Interview with Ben Lamm, CEO of Hypergiant, United States

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Ben Lamm

Ben Lamm is a serial technology entrepreneur that builds intelligent and transformative businesses. He is currently the founder and CEO of Hypergiant, a next-gen AI and defense company.

Interview with the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards Winner - Ben Lamm

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your background.

Ben Lamm is a serial technology entrepreneur that builds intelligent and transformative businesses. He is currently the founder and CEO of Hypergiant, a next-gen AI and defense company. Previous to founding Hypergiant, Lamm was the CEO and founder of Conversable, the leading conversational intelligence platform that helps brands reach their customers through automated experiences on all major messaging and voice platforms.

Conversable was acquired by LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN) in 2018. Lamm was also the founder and CEO of Chaotic Moon, a global mobile creative technology powerhouse acquired by Accenture (NYSE: ACN). During his time at Chaotic Moon and as a Managing Director at Accenture, Lamm spearheaded the creation of some of the Fortune 500’s most groundbreaking digital products and experiences in the emerging tech world of IoT, VR, Connected Car, Mobile, Tablet, and Wearables. Groundbreaking digital products and experiences in the emerging tech world of IoT, VR, Connected Car, Mobile, Tablet, and Wearables.

After leaving Accenture, Lamm focused his attention on other ventures, including the consumer gaming company he co-founded, Team Chaos. Team Chaos was focused on making fun, original games that people can easily play across a variety of platforms. In 2016, Team Chaos was acquired by Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA). In addition to leading and growing his own companies, Lamm is very active in angel investing, incubators and startup communities, with investments in the software and emerging tech space. He actively mentors fellow entrepreneurs on how to build disruptive businesses through accelerators and corporate programs. In addition to supporting startups, Lamm also serves on Adweek’s advisory board, the Planetary Society’s advisory council and the advisory board of the Arch Mission. Lamm is often quoted in the press on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, and has appeared as a thought leader in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Adweek, Entrepreneur, Inc, Wired, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Newsweek.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

I don’t think we become creative. I think everyone IS creative. I am choosing to lean into that creativity because I believe the more creative we are the better able we are to address the world’s biggest challenges. There are a lot of problems were get stuck on old ways of thinking. The problems are solvable but we need new methods: that requires new ideas and people who want to be creative change agents and that is important.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I am the CEO of Hypergiant, which is my fifth company, and Hypergiant Industries focuses on solving humanity's most challenging problems and leading the way in data intelligence as humanity enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To accomplish this mission, the company creates emerging AI-driven technologies and develops world-changing commercial products and solutions for Fortune 500 and government clients. As the parent corporation over a roster of divisions, Hypergiant Industries serves verticals that include space science and exploration, satellite communications, aviation, defense, healthcare, transportation and municipal infrastructure, food and beverage, retail and more. Founded in 2018, the company has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Washington, DC.

I wear a lot of hats at Hypergiant including focusing on the brand and R&D. I also work to set out vision for what we want to do and where we need to go. I create the world that the company exists in and share that message to the world. So my job is really creative because it’s about dreaming up big ideas and solutions.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?

It means taking risks that other people don’t understand so that you can move the dialogue and conversation forward. It means redesigning things to be more useful or effective. And in this case things might be ideas, or products, or concepts. Things are not merely physical.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

It’s something that surprises me – it elicits an emotion and makes me rethink something. I have a certain preference for creative though. I want ideas that feel odd, a bit surreal and that have a bold sense of taste. Artists like Agnes Martin are cool but I’m really a bold pop sort of Wharhol guy. I want art that is your face.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

I consume everything and through that process my find way into new ideas and new creative concepts. I’m not sure that I can explain the process. I sort of think about it like making soup without a recipe: I add things in and more things in and then eventually I have soup. I use that soup to feed people and then I go back and make more soup.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

Ideas! I have a million ideas. Ideas are what I thrive off of. So, coming up with an idea and then getting to build it excites me to no end.

8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

I have incredibly eclectic taste. There is no one right overall creative style. There is a style for every idea and execution. I try to find that in the projects and products I work on. When you know, you know.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Totally. Being Texan and American is a huge part of who I am and there is something about the land and culture here that seeps into everything I do. Texas is a bold place. The people are bold. The landscape is bold. All of those things are true of America too. The weather is even bold here. I’ve never created a brand that isn’t as bold as the land I am from. And, this is largely because of the culture I’m in. I don’t know how to be or even want to be quiet or contained in my work. I want to build big bold impactful things that change what you think is possible in the world.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

This is huge! We love being recognized for our creativity because so often we are recognized for our science or technology but really the heart of Hypergiant is about our creative point of view on the world.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

We won for our corporate identity work and our website. Both are great examples of how our dedication to brand and creativity have driven our company forward. We had a real aesthetic point of view we wanted to provide to the world conjoined with a point of view about what we wanted to do. This twins those.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Fighting the company and our customers. People wanted the website to be more sales driven and I refused. Our website is like a taste of us; it’s not intended to shove a whole cake down your throat. It is intended to evoke an emotion and show people what we stand for. It is not about selling, but more about starting a conversation.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Awards help you to understand where you are making an impact. This always helps and so we do submit for awards because we understand that they allow people to see and experience our work. It’s important to me that this is something we’re involved in and develop.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1.) The chance to play

2.) The chance to take risks

3.) The other people that you get to create with

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

America is a melting pot of cultures and ideas. I believe if you take inspiration from all that America has to offer, you have no excuse to not be creative.

16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

I think we may be surprised by the return to more traditional creative pursuits. I think people are absorbing digital but craving physical and that will be an interesting mash-up. How do we create real world community in a place that is accelerating digitally constantly? I’m not sure but I want to find out.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Keep creating. It’s ok to make stuff people hate. Keep doing it.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

Consume everything. The more you learn the better of a creative you will be. I read all the things from ancient alien blogs to NASA reports on missions to art critique to fashion pieces to diaries of explorers. To make art that matters to the world, you need to understand and be consuming the whole world to inform your perspective.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

I hate banana flavored ice cream. Hate. I get it’s for someone but not me.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

My grandmother Gigi is just a total powerhouse force. She’s constantly living her life with total joy and excitement. I adore her and try to do the same with mine.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

More is more. Learn more. Earn more. Create more. More begets more.

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

The future is weird and complicated and strange. We need more creative people to attempt to figure it out.

Winning Entries

Hypergiant Industries | 2020

Hypergiant | MUSE Creative Awards

Hypergiant Industries CEO, Ben Lamm, wanted to create an ambitious, thought-provoking and mysterious brand for a startup artificial intelligence company...
(read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

A Better World | 2020

Hypergiant | MUSE Creative Awards

Named after the largest and brightest class of star in the known universe, Hypergiant Industries’ vision is to be the guiding light that solves humanity’s...
(read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Hypergiant Industries

Hypergiant Industries focuses on solving humanity's most challenging problems and leading the way in data intelligence as humanity enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution.