I’m always interested to hear why people started to build their business. Sometimes its a passion, sometimes its an accident and often it’s for the money. I knew in college that I wanted to start a design or motion graphics business. I loved the craft then just as much as I do now, it’s inspiring to see what people can create with a computer and time. In college, Nik Madalinski and I tried to get something going but with the lack of experience and clients, it sort of fizzled away. Which was probably a good thing since we had no idea what we were doing at the time and we had a lot to learn. Flash forward to four years later at Daily Planet Productions ltd., Vanida Vae and I had the chance to work on a number of animated explainer videos for the Chicago startup, Groupon. At the time, we were both fans of Groupon and had no idea how big they were going to get or how our videos were going to help drive that success. At that time there were a few businesses doing explainer and demo videos but I wasn’t as familiar with them as I am now. My focus was much more on the top tier post production studios and the work they were creating. Holding my work and the work we did at Daily Planet to that same level. Vanida and I both saw the Groupon video as a great motion graphics piece we could build. We wanted to make an awesome and clever video. Without knowing it our video became a part of Groupon, people all over the internet saw the piece and many wanted something like it for their product or startup.
A year ago, after seeing the success of the Groupon video and receiving emails everyday asking if I could create a similar video for other startups, I knew that I needed to start my own company. The demand for startup videos was there and somebody needed to do them. I know the motion graphics business and what it takes to get something designed and animated. I’ve been doing it for seven years, behind the keyboard and screen almost everyday. I knew that I could create some pretty awesome explainer videos for start ups and other businesses. Helping tell their story or explain their product just like I did with Groupon. And so LooseKeys was born.
I’m not just another business owner who has money and is hiding behind the scenes letting other people do the animating and designing. I’m here working on every project at some stage of its creation. Right now I believe this is what makes LooseKeys unique. Startups and businesses know they are working with me. I might have help in order to make deadlines or pick up slack where my skills are lacking but you know if you are talking to me you can bet I’m leading the crew or doing much of the work myself. That team of people are very important to me and coming from the motion graphics world, I know how important sharing work and being credited for your time is to someone. That’s why on every project I post or LooseKeys posts, I make sure to credit the people that worked on the project. I want them to get the same amount of recognition as I did for making sure the project came together. And I’m not worried about a client or competitor stealing away these awesome people in the credits either. These talented people want to design and create as much as I do, so more power to them if they can get additional work by working with me. Having your name out there has value and I would have never been able to start LooseKeys if I couldn’t of shared the Groupon video almost two years ago. Someone asked me if I was worried that a startup who was on a budget would just try to contact the people I’ve credited instead of approaching LooseKeys for the job? Especially since you can see the name right there in the credits.
My response is no. I know that people are coming to me and LooseKeys for my work and my knowledge not just because I know good people to work with. Anyone can find great talent to work with and build a team. I understand what it takes to make a well thought out, uniquely designed, successful product. I know I have the skill set to head up a project, to coordinate with clients, to craft a script, design style frames and storyboards, animate, and do sound design. And when I don’t have the time to do it all, I know many talented people who can help me with all the aspects needed to get the job done.
Each day there are more and more explainer video businesses and motion graphics shops popping up. It’s easier everyday to get started. But it’s the businesses that are run by the creative person first and not just the guy with the money that succeeds in making the most creative and enduring work.