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Last week several Jumpstart alumni and I took a break from the DDD Conference in Milan. As our lunch conversation dove into the production challenges in running a studio, I asserted rather abruptly:

“The producer position is the most underrated role in our industry.”

Several owners scoffed: Really? Why would you say that? After all, everyone agrees the unsung heroes in our industry are the creatives. The visionaries. The makers…

Not, ahem, the project managers.

However, if you’ve been lucky enough to hire a great producer, you get it. If you haven’t, something magical awaits. Because I know your first producer hire is the day your studio really takes off.

My assertion was abrupt because just moments before lunch, I had a conversation with Maxwell Reed at Kingdom Of Something. Max had asked me how I (on behalf of my clients) justify the cost of a studio hiring its first full-time producer. I responded:

“You mean that person focused on getting projects done, on-time and on-budget, while proactively considering the clients’ needs every step of the way?”

Maxwell sensed some incredulity behind my question.

I then rattled off a list of typical improvements: production efficiency, team morale, client satisfaction, depth of freelance resources, profitability, and – my favorite – focus for the business owner.

If those improvements have occurred at your creative firm, thank your producer.

If they are still needed, go hire one.

Cheers,

Joel

P.S. This discussion inspired an homage to producers on Instagram. If you know a great producer, tag him/her and add your voice to this much needed thank-you.


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