on founding bx

Dec 22, 2021
by jacob sussman

We made it. After two year and a half years of late nights, tight budgets, and full-day Zoom marathons, my agency Diamond Hook had hit an inflection point. Profits were higher than ever, we were winning our best clients yet, and the year's rapid ascent had bonded our team as a tight-knit family.

Yet, this was the month I decided to leave. A new opportunity awaited, and as Diamond Hook moved into its next phase I made my goodbyes and buckled down to do it all over again.

In July of '21, I cold emailed Peter Kang, the CEO of Barrel. Although we had never spoken, I’d been an avid student of Peter’s blog for over a year. In fact, his writing had become the greatest influence on my approach to managing Diamond Hook.

A Zoom meet led to coffee plans. Over cold brew in Park Slope, Peter coyly floated an invitation - an offer to join his holding company as the founder of a new agency.

The prospect of jumping from Peter’s fan to business partner was thrilling. But, the business had no form, and we had to define it before getting to work.

Over the fall, we vetted and discarded more than a dozen agency concepts. These included:

  • Barrel, but leaner (DTC eCommerce agency)
  • a commerce email marketing agency
  • a Webflow design and development agency
  • a productized service for producing commerce email automations
  • a marketplace for productized product demo video production
  • a DAO agency

Eventually, we landed on BX’s current form - a two pronged approach, offering both rapid, templated website production and bespoke Webflow development.

Our signature service, The 10-Day Website, produces a fully custom site via a hyper-efficient process. It's an experiment for us, but one we're extremely bullish on. We also offer Webflow development (but no design).

These two services lay the foundation for BX to scale. While a traditional agency might prize itself on developing unique strategy for each client, we’re intentionally avoiding any services that 1. require subjective analysis, 2. might incur unscoped revisions from clients, and 3. can’t be easily replicated at scale.

As I plot out the next year, I’m reminded of Joseph Campbell’s quote “If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.” How fitting that the man known for identifying the universal story structure could see the benefits of going off the beaten path in his own life.

Although we don’t know if this current iteration of BX will make it out of the woods, I’m optimistic that the agency we discover will be better than the one I left behind. More importantly, I can’t think of a way I’d rather grow than uncovering that path for myself.

other writing

more posts are coming soon!

jacob sussman

co-founder & ceo @ bx studio

about jacob

i’m Jacob Sussman. i run BX Studio and live in brooklyn, where you can often find me citibiking, trying new restaurants, and going to the movies. more about me here.