In Focus: Interview with Barbara O Stephenson, CEO of 300FeetOut, United States

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Barbara O Stephenson

Barbara O Stephenson is the CEO of 300FeetOut, a creative studio based in the United States that creates immersive brand experiences by integrating design and development from beginning to end.

Barbara O Stephenson | 300FeetOut

Interview with the 2018 Muse Creative Awards Winner - Barbara O Stephenson

1First, tell us about yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
I’ve been CEO of 300FeetOut since 2013. My background is in customer service operations which means that process and empathy are at the forefront of everything I do. Our team is comprised of a group of award-winning, highly experienced people who understand that design leads to technology and technology leads design.

300FeetOut was started in 1997 as a graphic design firm that rapidly moved digital. We acquired our long term development partner in 2015.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
We’re a team of designers and developers that work together to build creative that speaks to data, strategy, and has an emotional pull. This is a unique niche because traditionally studios are one or the other. Normally you’d have either have design or development lead the process but we actually merge them together.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2018 Muse Creative Awards, what does winning this award mean to you and your team?
It is in two parts- first the reinforcement for our clients that our agency has been award winning for over 20 years and secondly it’s the recognition from our peers which frankly just feels good. It’s justification for the hard work.
4Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
In 5 to 10 years, we’ll see AI (assistance technology) increase to the point where creative will become a highly niched role, even more so than now. This is both for designers and developers alike.

Like data, design and development will be regulated if we don’t take on the ethical responsibility to do it ourselves.

AR and VR for sure will be a larger part of our lives. While the hardware has made great strides in battery, processing, and comfortability; it is still a way out for the mass market. That means that right now we have fantastic potential to influence the future. If we don’t jump into VR now and start implementing good design, we’re going to end up with a mess like we had back in the early 2000s of geocities type website design.
5What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
1. I love when creatives get excited about projects and the future. No other business I have ever been in generates the same buzz.

2. The ability to learn and inspire is a 360 process.

3. The deep soul satisfaction of a job well done, knowing that you partnered with someone to make their business more successful.
6Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Sooooo typical to say, my mother. If you meet her, you automatically become a better person for it.
7What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
Living in the Bay Area of California in the US means that design has a special relationship with tech. Everywhere you go you hear people discuss your craft, coffee shops to standing in line at the grocery store. You can’t escape the workshops, parties, learning opportunities etc. unless you don’t leave your house.
8If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a career in creative industry, what would it be?
Always strive to be sincere, proactive, and never settle to stay in your place. This industry is full of enough fakers who think that the world revolves around them and their contributions that you have a great opportunity to be different.
9What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the advertising industry?
Read and take classes. Develop basic coding skills, speech and debate skills, and learn how to see the big picture. Explore new things, meet and find a mentor.
10Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
The color yellow reminds me of diapers.
11Finally, what is your key to success?
My motto is that everything can be improved. It means I accept finished products easier since they will never be perfect and I’m always looking for ways to be a better person, leader, and contributor to my team.

Winning Entries

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We’re a no-holds-barred kind of creative studio — giving it all we’ve got, with zero reservations. 20+ years in, we’re making digital happen, rocking out campaigns, and branding on the daily. We believe the true integration of design and development pushes brands to get gutsy and cultivate rich, immersive experiences that leave a lasting impression. We love clients with dynamic offerings, raw stories, and far-out business ideas. The kind that challenge us to tackle the ambiguous defy norms, and inspire them to make a significant difference. Together, we dig a little deeper. Go a little harder. And bring it. Each and every day.