fbpx
Connect with us

Business

Seth Berger Leads Sixers Innovation Lab In Camden

Published

on

Seth Berger

Entrepreneurs are flooding into Camden, including Seth Berger, University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business alumni, best known as the Founder and former CEO of AND1. Seth Berger is managing the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, which is housed in the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex Business Operations Facility. Seth Berger has years of experience as an entrepreneur includes acting as a consultant and CEO in the gaming, technology and sports industry over the past decade. With a life long career in sports, Seth Berger provides opportunities for companies to grow using resources that are invaluable to business.

The Sixers Innovation Lab supports startups by providing individualized, industry-leading consulting and investment opportunities. Companies that are selected by Seth Berger and the Innovation Lab team will receive office space at the Innovation Lab, access to industry leaders, third-party branding, marketing and legal services, as well as free meals and housing in the Philadelphia area. There will also be unique opportunities to pitch to industry-leading investors and venture capitalists. Seth Berger is overseeing each startup that enters the facility along with advisors from StubHub, DraftKings, Rothman Institute, First Round Capital, Maven Creative and more.

With a unique set of skills and lifelong achievements in the sports industry, Seth Berger is passing on his knowledge on growing your company into something incredible. Seth Berger tells us about what it takes to be an entrepreneur today, making a lasting impression in business, and how you can be a part of the Sixers Innovation Lab.

Seth Berger

Describe your career.

I started a business in grad school at 25, which is now known as AND 1. It started as a T-shirt company in NYC, where I am from. Then, in seven years it grew to a basketball apparel, sports illustrated company. I ran two companies at that time. In the middle of AND1, I also ran hoopstv.com and made all of the mistakes I could. Made a couple of deals with retailers, but ultimately sold AND 1 in 2005 to American Sporting Goods. My kids at that time were six, three, and one years old. The goal then was to just be super dad, take them to school, and to see them everyday. I had part time jobs, I didn’t want a full position. I managed a few companies along the way but, my career basically had three parts: running AND 1, coaching basketball at Westtown School, an independent international school, and consulting and advising at Innovation Lab. Working at Innovation Lab combined all of my skills as a coach, consultant, and CEO. As a coach, it helped me become a better consultant and CEO to help identify and recruit really talented CEOs.

As an entrepreneur, what are some surprises that come your way?

Whether I was running AND1 or the Innovation Lab, there were always surprises. I’ve never run anything before, so doing AND 1 and the Lab were the biggest surprises. I was never really good in school, I was only a good test taker. Memorization is the only skill I had and my biggest strength is admitting that I don’t know and I need help. That’s how I got so far. If you’re always curious, you’ll always grow.

From ‘93-’05, old businesses had to make a lot of guesses when it came to prices and consumers. Nowadays, with technology, you can test everything. You can have consumers telling you a price, likings, and etc.

I’m also really surprised with how fast things move now. Businesses would take three-five years to grow, now it can be successful in three-six months.

What are some of the risks you took to get to where you are?

When I decided to start AND 1, I was maxed out of student loans and lived off of five Visas. If AND 1 didn’t work out, the alternative was to take on a job that I didn’t like and find incredibly boring, nothing I looked forward to. I took a risk as in if it didn’t work, I was going to be really broke, but the thing was, I was broke anyway so I didn’t really care. The actual risk or the biggest risk for anyone is time. Time is your most valuable resource. My risk here at the innovation lab is can I help manage five to six companies at the same. I have the mentality of, ‘I think it’ll work.’ But if I spend three to five years here and it doesn’t work, it’ll be a really big waste of time. As an entrepreneur though, you’re comfortable with mistakes.

How do you make a lasting impression when you get into a new business?

By offering significant day to day support to our companies. If all of what you want is a check and a network, then there are lots of places to get that. In the Bay Area especially, there are tons of them but that’s not us. If you want help to figure out your business, what you do on a day to day basis or annual basis, then that’s what we provide.

What recommendations do you have to aspiring business owners?

Know your consumer really well and focus on them, one of the biggest mistakes in entrepreneurship is people who say, ‘I don’t want to focus on consumers in our market because then my business won’t be really big.’ I say to them, ‘Build a small business before you have a big business, it shows you already have a business, then continue to build and expand.’  With all of our companies, we end the day with these questions: Who’s going to watch our videos? Who’s going to use our service, buy our products and be as specific as possible with those answers? 

Entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting versus entrepreneurs who have already started. Those who haven’t started aren’t afraid of failing because everyone fails eventually. It’s actually because they don’t know how to take charge. When you are your own CEO, it’s like getting a blank piece of paper for an essay but with no question. Everything is already set, what time you go into the office, the dress code, etc. with your business, no one is there to tell you. Don’t be afraid to get help.

What are some benefits the 76ers Innovation lab offer that can’t be found anywhere else?

I think Rhyan Truett, Innovation Lab Director of Operations, and I make a great team, along with Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil, and other people on our team can be really insightful for your business. We also offer free housing, free food, and free office space for about three months. In which there’s also access to free snacks and the gym. Also, we have a marketing agreement with strategy branding for companies, possible free legal services, and lastly, you can play basketball here.

How does startup apply for the opportunity to pitch?

Interested applicants can submit an application form through www.sixersinnovationlab.com.

What industries have you seen so far?

Everything, from cyber security, foot apparel, you name it. Our owner has a really broad network. If we can add value to your company then be let’s be a part, but if we can’t help you then it doesn’t make sense to apply.

Tips for entrepreneurs who are interested in being at Lab?

Always be willing to learn, companies who are in here are different from when they first came in. Be interested in improving. Companies who just need a check are not for us. There are three things we look for: first is what you take in, how smart, how focused, and how intense you are. Your team is a major aspect. For me, a team is the most important. I have members who studied in Wharton and are way smarter. Second, is the idea. Something you can protect and is unique. Lastly, how can we help you? If the company already had parts one and two, then how can we support you.

What is the piece of advice that helped you throughout your career?

In the fall of ‘93, when we were selling team shorts. I met Michael who owned a record company. He started his business by doing 45s. Back in the day, they used to do single records of songs of TV show songs like The Flinstones, The Munsters and all of the sudden his business blew up. He asked me, ‘Why do you want to be in business? Why do you wanna make a difference in kids’ lives?’ I said, ‘I think this business can reach kids and I can make a little money on the way, I also get to spend time with friends.’ He assured me then that you’re in business to make money, you’re not in it for your ego, you’re not in business to make friends, and you’re not in business to change who you are. And he was right. For awhile we thought we served kids as opposed to our consumers. When I got with our accounts, I asked, am I going to make enough and do I need more? If I bring in people who are around me and they get a piece of what I have or more, it’s okay. If you’re giving them pieces of yours, then they’ll eventually give more back to you. If you’re not giving your team a piece and think you have to be more in control, then it won’t work out. Like I said before, teamwork is the most important aspect of a business. Be willing to give.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

TikTok Is Toast: Get the Secret Weapon Brands are Using to Power Through

Published

on

Just when you thought the drama surrounding TikTok couldn’t get any juicier, the US government drops a bombshell. Just days ago, President Biden signed a bill that could ban TikTok across the entire country. 

TikTok has been asked to find a “new, non-Chinese owner” within the next 9 months according to CNN. The company is within its rights to comply (which will be tough) or file a lawsuit. Unsurprisingly, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is already leaning toward the latter, announcing it’s ready for a legal battle.

With over 170 million Americans entrenched in the app, the prospect of its sudden disappearance sparks more questions than answers. What does a “ban” actually entail? For one, it doesn’t mean you’ll face legal action as an individual who still uses TikTok. And it doesn’t mean the app will magically vanish if you already have it downloaded.

Instead, the ban threatens to remove TikTok from Apple and Google’s app stores, which means no more updates, security patches, or bug fixes. This could pose a security risk to TikTok’s loyal user base.

But fear not, social media enthusiasts, because while the chaos unfolds, brands and influencers can use this time to get clear on their strategy. While the rest of the digital world is losing its mind, you can set your brand up to thrive like never before.

Enter Penji: Your Secret Weapon for Social Media Domination

It’s hard to stay relevant and have an effective social media strategy when things are so volatile in the digital world. But that’s only really true if you’re working alone.  

Particularly for marketing, design, branding, and social media agencies, getting help from professionals is crucial. You likely need copywriters, marketers, designers, and coders as the bare minimum.

So who’s Penji.. and who cares? 

You could say Penji is an ‘all-in-one chaos solution’ for brands with lots to do and little time to do it. They’re a design team that creates the visual assets that power numerous brands year-round. Penji can create custom:

  • Ad designs
  • Organic social posts
  • Custom illustrations
  • Logos & branding
  • Blog graphics
  • Infographics
  • Email templates
  • Landing pages
  • Web & app designs
  • And more

If you can name it, Penji can probably design it. Brands are getting crazy results. For example: 

RevenueZen saw a 25% increase in customer engagement and a 20% boost in sales after partnering with Penji for their new website.

Rush Order Tees upped their productivity by 2200% with the help of just 5 Penji designers who mastered their brand visuals.

How does it work?

Penji is an unlimited graphic design service, which means they don’t put limits on how many designs you can get each month. You pay a flat monthly fee and request any designs, anytime. There’s no contract, so you can cancel or pause anytime too. 

Step 1: Create a Project: Go to Penji’s dashboard and select “Create a Project.” Choose a category (eg. logo) and provide all the details your designer needs to knock it out of the park.

Step 2: Get Matched Right Away: Once you’ve submitted your design brief, you’ll be matched with a pro designer via our AI matching system. From here, just sit back and relax.

Step 3: Review & Give Feedback: Within 24 to 48 hours, you’ll receive the first draft of your design. Provide point-and-click feedback directly on a project, and the designer will make revisions until you’re completely satisfied. There’s no limit to revisions, and you can swap designers if you don’t like the direction.

Step 4: Mark as Complete and Download: Once you’re happy with a project, simply mark it as complete. You can then download the files directly from the Penji platform, no need for external links or emails. Your files are securely stored in the cloud, ensuring easy access whenever you need them.

Not only can you communicate directly with your designers, but also creative assistants, project managers, or art directors depending on which plan you choose.

Never Hire an Unreliable Designer Again

For brands dealing with vetting and hiring headaches, Penji offers a hassle-free alternative. By eliminating the need for constant hiring/firing and payroll management, brands can bypass the headaches associated with maintaining a freelance (or in-house) team. Instead, you can tap into Penji’s pool of vetted creative talent, handpicked to meet the demands of even the pickiest clients.

Retain More Customers with a Bulletproof Brand Identity


Customer retention is another area where Penji helps businesses shine. By providing on-brand, consistent quality across every project, you’ll build trust and loyalty with your clients. With a dedicated team of creatives, project coordinators, and quality control experts, Penji ensures you put your best foot forward at every touchpoint. That means your customers won’t hesitate to pick you over a competitor – the design does the convincing.

The bottom line? With costs roughly 70% lower than hiring in-house designers, Penji offers a cost-effective solution without skimping on quality or speed. You’ll boost your production rates drastically for a fraction of what you’re used to spending. 

So don’t let the TikTok ban scare you away from focusing on social media growth. Partner with a design team that just gets you – and your social media strategy will start running like clockwork.

Ready to Win at Social Media?

If your interest is peaked and you’re ready to power your social media channels with more ease than ever, watch a quick demo to see how you can get all the designs you need in one place.

Continue Reading

Business

Fiverr vs Penji vs Canva: Who’s Your Winner?

Published

on

Graphic design is essential in business branding. And you don’t want to skimp out on design, especially when you have big-time competitors in your niche or industry. Fortunately, graphic design is so much more accessible for business owners because you can hire graphic designers, do your own graphic design work, or subscribe to a graphic design service. The top choices for these models are Fiverr, Canva, or Penji. The question is, which is the best option?

Companies Overview

If you’re unfamiliar with any of these companies or services, let’s give you a brief introduction to each one.

Fiverr

fiverr logo

Fiverr is a freelance gig platform for hiring remote workers, like web developers, podcast editors, video editors, and so much more. Graphic designers are also available to hire on Fiverr. Many graphic designers specialize in various design work.

Penji

penji logo

Penji is a subscription-based graphic design service. You can subscribe to the graphic design service and request unlimited design projects. With Penji, you can request up to 120+ design types, including web and app designs, presentation designs, motion designs, and illustrations.

Canva

canva logo

Canva is a do-it-yourself graphic design application that will help you design anything related to your business or brand. You don’t need graphic design experience to use Canva. They offer templates to help you get started with designs. Plus, you can edit those designs based on your branding.

Features

Fiverr

fiverr graphic design page

Fiverr provides businesses with two ways to find freelancers. First, you can find freelancers using the search bar. You can type “graphic designer” and find available designers to collaborate with. You can narrow your search by finding designers based on your design needs. For instance, you can browse “logo designers” instead of graphic designers.

As you select graphic designers, you can see that designers offer various plans depending on your design project. Plus, they indicate the following:

  • Number of designs they can create
  • Number of revisions
  • Turnaround time

Plus, you can also find reviews from previous clients to know their working experience with one of your top choices.

The other way to find freelancers is the Fiverr Enterprise platform. Fiverr specialists will help you find the best graphic designers, creatives, and other employees for your team. Plus, the platform includes onboarding, management, payment, and compliance.

