Abby Ross – Partner at Blueye Creative

[quote style=”boxed”]Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is a must-read. It’s sometimes hard to abide by, but the authors give great ideas about building an MVP (minimum viable product) and organizing a team for work effectiveness.[/quote]

Abby Ross is a partner at Blueye Creative, a Chicago-based Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, where she leads product development and client strategy. Blueye was founded in 2005 as an online media firm specializing in website design, graphic design and website development. With award-winning expertise in web design, web development and online marketing, Blueye provides people with the tools they need to take a business to the next level.

Abby and her team also created Blueye’s Always Be Social Platform, which helps brands create, manage, and monetize lifestyle applications for Facebook/mobile/web. All of their applications generate social, viral actions that create meaningful connections between consumers and brands and collect behavioral data for retargeting.

Abby was formerly VP of business development at Where I’ve Been, as well as an emerging media strategist at Anhesuer-Busch and DraftFCB Chicago. She loves talking about tech, yoga, puppies, and the unique and quirky corporate culture of Blueye Creative.

What are you working on right now?

Blueye has been growing extremely quickly, which is exciting–we’re adding new team members, rolling out some great products for our clients, and continuing to iterate on our platform. As we’re starting to see how clients use and want to use our platform, we are making improvements in usability and analytics. Our next big initiative is integrating mobile solutions into our platform. I’m currently spending a great deal of time researching mobile usage and the intersection with how people use uSocial in the marketplace.

Where did the idea for Always Be Social come from?

I wrote a blog post about this that explains it pretty clearly.

What does your typical day look like?

Disclaimer: I am a huge night owl.

Clients are more likely to get an email from me at 5:00 a.m. because I stayed up all night (not because I woke up early). Shannon and I kick off our Mondays with breakfast somewhere in Wicker Park–it’s a great motivator and perfect for putting together an outlook and goal-setting plan for our week ahead. We also start each day by writing down three things we must accomplish that day. My to-do list seems like it has 100 things on it at a time, so this narrows things down and prioritizes them for me. Some days, I don’t have any meetings and will work from a coffee shop; other days, I have back-to-back meetings. However, I will probably have a triple espresso drink in the morning, a yoga session in the afternoon, and productive spurts of work in between.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Two things:

  1. I spoke on a panel at Techweek in Chicago this past May about “The Death of the Banner Ad.” I’m really excited for the industry to innovate on current media ad products and to find a blend between intuitive units, baked into the user experience, that aren’t intrusive.
  2. Transparency when it comes to information sharing on the Internet, particularly around donating online.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Right after I graduated college, I moved to San Francisco without a job or money. So I took the first job I could find, at Jamba Juice. While I’m definitely a fantastic smoothie artist, I was the one standing on the sidewalk wearing the banana suit, handing out free samples.

It taught me three things:

  1. I will do whatever it takes to make a situation work.
  2. I learned how to walk up to people and sell.
  3. I must be challenged every day by the people I work with and the work I do.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I have no regrets, although I wish I would have learned more programming so I could keep up with the developers in the office.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

This answer on Quora from the CEO of Esquire is the most eloquent answer I’ve ever heard about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Oh, we’ve got a million, some of which include: beer-flavored Capri Sun packets, margarita freeze pops, and a robot butler!

Tell us a secret.

I’m really good with spreadsheets, and I’m also very particular about them. I think it secretly bothers everyone in the office. #sorryimnotsorry

What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?

  1. Dribbble is so great for design inspiration.
  2. TechCrunch/CrunchBase allows me to keep up on trends.
  3. Pinterest makes me want to be a better version of myself.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is a must-read. It’s sometimes hard to abide by, but the authors give great ideas about building an MVP (minimum viable product) and organizing a team for work effectiveness.

What’s on your playlist?

I love Spotify because I can creep on all my friends’ music. It really helps me in the discovery music phase. Right now, I’m rocking Sam Cooke radio.

If you weren’t working on the Always Be Social platform, what would you be doing?

I’d be traveling!

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  1. @Hubspot
  2. @Kissmetrics
  3. @Grantland

Check them out simply because they’re all great and will give you something to think about.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I laugh every day. The last time I did, it was probably caused by someone at the office.

Who is your hero?

My parents–they’ve inspired me and taught me the value of hard work, being kind to others, and laughing.

What is the best thing about your job?

The Blueye team is the best thing. We have an absolutely incredible group of people, and I’m so lucky to work with such an innovative and creative team.

What do you wish you could change about yourself?

I lose my keys at least once a month. I really wish I could cut that out.


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