5 + 8
An advertising, branding and creative strategy agency in Houston, Texas

Words + Internet

Better.

We must do better. I assume most agency leadership worries about if they are serving their clients well. But, worry is wasteful and it only zaps our energy. Instead, it’s time we go on the offensive.

When asked when to hire an agency to help you, the unapologetic and unrelenting entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk responded, “I wouldn’t hire an agency.* Because all agencies do is work really hard to not get fired.” That gave me chills. I heard that two years ago and it has remained with me. It’s like a pebble stuck in the sole of my shoe that is ever so slightly distracting me from an otherwise pleasant walk.

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The Most Random Gift Guide in Ever

Last year, I wrote a Christmas Letter giving an update on all things 5 + 8. I love any opportunity to talk about our company and our people. In lieu of lines of embarrassing extolling, I thought I’d let everyone get to know our team through their favorite things. Introducing our first (and maybe last) Annual Gift Guide. Hopefully the following will spur some good gift ideas, and maybe give you a little insight into our growing team. With out further adieu, the 5 + 8 Gift Guide written in the words of someone other than me…

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A partner makes everything slower, riskier and vastly more complicated

I have spoken to several agency owners who started with a partner and it eventually it fizzled. Or maybe it exploded? Frankly, I think I could have built up this company faster without Jeff. I think I could have made more money without a partner (turns out you have share the moola when you have a partner). I never needed a partner. I didn’t even want a partner. I just wanted to partner with him.

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Asking your team how they're feeling is pointless

We don’t tell people how we feel. We don’t tell our kids we had a crap day, we hide from our spouses when we don’t get our bonus and we definitely don’t tell our bosses when we’re discontent. Not because we’re fibbers, but because we’re protecting ourselves or our loved ones from something potentially worse. So, when you ask your employee in passing or even in an intimate sit-down, don’t expect them to tell you the truth. However, if you’re vigilant, they will likely show you the truth.

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Let me explain

There is a perfectly good reason I have decided to wear these in my ears. I’m just not certain I know the reason. Lets dig in and see why one would decide to walk around looking somewhat silly. However, these AirPods are actually pretty comfortable and most importantly do not fall out of my ears. Whether on a run, a lunch time stroll to Chipotle or just wearing them in the office and confusing coworkers whether I am on the phone, they are indeed comfortable.

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Do we like what we like?

Our art director, Sarah, told me a telling tale of preference, pain and truth. One night, her boyfriend, Tyler* and her were scrolling through their respective Instagram's just like any other night. As he came across a 5 + 8 post that featured Sarah's work, he paused, registered it, and kept scrolling. He did not double tap. He did not "like" it. Sarah, who was obviously snooping (she's super snoopy), rightfully called out this inexplicable indiscretion. I can only imagine that an uncomfortable convo commenced.

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What's the ROI of people? (Part 3)

We have invested what could be viewed as a disproportionate amount of time to culture for such a small company. We throw parties, leave at 2 pm on Fridays, almost never work late, and talk about our culture weekly. If that doesn't sound like the most soft as Silicon Valley shite you've ever heard, then you're probably reading this from a hover chair in Silicon Valley.

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Based on a True Story

Imagine a woman, a single mom. She has a son who is fast – Olympic fast. He qualifies for the Junior Olympics. They spend their weekends on a busy and affluent intersection passing a pail. They're raising money for all the travel and registration expenses that are thousands of dollars beyond their budget. This mother doesn't complain. This boy isn't embarrassed. They just work and smile (two beautiful and joyful smiles) and they work some more. Someone takes notice and shares their story. The community converges and raises the remainder. They accomplish their goal, the boy wins some races and receives some medals. It's a nice story and everyone feels pretty damn good.

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What's the ROI of social media? (Part 2)

I can only imagine the amount of times this question has been asked in meetings over the last five years. It's a fantastic question because the answer is open, a bit blurry and always unknown. It's an answer that can't be known until some investment has already been made. That's risky. And, business people don't like risky, especially when it comes to their investment. Here are the three levels of investment (time, energy, money) and their respective returns (likes, follows, money). 

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