It was a crazy, crazy experience. Met Shakira. That was probably the highlight.

Your name, plus your original "web name/handle"

Rick Webb, old handle was Lizstless

Your first web encounter, year etc.

Coding since I was old enough to press the keys. Apple //, Commodore.

Learned all those early languages - BASIC, Pascal, FORTRAN, ADA, Lisp, etc.

I was totally obsessed. Wrote myself a little Populous ripoff game with my girlfriend in High School in Pascal. Started on Bitnet in 1989, the internet in 1990. 

Went to Boston University, started in Computer Science, but switched majors. Because there was no internet, and I didn't want to go work at Digital on Route 128 or something. Got out of college in the middle of a recession and went into desktop publishing. Lots of Quark and Powerpoint. 

Registered my first domain in 1995. Made my first website in 1995. Blogging since 1996. Working on the internet since 1998 or so.

Worked at Ernst & Young, then ran a design department at a CD Manufacturing firm. Old school. We had an Agfa imagesetter. Printed film. Then hit  a bunch of agencies: PJA, Digitas, and finally Arnold during the dot com boom. 

Started a record label, started a band. 

At Arnold I worked with Robert and Keith. We did a ton of VW sites. Mainly I was Robert's HTML buddy, taking his ridiculous Flash sites, including Turbonium, into HTML, back when people insisted on an HTML version. 

What our readers might recognise you most for, when you first hit the web.

I was one of the co-founders of the Barbarian Group, its COO for the first 10 years with Benjamin Palmer, Keith Butters, Robert Hodgin, aka Flight 404, and Aubrey Anderson. 

Did something like 2,000 projects in my time there for Volkswagen, Apple, Nike, Comcast, Emerald Nuts, Virgin Atlantic, Red Stripe, M&Ms, Fosters, HBO, Samsung, GE, Bloomberg, The Economist, Justin Timberlake, Shakira…  

Worked on 18 of the 20 sites you have listed on FWA for TBG. Good god. Those were some crazy times. 

Some favorites:

Come Clean

Pods Unite


Worked on The Subservient Chicken (project management, AI). 

Product managed Magnetosphere, which is now the iTunes visualizer, built by my partner Robert Hodgin and Andrew Bell. 

It was a crazy, crazy experience. Met Shakira. That was probably the highlight. 

Your digital journey since.

We sold the Barbarian Group in 2009.

I left 2 years later. Ten years of non-stop. I was pretty burnt out. Took a road trip and cleared my head.

Since I left 2 years ago I have been in ADD mode. LOTS of different things going on to make up for working on just one thing for a decade. 

I started doing tech investing. Invested in Foursquare before I left TBG - I was obsessed - and 40 other companies - Mashape  SimpleGeo,  Percolate (founded by ex Barbarian Noah Brier), Nestio (also some Ex Barbarian co-founders), CircaTimehopSuperhumanEditoriallySherpaa and more.

At first it was sort of just on the side, but I grew to love it, grew to love helping people, and have been doing it for (part time) work for the past year. 

What are you up to now?

Since June 2012 I've been working at a venture firm called Quotidian Ventures, helping them do investments as well. 

Worked for just under a year at Tumblr setting up the sales and marketing departments. That was an intense year. But Awesome. Left in April, and they sold the company to Yahoo! not long after. 

Wrote a book on turning your freelance company into a full-fledged agency. Just finishing it up and hoping to get it published in early 2014, sharing all I learned on the crazy journey of turning TBG from 5 to 120+ people over 10 years. 

Advising a bunch of other small agencies on the side, helping them through their growing pains - most notably a PR firm called Small Girls PR. Love them. Doing some consulting for a music site everyone loves.

Started a co-working space here in Williamsburg, called Secret Clubhouse. I work out of there along with Hype MachineOoh La La RecordsNicky DigitalGoTenna, and Brooklyn Computer Club

Got married. Started making music again. Wrote a novel. Lost weight. Started a publishing company that hasn't published anything yet.  Thinking about what's next.

2013 was the year of many projects. 2014 is hopefully going to be the year of just one big one. 

Still love the internet. It's different, and my work is different, but it's still a ball. 

Rick Webb... Then
Rick Webb... Then

Rick Webb... Now
Rick Webb... Now

Subservient Chicken
Subservient Chicken

Come Clean
Come Clean


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