Canva

canva homepage

Meanwhile, Canva is a software loaded with many intuitive features to help you design your projects. Features depend on the plan you choose. However, here are the basics:

  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Access to 1 million templates, 3 million photos and videos, and thousands of design types
  • AI-generated designs
  • Printing and delivery

However, if you need more than that, you can access the following on the paid plans:

  • Resize and translate designs
  • Brand kits
  • Remove backgrounds
  • Plan and schedule content
  • 1TB of cloud storage
  • 24/7 customer support

Penji

penji webpage

Finally, Penji has many features to get you started, from designing your first request to downloading and chatting with your designers.

Here’s what to expect when subscribed to Penji:

  • Request 120+ designs
  • Get matched with the best designer for your project
  • Swap designers
  • Manage multiple projects
  • Point and click revisions
  • Team collaboration
  • Designer chat
  • Real-time updates

Turnaround Time

Turnaround time for Fiverr freelancers depends on the graphic designer. They will indicate how long the delivery date would be. Most graphic designers would have at least a 1-day turnaround time.

Meanwhile, if you are using Canva, turnaround time is usually instant. After all, you’re designing your project. However, if you have a complex project or need to create multiple designs in one go, it could take hours or days, depending on your availability, to design your projects.

Finally, Penji guarantees a 1 to 2-day turnaround time on most designs. If you’re subscribed to the Agency plan, they ensure same-day turnaround. However, some complex projects will take more than two days to complete.

Pricing

fiverr profile
example of a fiverr profile with pricing page

Fiverr pricing depends on what designs you need. But as the name suggests, Fiverr refers to the $5 starting point that freelancers can charge clients with when working with them. However, $5 worth of projects can be low-quality.

Meanwhile, Canva has three pricing tiers, depending on your needs and budget.

  • Canva – Free
  • Canva Pro – $12.99/mo
  • Canva for Teams – $14.99/mo (for five users)

Finally, Penji has a flat monthly rate for all design work. Here are the pricing plans for this design service.

Design Work and Production

Design work by Fiverr freelancers varies from experience level to design specialties. Many Fiverr freelancers produce decent work for clients, considering the rates they charge. However, not all design work from Fiverr is 100% the best. Plus, considering Fiverr is the best for short-term work, expect one or few design variations for a project.

For Canva, we can use templates as the point of comparison for design work. Thousands of creators submit their templates to the graphic design software. Many templates look the same because it is the trend or looks modern. Regardless, Canva templates look decent to use as the base design for your brand. However, you need to modify it to your brand to avoid using similar templates from competitors or other brands.

Finally, Penji produces amazing designs for clients. Penji ensures that the cream of the crop joins the company to create designs their clients love. That said, they have various designers with different styles to ensure that your design specifications are met. Plus, Penji produces designs faster than Fiverr and its other competitors without sacrificing quality.

Competitor Analysis

graphic designer

One fair comparison to make is between Fiverr and Penji since both deal with actual designers and their work. Here are a couple of comparison points for these two services to help you narrow your options further.

  • Design variations – Fiverr freelancers can create a few variations. Meanwhile, Penji designers can produce multiple variations since you can switch between designers.
  • Work volume – Fiverr designers can produce a limited number of designs, depending on plan inclusions. Ideally, they’re a good option for one-off projects. However, Penji can produce more than 10+ designs, especially if you have a monthly volume of designs.
  • Comfort – Penji allows you to sit back and run your company since Penji can be considered an extension of your team. Meanwhile, you need to browse and interview freelancers on Fiverr. Plus, you have to worry about payment and management.

But if we were to put Canva back into the equation, Canva has the upper hand in pricing. Plus, if you’re creative enough, you can produce great brand designs without the help of designers.

Final Thoughts

Graphic design work can be done and delivered in three ways: doing it yourself, hiring a freelancer, or subscribing to a graphic design service. In this three-way showdown among various design services, each has its strengths and weaknesses. The three services have different models, which could benefit users or subscribers in getting their designs. Eventually, it’s up to you which is the best design service option that will help you get the best designs for your brand. 

Continue Reading

Business

Graphics Zoo Review: Is this unlimited graphic design service worth it?

Published

on

Due to the increased demand for affordable graphic design, various unlimited graphic design services has been popping up online. The graphic design industry expanded, offering more options to clients.

We can say that the scene is more competitive now than ever. However, let’s focus on Graphics Zoo for this article. We weigh in on if their services can keep up with the fierce competition in the “unlimited” section of the industry. 

