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Pop Quiz, Monday with Lauren Crystal, Co-founder and Managing Director at Your Creative Agency

 

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business people. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you cannot learn in a classroom. We want to thank our interviewee for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.


I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz, Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Lauren Crystal

What is your job role?

I’m the Co-founder and Managing Director of Your Creative Agency.

Tell us about your company?

Your Creative Agency is a design firm focusing on digital. Our team of designers, strategists and developers work collaboratively in a studio environment to solve client problems. 10% of the work we do is pro bono, so we get to pick meaningful problems to solve. Currently, we’re helping design an app for refugee women to access health information. We also run YC Labs, a second space where we launch our internal projects. We’ve just recently launched our internal collaboration tool, Hassl, to the public at Forbes U30 Summit in Boston.

What do you love most about your job?

The thing I love the most is the freedom, and when we decided to launch Hassl to the public, it involved dedicating hundreds of hours to figure out marketing, commercialisation, growth. We have had both the mind space to design and develop a SaaS product and launch it.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

The idea that we don’t know what’s coming next. After years of growing our start-up into an actual business I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected — and that is so motivating!

How do your co-workers inspire you?

Their talent and their ability to collaborate. As a manager in a space that requires not just expertise but a diverse set of different skills, I get incredibly inspired by their ability to draw parallels between the design and development stages of any project. I see my designers, and my developers, as artists in their own right.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

Our head of HR is Oban my miniature golden doodle. He kicks off every team meeting by doing something hilarious. We also developed a conversation card game for the launch of Hassl — because no one wants a flyer. The process of coming up with ’25 cards to question the way that you work’ was brainstorming with the team and asking each other funny and interesting questions.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Our age, the founders are all under 30, so we’ve had to do a lot of growing up and fight our corner. Most successful design and technology firms are set-up by ex-executives, so our model is refreshing to some, intimidating to others.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

So many! At the end of every project I add to a list in my phone ‘advice to myself’, there’s about 70 now, and I plan on publishing them all one day. Here are a few — when anyone asks you about money stop and think before you speak, everything can and should be researched, the hardest and most valuable interactions are confrontational or involve intense nerves.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Whether it’s design, technology or a hybrid of both you’ve got to want it, and you’ve also got to be highly skilled. I spent six years in academia before jumping into work life, so upskill yourself. Also honesty, the truth gets you far.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.hassl.co
www.yourcreative.com.au
twitter.com/CoHassl


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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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