David Jones, until recently vice-president of social media at Critical Mass, has left the agency and launched his own business called Social Lab Inc.
The month-old venture is billed as a consultancy that can “develop internal social media capabilities, create social media presences with purpose, and collaborate on social-by-design campaign ideas,” according to Jones’ LinkedIn profile.
Jones, who has worked at some of Canada’s preeminent public relations and digital creative agencies such as Thornley Fallis, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Proximity and Blast Radius, has built a reputation as a leading digital and social media thinker.
“It was time for me to give it a shot under my own power,” Jones told Marketing. “I love the agency business, but it’s time for my own thing. If you get to be senior in the agency business, a lot of your time isn’t spent on client problems; you’re dealing with the agency.”
Social Lab is currently a one-person operation consulting with a few unnamed clients and agencies in Canada and the U.S. However, Jones has formed strategic partnerships with businesses such as Relish Interactive and newly formed “data-driven media innovations firm” Performance Content Group.
“They’re all people I really respect and want to work with,” Jones says, opting for alliances such as these “rather than trying to build everything in-house.”
Jones is not averse, however, to growing his one-man business into a “full agency” down the road, depending on where his client relations lead him.