ImagiNation with Javier Santana

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Javier Santana

Co-Founder, Launch

Occupation: Javier Santana, Co-Founder @ Launch

Favorite Productivity Tool: Slack & Trello.  I don’t know how I survived so long without them.

Most Recommended App: I think “Feedly”, since it helps me catch up on all of my interests and news super quick. Great app for busy entrepreneurs.

Last Thing You Read: Work Rules by Laszlo Bock

Also reading: The Peaceable Kingdom: Building a Company Without Factionalism, Fiefdoms, Fear and Other Staples of Modern Business by Stan Richards, The Richard’s Group

Website: launchxd.com

We also have “MondaysAreAwesome.com” – fun stuff coming soon.

Twitter handle: @launchxd

Instagram handle: @launchxd

Personal: Don’t do much tweeting nowadays, but I Insta @graphicweb

Tell us about your journey? My journey has been one in the making for quite some time, but i’ll give you the CliffsNotes.

I was an freelance illustrator and designer in Miami for about 5 years.  I decided to go back to school and study computer science, but that was short lived due to a job offer in Atlanta back in 1999. I packed it up and made Atlanta my new HQ.

Since then, I’ve had a few startups that didn’t quite work out, so I ended up working on the client and agency side for a while.

I was actually working as an interactive art director at homedepot.com when I met my business partner, David Preiss. We both shared a vision of creating an agency that had an awesome culture and did really great work, so we started to meet over the weekends to get our plan in place.  A few months later during Summer of 2011, Launch was born.

It took us a few years before we figured out the right formula and we had several ventures that we had to let go of in order to focus on Launch. Once we did that, we started recruiting everyone we had worked with in the past that we felt were the “best of the best.”

We convinced our friends to take a chance with us, and together we created the place we always wanted to work in with our own rules.

What's your favorite part of your day? I have several parts of my day that I really enjoy, but it starts with my mornings when I get a chance to catch up with everyone.  We have a really tight knit group, so we have a lot of fun together. You should see our Slack chatter – it’s pretty ridiculous.

When do you feel most successful? When a client gives us praise.  Anytime someone tells me that they really enjoyed our partnership, or they tell us they’re getting really positive results from the products we’ve created, that gives us a sense of accomplishment which further fuels our passion.

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained? Mucho Espresso + a good city walk. Our office is right in the heart of Downtown Atlanta, so a good 30 minute walk to Centennial Park or towards Midtown helps me clear my head and gives me a jolt of energy.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? Prioritize and plan EVERYTHING.  I think all entrepreneurs have a habit of taking on a lot and having major to-do lists that are constantly evolving.  I look at my lists of things to complete and try to focus on only the high priority items first, then move/add as needed.

I try to plan my week every Sunday and leave a few open spots on my calendar for those opportunities that may surface. That helps me walk in on Monday with a clear view of what my week will look like.

How do you optimize your day? See above :)

Who is the person/people who allowed you to imagine more? That’s a tough question.  I would say that it is a combo of some of our clients and team members.  We have clients that trust us to come up with crazy ideas and encourage us to keep doing so.  Some ideas work, others not so much, but we push each other to continuously one-up ourselves.

What does imagining more mean to you and your story? Imagining plays a huge role in our story because we’re constantly reinventing how we think about strategy and design, and how evolving technology plays a part in it.  You can’t be complacent in this business and that’s what I love about it.

If you could do more of one thing every day what would it be? I’d love to spend a little more time in front of a whiteboard ideating and thinking of ways to create new digital and physical products with my team. I work with some really smart people, and when we start concepting, the conversations always get super interesting and very fun.

I’m fortunate to have my work as my hobby, so I never feel like work invades my life – it’s a continuous part of it.