As co-founder of creative agency The Barbarian Group, Rick Webb helped define the then-burgeoning field of digital marketing. When Barbarian experienced rapid growth, Webb had to get comfortable with delegating creative control, and when the agency was sold to holding company Cheil Worldwide, he and his partners had to relinquish control of their operations and even contend with a corporate scandal. In his 99U talk, Webb takes a detailed look at the birth and life of a creative organization, and the messy realities of the coveted “exit”.
Rick Webb is a writer, angel investor, and consultant to such startups and marketing companies such as Tumblr, Soundcloud, and Percolate. He currently serves as COO at Timehop.
In 2001, Webb co-founded The Barbarian Group, an award-winning digital ad agency. He served as its COO for the first ten years of the company’s existence. Webb left in 2011 to pursue angel investing in technology and advertising. He is an angel investor in Foursquare, Percolate, Sherpaa, Nestio and Timehop. He is an advisor to several other tech startups and marketing services companies, including Hard Candy Shell and Small Girls PR.
Webb is author of Agency: Starting a Creative Firm in the Age of Digital Marketing, released by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015, and Man Nup: A Groom’s Guide to Heroic Wedding Planning in 2016. He is an avid writer on technology, advertising, economics, and government. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in International Economics in 1992. He serves a board member of the VCU a, one of the most renowned advertising graduate schools, and was named as Creativity Magazine‘s ’50 Most Creative People in Marketing’ (2008). He was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska.