Local entrepreneurs David Littlejohn and Andrew Clark are exploring the unknown with their new business venture, Humanaut, and they said there's no better place to do that than Chattanooga.
"It's a lot of [research and development]," Littlejohn said. "It takes time and it can be risky. You can't really take risks in San Francisco or New York. Your cost of talent and space is so high [in those places] that you need to be profitable."
Humanaut is the evolution of another venture called Pale Dot Voyage, and despite the uncharted territory, the duo said they have been profitable since the start of Pale Dot Voyage.
Alex Bogusky, partner with advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, has invested in the company and is also offering creative guidance.
And the Humanaut mission is to help clients create and "innovate" products, then continue on through the process of marketing and brand identity.
They don't only market and advertise products, they help create and design products—from books to applications—all the while infusing the product with the brand.
They don't take on clients to market everything that company does; they take on specific projects and work through the entire creative process—from concept to advertising, such as creating television spots, Web videos or social media strategies.
"We love it when people come up with an idea, and we want to be able to help you think about who you are as a brand, along with thinking about the product you're building," Clark said. "We do think they should be deeply integrated."
Moving forward, Littlejohn and Clark might start incubating startups and focusing specifically on product design and branding, they said.
Currently, Humanaut has a team of seven, although that fluctuates when they work with freelancers.
And they are looking to hire designers, writers and creative entrepreneurs to work with. Click here for more information about hiring.
With Pale Dot Voyage, the duo helped local couple Dan and Amelia Jacobs create a zombie children's book, "A Brain Is for Eating."
And they partnered with Colorado entrepreneur Tomer Alpert to blend technology with old-school letter writing. They produced a new iPad application—called Felt—that allows the user to send a personalized, handwritten note without the hassle of envelopes, stamps and the post office.
They said they are invested in all the work they collaborate on. They are out promoting the products they have helped create.
"Humanaut is not the only story we are proud of," Littlejohn said. "We would really love for people to check out our work."
Updated @ 1:22 p.m. on 9/20/13 to correct a factual error: Bogusky is a partner with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, not a co-founder, as originally reported.
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