11 November, 2020

E101 – Patrick Llewellyn, 99designs

Patrick Llewellyn is the CEO and President of 99designs, the global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together. Patrick is Open the Pod Bay Door’s second ever two-time guest. Since we’ve last chatted with Patrick, a lot has happened for 99designs. 99designs now employs over 100 people, has a community of over 25,000 active freelance designers, and in October, was acquired by global printing giant Vistaprint.
In this chat with Ian, Patrick speaks about his lockdown experience living in Melbourne, how a plan for a massive global restructuring was completely disrupted in March by COVID-19, and how a casual coffee meeting with the founder of Vistaprint ultimately led to an acquisition. Patrick dives deep into his mindset and decision making progress around the acquisition and how the company and his role will evolve as a result of the new partnership. Some other topics covered include how reverse brain drain may be impacting the talent market and the key macro insights from the new Design Without Borders: The Future of Freelancing report from 99designs.
Recommendations from Patrick

  • Book: Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It… and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
  • Podcast: Recode Decode, Pivot, Techmeme Ride Home
  • Productivity tool/app: Spotify (to listen to podcasts at 1.2x speed)
  • Favorite tech CEO: Mike & Scott from Atlassian, Melanie Perkins from Canva, Luke Annear from SafetyCulture
  • Ted Talk topic: “Globalization isn’t a dirty word”

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