Lessons Learned: Project Advertising Meets the Real World
Project Advertising began as a project of another sort. Founders John Phan, Sun Trinh and Dylan Crouch met as undergraduate marketing students at the University of New Mexico. During their junior year, they entered a petroleum ad campaign, beating out legacy powerhouse schools
The team graduated in spring 2011 and formed the advertising firm Project Advertising. They focused on traditional media, taking their first job doing AIDS awareness bill
The Big Gamble
In 2012, the same U
"We were excited about the new technology," Phan says. The work was based on an interactive technology similar to the Xbox K
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They didn't win. Honda awarded the prize to students from a different college. Project Advertising had not only gone through all
Out of money and with little income, the three partners realized their accomplishments hadn't created a thriving business, but did give them all impressive resumes. When the job offers started coming in, they agreed to dissolve the corporation.
Lesson One: Planning
"If I had it to do over, I would have had a business plan," Phan
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Basic strategic and financial planning might not have prevented them from sinking their business chasing the Honda prize, but they would have gone after it knowing
Lesson Two: Preparation
Phan also points out that college did not prepare him for the realities of business ownership. "We learned basic theory, like how to create a campaign, but what's expected of you in school is completely different from what you do in real life. We were unprepared for the ground-level reality and it cost us a lot of money and a lot of avoidable mistakes."
The team also came out of school unprepared for dealing with personality conflicts within the business. "Just because you get along with someone in college doesn't mean you'll be great partners in the real world," Phan
In the end, all three partners consider Project Advertising their first term in graduate school. They found out how what they learned applies in the real world,
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