TMBA 337: The Power of the Pickle

TMBA337: The Power of the Pickle post image

Podcast 45:47| Download | Stitcher | iTunes | Comment

On this week’s show, Dan and Ian are speaking to Russ Perry about his entrepreneurial journey, which culminated in him creating the successful productized service Design Pickle.

In 2014 Russ walked away from the traditional-model advertising and branding agency that he’d co-founded a decade earlier. He then, basically, started again from scratch:

“My blank slate was pretty blank slate. It was: you have no business, there’s no revenue, you have nothing, and you’ve got a ton of financial obligations that you’ve got to make sure get figured out in less than 30 days.”

Two years later, Design Pickle has 20 full-time employees and, just last month, billed $90k in recurring revenue. You’ll hear about how Russ achieved all this, as well as an in-depth discussion of Bossman’s pickle preferences.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Where Russ was at in his life when he decided it was time to end his first business. (2:36)
  • What made Russ decide to start a productized service business. (8:12)
  • How much Design Pickle has grown in less than two years. (11:59)
  • The “dirty secret” of most creative-based service companies. (23:49)
  • Why Russ believes culture is their secret weapon. (31:31)

Mentioned in the episode:

Enjoyed this podcast? Check out these:

Listening options:

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian

Published on 05.19.16
  • I love this episode. I’ve followed Russ’ story since he first posted anything in the Dynamite Circle and I love how he has built this brand from scratch.

    Also, please, bring back the old applause effect to the show!

  • Russ Perry: the man, the legend!

  • Hey Mark! I’m just a regular pickle :)

  • Thanks Christina! I owe the DC a big download – working on it this month :) Take care!

  • caught your ad on youtube yesterday, LOL’z man thats good stuff. “Design Pickle is real” kills me.

  • :D

  • So inspiring! Hearing the ability to manage what would otherwise be complex / creative work through customers emailing their request has made me work on a pivot already :)

  • rock sauce! agree this one inspired me too.

  • Just got around to hearing this, nice work guys!

    @purefuel99:disqus I’ve been madly trying to follow your story and business mechanics ever since Design Pickle was introduced to me by Ben at Bean Ninjas. I’m super inspired by both of you and my productised service business is uncannily similar, though we specialise in translating 2D architectural plans/blueprints into 3D fly-throughs only for landscape contractors – helping them win more construction work. I just set up my office in Manila this week, with two staff and a third on the way soon.

    My monthly revenue has definitely been increasing steadily and although I have also moved away from the hourly rates model common to consulting, introducing the monthly recurring revenue model is something I still haven’t been able to do successfully.

    Wondering if you have any advice or could share your methodology for determining the “magic number” (monthly fee). Did you start by looking at office and staffing costs multiplied by desired margin? Or perhaps average project size and time required by clients in the past and someone averaging that out? Would love your thoughts on this.

    Cheers @TropicalMBA:disqus and Ian for another top interview.. Love ya work!

  • Cheers Shah appreciate it!

  • JJC

    For Russ – the best pickle available

Next post: