Episode 57 / Bringing the Chocolate
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Haraldur Thorleifsson and his team at Ueno are creating immersive digital brand experiences for some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies. Google, Uber, Airbnb, and Slack all turn to the creative agency for their clean, friendly, and intuitive designs. After several years building his portfolio and struggling with health issues, Haraldur — a.k.a Halli — started Ueno in 2014. In four years, Halli grew the company to 60 employees spread across four offices around the world, and he’s not stopping. To get to 200 employees and more Ueno outposts they’re building quickly, crediting transparent relationships as the key to their success.

On this episode, Halli talks about building trust with first-time clients (14:25) and teaching brands the role of agencies (17:39). He shares how collaboration and fostering personal relationships are important to their process (21:23). He talks about not wanting to be boxed into the same design style (25:59). As Ueno continues to boom, Halli talks about restructuring their company to be autonomous without his direct oversight (27:36). At the same time, he’s learning how to encourage creativity and bring geographically spread out teams together (30:01). Finally, Halli talks about overcoming alcoholism (38:30), taking things to their extremes (39:42), and bringing his big visions for Ueno to life (40:50).

On Twitter, you can follow Halli and Ueno. Check out Ueno's blog on Medium.

“We look at our clients as partners and collaborators, and we want to be an extension rather than an outside team.”

 Bringing the Chocolate

Also mentioned on the show:


You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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