What is Graphics Zoo?

Graphics Zoo is an unlimited graphic design service that allows users to request designs on a monthly subscription. All clients have to do is create a submission with full specifications of their design requirements.

It’s also best to attach references to help designers take the creative path towards the client’s preferences. The great thing about an online graphic design service is its flat monthly rate, with no added fees for revisions. 

Graphics Zoo Business Model

Unlimited graphic design is a type of business model which allows clients to submit numerous requests per account. After presenting the design preference, expect a 24-hour turnaround or more before you can receive your output. If you receive a design output that’s far from expectations, you can point out the changes you want to make for the revision. Graphics Zoo has a flat monthly rate with no contracts involved. It means you can cancel your subscription anytime without having any legal worries. 

You might also like: Design Pickle VS Penji Review

Graphics Zoo’s Market

The design service is excellent for startups, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. As long as the business needs a continuous supply of custom graphic design, Graphics Zoo is worth a shot. Here are a few examples of companies that worked with Graphics Zoo: 

  • Enicode
  • Bread of Life Inc.
  • Western Rockies Federal Credit Union
  • Perfect Imprints
  • Green Guard

According to their website, Graphics Zoo has more than 750 satisfied customers with at least 50,000 approved projects. It’s also highly rated by their customers, earning whopping 4.9-star reviews. 

Pros and Cons of Graphics Zoo

Graphics Zoo Pros 

  • PROOF management system

Graphics Zoo offers a robust system that provides a collaborative space for designers and clients. It streamlines the whole submission and revision process. Using the tool, the clients can click on any submitted designs to pinpoint areas that need revision. It also allows users to leave a comment to provide more instructions to the designer. 

  • Graphics Zoo offers a stellar project management system that allows efficient communication between both parties. 
  • Brand profile features add accuracy and efficiency per design project. It quickly provides the design’s purpose to designers. 
  • Graphics Zoo offers a comprehensive design selection across various graphic design categories. 
  • The ability to share one account among multiple users is helpful for most businesses.
  • Excellent customer support and design project management system
  • A team of versatile designers that can provide designs for any business types

Graphics Zoo Cons

  • It’s possible to encounter ill-paired designers that are not fit for other project requirements. It might consume time because of countless revisions. 
  • You can only have one ongoing project per day. So if you’re a business with a high design output demand, you should opt for a plan with more designers. 
  • Graphics Zoo’s system only allows you to chat with the designers. If you’re more inclined to video calls, it might be a problem for you. 

Graphics Zoo’s Pricing Plan

Graphics Zoo offers three monthly plans with robust features: 

Business Plan

  • $349 per month
  • All basic features
  • One dedicated designer
  • Additional $349 for additional designer
  • Five brand profiles
  • Three users
  • 14-day guarantee 

Business Unlimited Plan

  • $449 per month
  • Everything included in the business plan
  • Unlimited brand profiles
  • Unlimited users
  • White-label platforms
  • Customized web design service
  • 14-day guarantee 

Agency Plan

  • $849 per month
  • Everything included in previous plans
  • Two dedicated designer
  • 30-day guarantee 
  • When starting a project with GraphicsZoo, making the most of their streamlined and user-friendly platform is crucial. Here are some key strategies for a successful collaboration:
  • Use Slack for direct communication with your designer. This allows for instant feedback and praise, ensuring clear and efficient revisions or approvals.
  • Prioritize clear and detailed communication. Never assume your designer has implicit understanding of your needs. Be explicit in your project briefs, and don’t hesitate to share comprehensive information about your brand and objectives.
  • Remember, effective communication is as vital with your design team as it is in any other part of your business. The clarity and detail of your interactions can significantly influence whether the final design meets your expectations or falls short.
  • By following these guidelines, you can foster a more productive and satisfying partnership with GraphicsZoo, leading to designs that perfectly embody your vision.

Tips for GraphicsZoo Users

When starting a project with GraphicsZoo, making the most of their streamlined and user-friendly platform is crucial. Here are some key strategies for a successful collaboration:

  • Use Slack for direct communication with your designer. This allows for instant feedback, ensuring clear and efficient revisions.
  • Prioritize clear and detailed communication. Never assume your designer has implicit understanding of your needs. Be explicit in your project briefs, and don’t hesitate to share comprehensive information about your brand and objectives.


Other Unlimited Graphic Design Companies

If you’re looking for more options with a similar business model as Graphics Zoo, we did the work for you. Here is our full list of unlimited graphic design services.

Continue Reading

Trending