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Peter Kim returns to Dachis Group after mini-stint at digital giant R/GA

Up-and-com­ing busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers may dream of one day see­ing their start­up achieve the online adver­tis­ing sales suc­cess of indus­try leviathans like R/GA but, accord­ing to dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing high-fly­er Peter Kim, size doesn’t always matter.

Too slow

Kim has just bid farewell to the Inter­na­tion­al Group of Com­pa­nies agency R/GA after a mere five months as Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Busi­ness Trans­for­ma­tion, return­ing to Austin-based social ana­lyt­ics start­up Dachis Group which appoint­ed him as their first employ­ee back in 2008.

Big agen­cies like R/GA might look excit­ing to out­siders – there aren’t many adver­tis­ing sales man­agers who could fail to be impressed by its suc­cess, from its mod­est begin­nings in the 1970s as a film pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny to one of the biggest dig­i­tal ad agen­cies in the world.  But there was clear­ly a cer­tain je-ne‑c’est-quoi miss­ing for Peter Kim.

Well, it’s not so mys­te­ri­ous, actu­al­ly. Kim was appoint­ed by R/GA to work pri­mar­i­ly on help­ing the agency to orga­nize social media pro­grams for its illus­tri­ous clients. The agency is under­go­ing a “rein­ven­tion” accord­ing to its founder Bob Green­berg, a process he claims takes the best part of a decade to complete.

But a strate­gic role in a dig­i­tal leviathan proved not to Kim’s taste. He insists that noth­ing went wrong; he just found the pace of agency life too slow com­pared to the start­up envi­ron­ment he’d become used to. He left Dachis Group in the fall to take up his new posi­tion but then bumped in to its co-founder, Jeff Dachis, over the hol­i­day sea­son and was pleas­ant­ly sur­prised at the progress the firm had made since his departure.

Speed mat­ters

“Once you move out of the start­up envi­ron­ment, it’s real­ly easy to for­get how quick­ly things are going,” he observed after Dachis told him the com­pa­ny had now brought prod­ucts to mar­ket that weren’t any­where near ready when he left.

Mr. Dachis, who also co-found­ed the Razor­fish dig­i­tal agency, says his firm has now raised $51 mil­lion in ven­ture fund­ing in just five years and cur­rent­ly employs 160 peo­ple. Dachis Group per­suades mar­keters to go fur­ther than sim­ply social lis­ten­ing and build bet­ter, data-dri­ven insights to act on derived from social information.

Kim returns to his for­mer employ­er in a new­ly-cre­at­ed role: chief solu­tions archi­tect. Maybe speed is bet­ter than size sometimes.

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