Joining The Dots Between Creativity And Commerce

The Company Putting Stock in the Future of Creativity and Control in the Hands of Creatives

Something people tend to forget, or try to ignore, is that the reality of creativity – for all its real, intrinsic, artistic value – is that it’s a business. People may not create solely for the purpose of making money, but we live in a world where it’s necessary to have money in order to create. And perhaps no one understands this malaise better than Pip Jamieson, founder and CEO of The Dots – “which is a bit like LinkedIn but for the creative industries.”

“Passionate about helping amazing creatives promote themselves and connect with new contacts and opportunities,” The Dots was born out of a genuine desire to support and champion the creative community. Pip’s long-term aim, though, is to convince creative people to holster their trepidation when it comes to courting work, and to actively champion themselves: “Creatives add so much value to our economy but tend to under-value themselves. We’re trying to change all that by helping them commercialise in a credible way that makes sense to them.”

Pip Jamieson & Sir John Hegarty
Having now enlisted the help of Sir John Hegarty – just about the only name in advertising that holds as much weight as Saatchi (or Draper, for that matter) – as its new chairman, with a brief to continue “putting creativity at the heart of commerce and industry”, rather than vice versa, The Dots is entering the next phase in its evolution – and we asked Pip to talk us through it.

The Plus: What makes The Dots special compared to other career-network platforms?
Pip Jamieson:
Our amazing community is more discovery led – they want to find people to connect with, irrespective of any prior connection. It doesn’t matter if that person is in Berlin, Birmingham, or Brooklyn. Once they’ve met on The Dots, they can then make creative magic offline. It’s an open network: our community can view other people’s work without having to be connected first, which isn’t possible on LinkedIn.

TP: Why did you decide to work with Sir John Hegarty?
John is a complete legend. He’s worked in the industry for six decades, but has remained completely current and visionary – it’s such an honour to be working with him. He loves our vision of becoming the leading professional networking platform for the creative industries, and our mission to generate one million commercial opportunities for creative professionals by 2018. It’s an audacious goal, but – along with John’s contacts and experience – it’s a realistic one.

Pip Jamieson, Founder and CEO of The Dots
Headshots for The Loop
TP: What does “creative” mean to you?
Looking to the future, with the rising march of automation, creativity is our secret weapon. Soon, machines will drive, serve customers, code, manufacture, clean, do our accounts and legals. What will humans still be good for? Creativity! If we want our children and grandchildren to have jobs, we need to stop thinking of creativity as a fluffy subject: as Ken Robinson famously said ‘Creativity is as important as literacy’.

TP: Are you planning to turn The Dots into an international platform?
We are indeed. About 16% of our users are international, but most of the companies using The Dots to find talent are UK based. Saying that, there is a massive creative skill shortage in the UK at the moment, so more and more of our clients are looking for top talent to hire from international markets. However, our vision is to become the leading professional networking platform for creatives globally, and having spent eight years of my life in Hong Kong, it’s a dream of mine to launch an office there.