On October 23, a meetup on failures, "On the Brink of Closure," took place. We organized it as part of a tour to four IT companies in Yekaterinburg. The digital tour itself serves as the starting point for the Agency Growth Day 2023 conference.
AGD lectures were attended both in person and via live broadcast on October 24, with participants posing questions in the chat. The presentations focused on proper sales approaches, methods of scaling, and the search for new business models. The event's highlight was the analysis of agencies from the perspective of top management clients. You can get acquainted with the speakers and watch all their presentations through this link – IT'S AWESOME.
Upon DoubleTapp's initiative, a unique activity unfolded—the digital tour of agencies held on the eve of AGD. The team had previously conducted a similar excursion earlier in the year, so they faced no logistical challenges in planning the office route. In each cluster, guests were treated to mini-presentations about the workspace and its dynamics. The tour concluded at the workplace of the tour's initiator, where we organized a section.
The "On the Brink of Closure" event by MediaTen gathered 40+ attendees, surpassing the expected 30. We were surprised since it wasn't the main conference. The evening unfolded in an informal setting with snacks and prosecco, featuring stand-up comedy from three invited leaders. We listened to the insights of the meetup speakers on failures and share with you the lessons learned from others' "rakes".
Petr Fedyushkin, Director of Partners' Club by AGIMA, shared that initially, their company was "definitely not about development." They started as an internet marketing agency specializing in SEO promotion. After gaining clients and achieving a stable income, they began investing in developers. However, as the business expanded, profits didn't follow suit, and AGIMA founder Alexander had to inject his own funds to cover salaries and development costs. Petr also highlighted another crucial issue often overlooked in companies—owner demotivation. He believes that addressing such critical situations requires strategic planning and a clear understanding of where you're going and with whom, determining whether it's truly a business or not.
Alexey Syrchin, Executive Director of Creative, shared an interesting tool that has helped him avoid mishaps for the past 9 years—stress testing. Alexey conducts it when a potential issue is just emerging on the horizon. He writes three possible scenarios of future events in terms of negativity and works out solutions. The stress test has assisted him in finding solutions during the company's transition to outsourcing and manager dissatisfaction, as well as in reallocating the team when a major project was scaled back. In Creative, strategic sessions also play a significant role, where the team generates risks and incorporates them into the work plan.
Dmitry Penzov, CEO of ORCA GROUP, initially didn't prioritize management. For him, having "Maybachs" with the coolest skills in his team was the main goal. However, his perspective changed when the agency had to undergo reorganization due to the client closing the flagship project. He realized that he no longer wanted to depend on someone else and engage in custom development. Now, Dmitry studies the startups presented to him and enters the business as a partner. His team currently owns several fintech, gamedev, services, mobile utilities, etc.—assets that are already generating income.
We express our gratitude to the speakers for their courage and honesty, which sparked the guests' interest and led to asking not just "only two questions" but "three, but brief." It turned out to be genuinely lively communication. We also thank Alto and Tagline for organizing the conference, which effectively summed up the digital market trends for 2023. Special thanks to DoubleTapp, the final cluster of the tour, for providing space for the guests of our section.