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The All-Digital Ad Agency
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Geoff Allen and Jeff Gordon, were the youngest entrepreneurs we ever profiled.
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Geoff Allen and Jeff Gordon both started very young.
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Fairfax, Virginia: We begin early in 1996.

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Key Ideas of this episode
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1. Small Business School Although ownership is the all-American dream, most people go to work for somebody else.
2. Develop new applications for new technologies.
3. Consider using the "Hollywood" model.
4. Beware -- When a startup company begins to hit its initial stride, growth can be fast and furious.
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We visited with Jeff Gordon and Geoff Allen because they were entrepreneurs who had been in business for almost ten years and one of them was still in his 20s! They had over 60 employees and $10M in annual revenues.

Nine years earlier, 1987, Jeff started his first business at the age of 24 and by the time we found him, he was well along the way to morphing into the ad agency of the future.

There would be no traditional print or television ads; this group would only produce multimedia, interactive kiosks and web sites. They were redefining a marketplace using technologies very few barely understood. These folks were not among the Beltway Bandits. They did no government contracts but generated sales from customers such as McGraw-Hill, Motorola, and America OnLine.

In 1990 Jeff Gordon met Geoff Allen and the two immediately became partners and started a joint business called Source Data. Where Jeff's group, Image Communications, would produces high tech corporate marketing vehicles, Source would build the delivery systems needed for the product. For example, Image completed a multi-media presentation called, "What is medicine?" for the pharmaceutical giant, Glaxo. Source then built the technology needed to run the display. This particular kiosk was on display at the Olympics in Atlanta then traveled around the country for five years.

Update: Talk about little fish getting eaten by the big fish. Since we were visiting Image Communications was acquired by iXL which merged with Scient, which then merged with SBI & Company which sold in part to aQuantive (which now has AvenueA | Razorfish, Atlas, DRIVEpm and others as well).

Contacts:
aQuantive
821 2nd Avenue, Suite 1800
Seattle, WA 98104
Tel: 206.816.8700 Fax: 206.816.8808
URL: http://www.aquantive.com/

Source Digital Systems was also sold. Geoff Allen started over he's CEO of Anystream:
Anystream
21335 Signal Hill Plaza
Sterling, Virginia 20164
Tel: 703.450.7030 Fax:703.450.1936
E-mail: Click here.
URL:http://www.anystream.com/

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  • Business Type: Study other episodes of the show by industry or business sector. Though ADVERTISING, Marketing and PUBLIC RELATIONS is a huge industry, we have a ways to go to fill out examples of these businesses. We learn most profoundly by analogies, by seeing how others are doing it. The laboratory is life, and our teachers are other business people.
  • FIRST PRINCIPLES: Starting a business is the road to economic independence for most of us average people. Read a little more to see why incorporating a business keeps the passion of the American revolution alive!
  • SUPPORT PUBLIC TELEVISION: Become a member of your local station. If you are already, great. If not and your business is doing well, consider joining the Producers' Club ($1000).
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