So far, Simplifilm is immortal.
One of the most inspiring things about the Valley, and about what I do is that there are some people that don’t want to “build to sell”. There are some people that don’t want to someday be “acqui-hires.” I love those people that are trying to build something that’s forever. It’s a way to contribute to humanity.
Zynga’s CEO seeks to build a digital skyscraper.
The most inspiring is Evernote CEO Phil Libin’s notion of a 100 year company.
That’s what I’m here for, that’s what I want to build Simplifilm up to be. For as long as people put themselves out there to make something great, I want to be part of the conversation, I want to be telling stories, I want to be working with entrepreneurs to translate their vision to people.
I’m not committed to the medium: Simplifilm can make animation, live video. I’m committed to the way things get done. I’m committed to quality. I’m committed to reverence.
What do forever brands have in common? Here’s what I think:
- Massive Mission: Google wants to make the worlds information organized. Microsoft put a computer in every home and on every desktop. Starbucks wants to be my third place. Evernote wants to be my brain-to-go. All of these ideas are amazing, lofty. You can’t be in it for the paycheck. We have a goal of helping entrepreneurs communicate. Forever. Now, with that said, we may have to do things that we don’t love to get where we’re going. This is where a lot of the risk is, broadly speaking. We may have to take some cash Action Item: Think Bigger.
- Excellence Absolutely Everywhere: The thing that I have seen from Simplifilm so far is this: there are only a couple of trailers that our competition(broad strokes) done that Jason or I would let ship. We’re in a really interesting business because animation is important. We have to have higher standards than our clients in order to express ourselves in the way that we want to. Everything has to be a gem, every idea has to be solid, and beautiful. This means firing the bozos, this means having standards, and this means shipping when it’s ready, not when it’s time. Action Item: Define standards, release products, upgrade standards.
- Cultivated Indifference & Immutable Standards: We will not take a client script and throw the result in our reel. We won’t be able to do anything with character art (it’s not classy, it doesn’t convert). We don’t care if clients love it, or if it’s the new hot thing. We have our own standards. So does every company worth working with, so does every forever brand. Apple wouldn’t put Flash on the iPad despite the market screaming for them to. They didn’t make a Netbook (instead: they made the iPad to compete in the same price space). Action Item: Write Your Standards: What WON’T YOU DO.
- Premium Product: People remember Ferrari more than they remember Ford. A forever company must build a premium product. That’s either defined by price or quality, or both. Apple stuff is pricey. Action Item: How do you beat the crap out of your competition.
- Halo Effect: Someone that “used to do animation for Pixar,” or “Engineer for Google” is impressive, right? That resume shows that at some point the person was at the top of the food chain in their profession. (Action Item: Attract and retain superior talent. Secondary item: fire the bozos immediately and ruthlessly.) This is what happens to a company like this. It’s the end product.
I decided that we’re building one of these. In a lot of ways it’s going to be easier, because we don’t have to compete with anyone but ourselves. We iterate fast, we follow the loop, and we win. I’m building a forever company with the team we have with us, today. We’ll make everyone better. We’ll get better.
I decided that I’m inspired, and I will be forever helping entrepreneurs tell their story. We’ll have offerings all congruent and aligned with that idea. I’ve never been more excited about my company. I’m proud of the work our team did in the last 45 days, and I’m eager to double down, do better and become amazing.
Come, join me. We’re doing everything we set out to do, and I just set out to do more.