The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is First Person!
Name: First Person
Location: San Francisco
Year Founded: 2013
Specialities: Inspired stories, Intelligently told. First Person delivers a combination of business intelligence, creativity and know-how to an expanding digital world, where design and technology seamlessly coexist. We combine brilliant ideas with business insight to develop strategies that leverage design and technology to deliver lasting value through engaging media that informs, surprises and delights audiences.
What inspired you to start your company?
We were tired of executing other people’s ideas and we saw the commoditization of the video industry as a telling sign that it was time to evolve. All of the partners wanted to have more influence and impact on the outcome for our clients, and this was our opportunity to do something meaningful
How did the partners meet?
The partners at 1P met when our two previous companies Elastic Creative & WESTERNIZED began working closely together and eventually moved into the same building. This is our history.
Why San Francisco?
Design and technology are at our core. We draw a tremendous amount of energy and inspiration from what’s happening around us. San Francisco and the Bay Area is where many of the world’s most transformative tech shifts take place. 1P is at our best when we’re riding the bleeding edge of the next permeation.
What was the first job someone hired you for?
One of our first big jobs as 1P was the complete re-branding of Echelon corporation.
What was the most technically challenging work you’ve created?
Wow. Well, we do a lot with technology and it tends to be challenging when we’re inventing something new, but I believe our reimagining of the customer journey at Stanford Shopping Center for Simon Malls was up there. We built the new mall kiosk, map and wayfinding experience in a way that has never been done before.
Which work or brand are you best known for?
The 2014 & 2015 Opener for the Golden State Warriors, and Cisco Systems video brand assets and guidelines.
Which project is your most underrated?
Corning’s A Day Made of Glass 1 & 2 & the Muse Factory explanation of those videos.
Who is your most interesting staff member?
This is a creative place, we have a lot of interesting characters here that like to dress up in costumes, teach classes, make things, I wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out.
What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?
This snarky piece for FITC by Stefan Sagmeister is a great commentary on our industry and GE’s Childlike Imagination commercial takes something so complicated and brings it down to earth by making it so simple, even a child will understand it
How has the business changed since you started?
The world is constantly changing and business tries to keep up and stay relevant. This industry is full of surprises. It keeps things fresh. The biggest change is constant change.
What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?
The Internet of Things and the automation of services.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Startups that think they’re enterprises and enterprises masquerading as startups.
What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?
Work together, learn from each other because you are the core team and the day-to-day success of a project has a lot to do with how in sync you are and how well you understand each other’s roles.
What do you make of the trend where brands are skipping their agency of record to work directly with production partners?
It’s more complex than a trend. The clients are facing immense pressure to stay relevant and large organizations have so much work in so many categories that a the AOR isn’t always the best or the smartest choice. From our perspective, friendly cooperation between the AOR and other vendors and agencies that help a client succeed in the market makes it clear that the clients needs are the central focus.
What is the best thing about working at First Person?
The people here are amazing and it gives us the courage to help invent the future. We love ideation, but we crave the opportunities that allow us to invent. It’s scary to head into uncharted territory, but when we succeed in creating something new, there is this overwhelming feeling of camaraderie, accomplishment and triumph for pushing past the fear and believing in ourselves. Everyone at 1P brings something unique to the table and It’s impressive how we continue to learn from each other daily even when some of us have worked together for years.
Where is the best bar in the SOMA & Financial district?
Any wild company party stories?
Oh yeah, so many. If you ever work with us you might help create a new one. But we don’t kiss and tell.
Which industry boondoggle is most likely to send your employees to rehab: Cannes, AICP or SXSW?
Over in our universe of technology its more likely CES, & NAB.
Care to share a joke?
Sandra: I can’t understand why you failed in business,
Pete: Too much advertising
Sandra: What do you mean too much advertising? You never spent a dime on advertising.
Pete: That’s true, but my competitors did.
What does the future look like for First Person?
The future is about discovery and invention. We’re becoming known for our success in making complex technologies simple to understand and at the same time we’re developing IP and accelerating new companies that branch out from our core competencies to diversify our offering and satisfy our interest in emerging tech and business.