Tag: business


Dare to Aspire: Working at the Intersection of Creativity and Ambition

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/Alfred Lilypaly

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/Alfred Lilypaly

As creatives, we’re always working toward to the next great thing — the next project, the next pitch, the next award. But with our packed schedules and competitive industry, it’s easy to get to caught up in the day-to-day of meetings, deadlines, and output, that we often aren’t able to stop and ask ourselves, “What are we really aspiring to?”

Recently, we completed a new show open for E!’s hit series, “Fashion Police,” and found ourselves focusing on the aspirational nature of fashion for the open’s theme. The fashion industry is driven by an unabashedly honest mandate to be aspirational. As much for designers and brands as for the consumers they create for. Aspiration, along with motivation and inspiration, is a key part of the trifecta that’s essential for any company to grow, but it’s not where we usually place our emphasis in our industry.

As brand marketers and designers, we operate at the intersection of business and creative, equally influenced by both industries. In the business world, the focus is on a very outward, but down-reaching goal of how to increase motivation from interactive programs and books to motivational speakers. In the creative world, we put so much emphasis on where we get our inward inspiration, via conferences and award shows, design annuals and publications. Both have their place, certainly, but without the key ingredient of the forward-thinking key of aspiration, we’re losing an opportunity to focus on long-term change.

We focus so much on motivating employees and inspiring good ideas, but do we really focus on our own aspirations for our company? Maybe we should take a cue from that industry and as entrepreneur Curt Hanke puts it, be a little more “naked with our ambitions.”

But to really be sure we’re incorporating aspiration into our company’s mandate, it’s important to understand how motivation, inspiration and aspiration differ. Motivation is a complex driver that governs much of our life, especially our basic needs. It can be summarised as “the desire to do things.” It can be biological (“I’ve got to finish this project by lunch because I’m hungry and need to eat.”) or psychological (“I’ve got to finish this project by lunch because it was due last week, and I don’t want to get fired.”) Within this context, aspiration can be seen as a “long term hope” or “goal.” Your aspirations can motivate you to work hard and get things done to achieve your further reaching goals (“I’ve got to finish this project by lunch because I want to start working on the idea that will make me the next Leo Burnett.”). While inspiration is a sometimes fleeting injection of some higher reaching creative that we’re trying to make accessible on our own level, budget, time or talent-wise.

Aspiration is about raising the bar from within. That’s why it’s important to revisit your aspirations on a regular basis, whether for your career or your company. And, by keeping your aspirations as goals at the forefront of your company’s mission and feeling proud enough to share them with your partners, employees and collaborators, you’re essentially broadcasting your confidence in your own brand. So, even if our wardrobes haven’t changed much since the ‘90s, maybe we should all aspire a little to be more like the fashion industry and reach a little higher.


What’s happening with the JOBS Act?


We’ve been following the updates on the JOBS Act regulation, and here are some key takeaways from Sadis & Goldberg LLP this morning:

1. New Rule 506(c) under Reg D will permit general advertising and solicitation of private investment funds provided that they take reasonable steps to verify that all purchasers are “accredited investors” as defined in Rule 501 of Regulation D.

Key takeaway – There is no restriction on who a private investment fund can solicit, but there are restrictions on who is permitted to purchase the private investment fund’s securities (such as LP or LLC interests or shares).

2. The SEC has provided a non-exclusive list of methods that private investment funds may use to satisfy the verification requirements for individual investors, including:

i. Reviewing copies of any IRS form that reports the income of the investor and obtaining a written representation that the investor will continue to earn the necessary income in the current year; and/or
ii. Receiving a written confirmation from
a) An SEC registered broker-dealer or investment adviser;
b) Licensed attorney; or
c) CPA.
Note: Such parties must take reasonable steps to verify the investors’ accredited investor status.

Key takeaway – All private investment fund subscription documents will need to be updated.

3. The existing Rule 506 exemption (re-designated as Rule 506(b)) which allows private investment funds to accept up to 35 non-accredited investors and an unlimited number of accredited investors with whom there is a pre-existing and substantial relationship will continue to be in effect. A private investment fund relying on this exemption is not subject to the new verification procedures.

Key takeaway – A private investment fund that wants to continue taking in non-accredited investors cannot publicly advertise or solicit.

4. Currently a private investment fund that sells securities under Rule 506 is required to file a Form D with the SEC no later than 15 calendar days after the first sale of securities in an offering.

•The new rules will require that Form D:
i. be filed at least 15 calendar days before engaging in general advertising or solicitation;
ii. be updated within 30 days of completing an offer.
• The final rules will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
• All private investment funds relying on the CFTC 4.13(a)(3) exemption must exercise caution until the CFTC reconciles such exemptions with these new SEC rules.

“The information contained herein was prepared by Sadis & Goldberg LLP for general purposes only. Its content should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon the information in this presentation without consulting counsel. This information is presented without any representation or warranty as to its accuracy, completeness or timeliness. Transmission or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship with Sadis & Goldberg LLP.”


Part 1: Crowdfunding Basics

Crowd funding or crowdfunding is a term we’ve been hearing a lot lately, especially as it relates to funding new business startups or supporting causes that matter to you. It describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually online, to back efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Essentially, crowdfunding connects “crowds” directly to those who need funds.

So, what are the pros & cons of using crowdfunding? Oishii weighs in:

• A low barrier of entry for both entrepreneurs and investors alike.
• A shift to smarter and more creative ideas gaining access to capital; it’s not just the rich getting richer or “who you know”
• More, better ideas are coming to market.

• Fraudulent and potentially crazy ideas could be funded
• Investors don’t always have access to proper due diligence to properly understand all the risks associated with the investment
• Entrepreneurs have less skin in the game and investors have little retribution