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If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Advice for Young Creatives

About this presentation

Never content to accept conventional wisdom, creatives love to learn things the hard way. But is it absolutely necessary? We chatted with a handful of 99U Conference attendees about the things they wished someone had told them when they were just starting out. A shortlist of the takeaways: never sacrifice what you love, find great collaborators and share your ideas, learn how to say no and stay focused, and always, always stick to your guns.

About the participants

The attendees from the 2010 99U Conference who participated in this video are: Jessica Davenport Assistant Project Manager, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Paul Farmer Creative Director, The Dave Ramsey Show Stephanie Gschwendtner Strategy & Sales, IdeaPaint Bill Hampton EVP Broadcast, The Dave Ramsey Show Pablo Melchor Partner, 101 Felix Ng Art Director, Silnt Patrick Robinson Producer, Grip Limited Josh Rubin Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Cool Hunting Edwin Tan Founder & Art Director UUONN LLP Rafael Uguina Partner, 101 Parris Whittingham Founder, Parris Whittingham Photography Bora Yoon Musician & Sound Designer

Special thanks

This video was made in collaboration with Marissa Shrum and Mother New York.

What about you?

Do YOU have any advice for young creatives that we missed? Please share your own tips and lessons learned in the comments.

Comments (13)
  • Julie K


    I put this together for the same purpose a while back. If you get a chance to look at it, please tell me what you think.

  • Jocelyn

    @julie – Good stuff. I particularly like: “Take the biggest chances as soon as you can.” So true.

  • Sean Metcalf

    “If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.” Such a timeless thought. I think as long as you’re seeking out and digging deep into the things that you love, you will always be motivated to improve and set new goals. Thanks for this video post, I am class of 2011 and these are great tips that I will take to heart.

  • Christi

    Julie- Your presentation was awesome! I am going to keep that handy on my desktop for inspiration. It was put together so thoughtfully and artistically. If you have any other awesome things you want to share — please email me


  • Michael

    Thanks for this. Makes me feel much better about the last year and a half. Gotta keep grinding!


  • MIster X

    All liars. Pure fiction.
    There is always someone who reigns over the team.

  • NothingKeeps

    Changing Education Paradigms, a talk from Sir Ken Robinson:

    It’s enlivened by animation from RSA … very thought provoking!

  • Jack

    Thank you.

  • Jessicacascantes

    I really loved thsi video..! Thank you so much for posted it, and thank you to all those who gave a message in the video… This is the right time to me to hear that! Sometimes we just need a push… Today, you guys gave it to me!😉

  • Pravash Dey


  • diana

    all true stuff

  • Mark Twain

    Loved this video. Very informative and useful one. It is very interactive one with some interactive whiteboard coating experiences.

  • monez-gusmang

    great advice, thnx

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Illustration by Oscar Ramos Orozco.
Illustration by Oscar Ramos Orozco.