as a set of rules and processes. It doesn’t have to be. A business can be anything you want it to be. As long as it says this is how we’re going to make money, it’s a business plan.
  • If I were to start a business tomorrow, what would it be?
    • What would my lifestyle be? You don’t need you to live at a level that you’re living at.
  • “Women challenge the status quo because they are never it.”


Matthew Manos

CEO, verynice


Business as a Medium for design.

  • Creatives have a ton of tools
    • Traditional tools, digital tools, etc.
  • Entrepreneur: The agent who supplies what’s demanded
  • The Design of Business by Roger Martin
    • Not as it is, but what it could be.
  • The customer doesn’t know what they want. – Steve Jobs
  • Supply Demand to Invent Demand
  • There’s a mass exodus from Mad Ave to Silicon Valley.
  • Discovering new problems and solutions will be more difficult
    • More clients will turn to themes, templates and crowd sourcing
    • The role of the designer will be to determine the root of the problem that most people can’t see with the human eye.
  • We need a new medium for making
  • Designers will quickly become obsolete in the eyes of the global community if they don’t use business as a medium.
  • When he started very nice, it started as a tool to answer the questions he had
    • gross moral dilemmas
      • misuse of the term social in the corporate team
      • Instead of making a poster or a one-liner, he decided to start a business
  • VeryNice gives away 1/2 of their design services for free. Thus far, they’ve given close to $1/2 million away.
  • Business is more than moneymaking, it’s an opportunity to learn and disseminate knowledge.


Farrah Bostic

Founder/Creative Strategist, The Difference Engine

Starting something is a little like going crazy

  • She was an accounts executive
  • What insanity is teaching Farrah (7 not-so-easy-lessons)
    • Other people have had this idea. You don’t have to be the only one who thought of it.
    • You probably have had 5 ideas that are business-worthy.
    • You are not your typical user. You are your greatest evangelist.
    • Keep your eyes on the prize: Your Minimal Viable Product (MVP).
    • There is no first mover advantage.
    • Keeping secrets is for suckers.
    • Ask for help.
    • Just build it.
  • Solve your own problems


Jared Cocken @engers

Chief Product Officer, Fitocracy


  • Fitocracy was set up for people who don’t know where to start with exercising
  • They combine community and gamification
  • Perception: And agency is precision-engineered, muscular, and enough edge where the client feels good/where they feel lie they will progress in their business
  • In reality: People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.
  • A lot of agencies: 20% doing the work, 80% talking about the work.
    • Slow death through meetings.
  • On the startup side, it’s 80% doing the work and 20% talking about the work.
  • A startup is that toddler who accelerates to stop from falling. It’s also like being stuck like your arm is under a rock. Is cutting the arm off better or worse than not cutting it off? (Always cut the arm off.)
  • Nobody else knows what they’re doing so don’t’ feel bad.
  • Expertise is a lie. The more questions you can ask, the better answers you’ll get along the way.
  • “Continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocked potential.” Winston Churchill
  • If we could change ourselves, the tendencies ourselves will change also – Ghandi
    • Don’t want for someone else change things for you.
  • Ask: what’s missing?
  • You’re not working as much now as you will be when you have a startup.
  • Your idea is “nothing”. A blank page. But you can fill this thing up.
  • Make something small, add to it, see what happens.
  • You will have competitors and they will copy you. Be prepared to react accordingly.
  • Never attribute to malice
  • Pray for the strength to endure a difficult life.


Pamela Castillo

Co-founder, Market Publique

Boardom: from art board to advisory board

  • She started small: Break the problem down so you can attack it with less time and resources
  • When you get board and really sad, you get into a shopping addiction (sometimes).
  • She started selling her clothes and realized eBay sucked. It was so hard to make things look good on eBay. So she decided to make it.
  • She created a platform so that other people could also use it.
  • If you build a platform to help others, they’ll help you.
  • Invest in yourself.
  • She told everyone her idea ned got the best feedback that way and the best connections.
  • She hired the best people.
  • Hire a lawyer. Talk to your users. Solve their problems.
  • Celebrate the wins as well as the losses.


Oscar G. Torres

Co-founder, zenplaya Inc.





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