Damian Bazadona is the founder of Situation Interactive. See what he has to say about his company below!
- Tell us about your business/for purpose organization (how long have you been in business, what is your specialty, products or services, how many employees you have, etc.)
I founded Situation Interactive in 2001 on the principle that the world is a better place when people are doing things rather than having things. Since then, we’ve grown to nearly 70 employees and we power some of the world’s greatest entertainment and experience-based brands—everyone from the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl to One World Observatory, the observatory deck that just opened up at the top of the Freedom Tower, to Wicked on Broadway.
We’re a full-service digital agency with a fairly wide capability set primarily because we’re so focused on serving “live” or experience-based brands. Because of the depth and diversity of our work with these brands, we have a specialized understanding of the “live” consumer. We understand the unique challenges of getting someone off their couch into a given location. I like to say that we’re built with “live” DNA—it’s in our bones.
- What makes your company/organization leaders in your industry?
I would say it’s the people. We’re all united by the agency philosophy that doing is greater than having—that unified vision informs everything we do from the clients we work on to the way we hire. In fact, we’re in the process of moving offices and as we build out our new space, “doing > having” is at the forefront of the planning process. To be united under a single vision and working toward the same goal across the board is pretty powerful.
- Who or what has influenced you (book, movie, person, other company/for purpose organization)?
Almost four years ago, I founded an initiative called The Situation Project. We partner with high performing, arts-deficient middle schools and enhance their educational experience by sending them to amazing arts & cultural experiences. I’m a big believer in an arts-enriched education and as someone who owns an agency and is constantly on the look for top talent to join my team, it is incredibly important to me to nurture young talent. To me, these schools are hotbeds of talent—they’re doing the most with the least and I’ve taken it on myself with the support of my amazing clients and partners to provide them with experiences today that will hopefully make them consider a career in the world of arts & culture tomorrow.
- What key qualities do you look for in your employees/team?
I value curiosity; people who take risks and aren’t afraid to step outside of their comfort zone to lend a hand and explore a new idea, or learn by doing. I appreciate self-starters who naturally step up and lead, not because of their ego but because they’re invested in driving something forward. These leaders are team players who foster a “we > I” mentality by example. I also think emotional intelligence and real “people smarts” are incredibly undervalued resources. This may sound like kindergarten-level stuff but it’s invaluable when someone demonstrates an intuitive understanding of how to work with people who are different than they are. We’re a creative shop at heart and we like to celebrate that creative tension.
- Words of advice for others growing their business/for purpose organization?
Invest in your people. You are only as good as your team. You can have the coolest office space, the greatest clients, and you can even have some great ideas, but if you don’t retain great people, everything else doesn’t mean much. I have an open door policy; anyone in the company is welcome to pop their head into my office at any time and voice their opinion to me. This was easy when there were just five of us; now that there are almost 70, it’s not as easy but it might actually be even more important. I want to make sure that everyone feels like their voice is heard and knows that I value what they think—that’s why I hired them!
Be sure to visit them at:
Twitter: @Situation; www.twitter.com/situation