I attended a talk by Pip Jamieson founder of The Dots, which is essentially a platform like ‘LinkedIn but for the creative industries’. She was a down-to-earth, charismatic and very dorky character with an economics background who, overtime, developed a passion to help creative individuals. The talk was basically about her story, how she started a start-up, her ideas and steps, and most importantly her mistakes – very casual but inspiring.
She moved to Australia and worked at MTV, but she found MTV’s environment too homogenous – people were hired from the same school with the same background, similar portfolio, etc. and this is where her and her business partner came up with the idea to create a platform where creatives can be directly in touch with large companies for recruitment or networking purposes. She is very passionate about helping creatives to succeed and also to take credit for their work even if they helped during a large campaign.
… as machines are slowly taking over our everyday life, it is great to be in the creative industries as creative-thinking would be one of the last things to be automated. YAY!
With her business partner, they left MTV and started designing a platform where individuals can display their resume and portfolio and tag themselves in projects that they have worked on. During this not-so-smooth journey they had a lot of high and lows. For instance, their platform and website wasn’t functioning well because they relied on friends who had actual jobs and didn’t take this project as seriously to help them with the website for a cheap price; but once they figured that out they were profitable during 2011-2012 which is quite surprising for a start-up tech company. In 2014-2015, she had to sell the company though and move to London, as her business partner was no longer invested in the company. Which as sad as it was, it was a good thing as they were too similar and got along too well – it’s good to have partners with different sets of skills, this will also prevent one from outgrowing the other and creating a competition.
She was able to retrieve the rights for technology and the platform but it was really hard to sell her baby. She then moved to London and created The Dots.
Lots and lots of reading
She is quite dyslexic, so she relied on a lot of audio books to help her figure out the steps along her journey
The team is everything.
People are extremely important in every business. It is crucial to recruit the ‘right’ people to work with but it is also important to surround yourself with positive individuals and this is the friends you hang out with. It is also wonderful to have professional mentors throughout the process because they have already done and their help and advice can make the process very organic and smooth. But once things DO go wrong, you also know you to turn to. So just contact them nicely and professionally and invite them for coffee.
Passion x love
You have to genuinely believe and be passionate about your idea. Some people start something for the money and it doesn’t go very far. A great example of that is: CRACK + CIDER who uses creativity to change the world. It is a website that helps people who’d like to buy food, drinks, commodities such as sleeping bags for the homeless. It is wonderful to do something that is worthwhile as it will also last longer.
Ideas x Encouragement
In her office they have pitch evenings where the staff gets to pitch an idea to keep the innovation and the creativity of the company alive– kind of like Dragons Den but with a much nicer in attitude and everyone gets to brainstorm. Pitch days help with setting targets to stop overthinking and to be critical of own self.
Every month they also bring two pieces of memorabilia that have received to remind themselves that they have achieved shit and done stuff and it’s not all about stress and anxiety.
Finance x Sanity
Always remember to look for start-up loans, or whatever else that might work for you… Kickstarter Seth Godin's Startup School If you don’t enjoy yoga or the gym and rather walk for hours while listening to audiobooks… do that!