IdeasHoist: Galvin Scott Davis is the Director and Creative Director of award-winning Sydney-based digital agency Protein One. He has led the agency to create engaging creative for clients which cross over multiple platforms. He was the brains behind the Ask The Butcher mobile app campaign to educate consumers on better eating which then became a TV show on Foxtel. He is the author of the acclaimed anti-bullying children’s book Dandelion and graphic novel Stricken. He is represented in Australia, London and Los Angeles as a creative, writer, and director for film and television.
I then imagine, “if budget and time were not an option… how much could we do with this to put a smile on people’s faces”, and work backward from there.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Dandelion was my way of taking what I love most – Creativity, and juxtaposing it with what I most dislike – Bullying. It is an original anti-bullying project that includes a mobile app and book unlike any before. The story encourages children to embrace creativity to deal with bullying. The technology is a first, allowing the reader to physically blow Dandelion wishes from the screen of the iPad. Bullying is a huge topic, with daily stories and celebrity experience appearing on front pages. Dandelion encourages discussion between parents and children that are dealing with this terrible social problem.
Please explain your business model.
We spend around 50% of our time servicing brands by helping them communicate better and rolling out innovative brand designs and digital work. We then invest what we can from this work into creating original content for ourselves to create passive income and properties. It’s a successful way to do what you most love without self-funding every penny, whilst keeping your creative brain active.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
I recently attended and talked at an event on the 17 October on How to create innovation for Mobile Apps, being held at Protein Studios.
The projects that excite me the most at the moment are a series of new mobile and film-related projects (both our own properties and others), which are taking us to Adelaide and Los Angeles regularly to collaborate with some very exciting people.
How do you make ideas happen?
Generally I just relax and think of the things that make me happy. These always spark ideas around whatever situation is happening around me at the time. I then imagine, “if budget and time were not an option… how much could we do with this to put a smile on people’s faces”, and work backward from there. As long as it’s original and solves a problem… I’m happy.
What does your typical day look like?
Up early and make a to do list for myself and the team before breakfast. This is when the creativity begins. I have three sons and they generally inspire me every morning to try to make something new. After drop-offs I hold a production meeting with the team and we assign tasks to make a productive day, then take out a break in the afternoon to workshop the projects into better shape. Then I head out for some final concepting in a quiet space, try to fit in some martial arts training and finish up the day with the family. I always try to finish the day by absorbing a TV show, movie or game before writing for a final hour before midnight.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
Starting a small business in such a crowded marketplace is very hard. The most difficult thing is trying to avoid being taken advantage of (“Do this one for free and we’ll give you loads more work!” Tip: In 12 years they never come back with more work), whilst balancing the cashflow and trying to grow the team. Also, staffing is a tough one. Identifying people that have integrity, loyalty and drive is not easy. And when you get it wrong, it can hurt the business. Look for people that want to grow, not those that choose to plant themselves.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry in Australia at the moment?
Shiny Things are doing really polished work in the Kids education area for app development. There is some lovely design work coming out of This is Et.
What about internationally?
I love what Thinkmodo do in the engagement space for film.
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
I think gamification of cause-lead communications is going to become more popular. We’re getting greedier as a society and time-poor when it comes to helping others. Interactive businesses can improve cut-through for social change simply by making messaging that is worth sharing.
Speaking of affecting social change, is there a particular charity you support?
We are big supporters of The Sydney Children’s Hospital in Australia and help out with their communications as best we can. They do amazing work for kids that really need help.
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter.
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
We are always looking at funding or investors to come in on our projects if they are the right fit. We do have internships available from time to time. Our studio is set up as a creative co-working space so we encourage collaboration.
We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc., what would it be?
What’s the meaning of making untold riches by making cool Apps?
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
Bitton Gourmet – Alexandria. Best service in all of Sydney.
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