Personal life update: There’s a new shop in town!

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meet the crew

meet the crew, igor schwarzmann, johannes kleske, peter bihr

Big news (for me) – I’m founding a company. More concretely, I’m setting up a boutique agency with two partners. And heck, I’m excited!

Basics first:

Who? At this point I can only name one of my partners – my long-time co-conspirator and close friend Igor Schwarzmann (@zeigor). Our third man is still bound by contract so we cannot disclose his name until the last minute. But worry not, he’s a heck of a guy too. Update: Our third man is our good friend Johannes Kleske (@jkleske). Update: The company is going to be called Third Wave Berlin, referring to the third wave in coffee culture.

What? A strategy and trend agency.* Not to go into too much detail yet, but think hand-crafted web strategies: top quality, very personal. Our biographies give you an idea, so yes, Social Media will be part of our service, too. (Personally I think that in just a few years Social Media won’t be a separate column any more, but instead be a natural part of all services and products. So certainly we won’t be focusing on building anyone’s Facebook pages ;) (* edited for clarification – yes, it’s a consulting shop, in case I didn’t make that clear enough ;)

Why? It’s an idea whose time has come, so to speak. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed freelancing over the last few years and really consider myself lucky it’s been working out that well. (Much better than I ever dared to expect!) I’ve been offered great jobs over the years, too, and feel particularly lucky that I could always afford to turn them down to pursue a self-determined career on my own. Now I’ve reached a point where I had to make the call: stay freelance or build something bigger? This is the decision. When the three of us – after a lot of joking around – realized we all had the same urge it was a done deal. My personal goal is not to just start and grow this business, but also to do a few things better than many agencies these days. Most of all, to run an open, honest, no bullshit firm (which in this environment isn’t all that usual, sadly) while having a great deal of fun exploring all possibilities and taking all of this to a new level. (Wondering if we’re serious? Both my partners quit their very good current jobs and are relocation to Berlin for this gig.)

And I can’t wait to work with all the interesting folks out there. This step hopefully allows us to kick off a whole bunch of cool projects, both for and not for profit.

Where? We’ll be based in Berlin. We’re also likely to do a fair bit of traveling. Actually, our office is already all set. Our neighbours are Yourneighbours. (Where I already set up shop today!)

When? We’ll kick off in October. That’s when my partners finish their current contracts. Interested in bouncing some ideas before? Feel free to ping me anytime (my current contact details).

Thanks! We got an incredible lot of help and feedback though out the early stages of our preparations. Thanks to our friends and mentors in all this. You know who you are. We owe you one.

What else? Some great folks are working on our logo and all, and we’re in the middle of the paperwork necessary to register a company. Once we’re set we’ll have a name for you. F*ck yeah, this is going to rock!

Here’s what Igor has to say about it all. Update: Here are Johannes’ thoughts.

Images (not to be taken too seriously): Visualbug via DefiniteTouch, Rajue

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