Jellyfish and agency new business tend not to come up in the same conversation. Unless, of course, you’re talking to Carl Smith.

If you’re the owner of a digital agency in North America, then you probably already know who Carl Smith is. If you don’t, then you should.

For more than a decade, Carl was the owner of digital agency nGen Works. During that time, he guided the agency through periods of frenetic expansion while also managing the inevitable growing pains.

His current day job is running Bureau of Digital, an organization dedicated to making it easier for digital agency owners to run successful, thriving firms by offering events and forums in which owners can learn and share.

He and I spoke right after he got back from one of the Bureau’s signature events, Owner Summit. We had a far-ranging talk (which you can watch below) that managed to cover, among other things:

·     What happens when digital agencies are run by “accidental entrepreneurs,” especially during periods of enormous agency growth.

·     The current tug-of-war between standards of craftsmanship and ambitious new business goals.

·     The “jellyfish model” of agency growth – what it is, how it works, and when to use it.

·     Similarities between the digital agency business today and the Hollywood studio system of the 1920s.

·     Why 2018 is the year when big marketers start relying less on their in-house team and start hiring external agencies again. 

Piqued your interest? Watch the interview!