I’ve been in the advertising business for a long time. Done a lot of things. I started my agency GDD Interactive roughly around 2006. It started as a freelance practice building Flash banners back when that was a thing. Everyone was selling it and no one knew how to do it, or at least hardly anyone.
So I gathered up a few of my favorite people from my first and only real corporate gig at Match.com and started Guy Dineen Design, which clients very quickly shortened to GDD without much input from us, since apparently “Guy Dineen Design” was not bouncing off the tongue.
It was a wild ride. Everyone knew us from Match… especially Chad. Have Chad on your side and you’re in. Have Chad plus a Dineen who knew how to build things and you’re in business.
Chad had the right idea from the start: work hard, then take the summer off. But I was ambitious. I wanted to be known and sought after. To this day not entirely sure why. I never stopped to think about it. Winning business was a big high, and I was rarely doing much of the work as we grew. Maybe the combination of being the boss and making money and buzzing to and fro without real consequences was addicting. ll
Over the course of the life of the agency, I would hire people based on ideas, oftentimes with very little idea of what I was actually going to do with them. Oftentimes that fell to Chad. I don’t know. We hired Jen. We hired Josh. We hired Tina. We hired a bunch of people to do a bunch of work and they sure did. But somehow they all ended up leaving. What happened? It always felt like I was trying hard to “lead” the agency, but I think for me that meant constantly rethinking what exactly the agency was, and constantly trying to reinvent the thing. I think that made people crazy.