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Atlanta, GA – April 19, 2017  — Renard Ragsdale, the Founder of Ragsdale Design Group, received the honor of being interviewed by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Some of the highlights are listed below. Read the full interview here.



Most influential book: I can’t say that I have one. I pull my inspiration from people and organizations that are at a level where I want to be. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk and VaynerMedia is a spark plug for insight and motivation.

Favorite cause: Breast Cancer awareness and Alzheimer’s research. Both diseases have directly impacted my family. My wife and I do the annual 5K runs to raise awareness.

Favorite restaurant: That’s a tough question, I like all cuisines. I guess my favorite restaurant is either Bones or Chops, I’m a sucker for a well-cooked lamb chop (apologies to all my Vegan friends).

My favorite way to spend free time: Running, traveling, time with my family, and of course looking for challengers on PSN (Play Station Network).

Favorite music: I love it all. I love old school, 80’s music, rap, and hip hop. If you want to hear it, it’s likely in my music library. But, my favorite group is Public Enemy. I’ve been a big fan for over 33 years, and have been to quite a few live shows to date.

Biggest challenge for your business: Our biggest challenge- rapidly changing technology. When we got started in 2008 we were primarily a flash development studio. We spent countless hours, nights, and weekends learning the software to an expert level. In 2014, HTML 5 was introduced as the successor to Flash. We were forced to rapidly adopt the new language stack or become obsolete. We are also certified IOS developers. In case you’re wondering Apple devices, screen resolutions, and hardware have not stopped changing since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007.

Another big challenge is the emergence of global holding companies that are absorbing and consolidating other agencies. This problem is twofold- One this puts pressure on smaller shops to compete for business. A secondary challenge is that a lot of contacts in our network have become casualties of these mergers and buyouts. Some have been stripped of their power while others have left the industry altogether. When it comes to pitching for new business it’s a classic David and Goliath scene holding companies’ networks run deep. As they’ve acquired many niche companies along the way. Fortunately, we have staying power and have become experts at forecasting and adapting.

What’s going to change at your company in the next year: We have lots of exciting things going on this year- bringing in a business development manager. Their job will be to find and cultivate new relationships and identify new opportunities. We also plan to raise our profile and visibility in the industry. We have successfully launched dozens of sites, over 500 display and rich media campaigns, and have been up for a few awards along the way. It’s time to start letting people know that we’re out here doing good work and have been for the past nine years.

Company goal yet to be achieved: Working behind larger agencies has its challenges, one of which is the seasonality of workflow. I’d like to diversify our model and obtain more direct client relationships.

Management Philosophy

Guiding principles for good management: You can’t do it alone. Find good people. Build trust and teach them the process, then get out of the way.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Never stop learning. Constantly search for trends that have the potential to become standards. Perpetually refine your processes.

Why people like working for you: I’m easy to work with. I work hard and expect my team to take pride in their work. I’m accessible to them and provide the necessary details and information for them to be successful. I’m a firm believer in a flat organizational model.

Most inspiring entrepreneur: Lee Blankenship, founder of Search Discovery. We used to work together in the early 2000s. Self-starter and self-made, I watched him single-handedly build the company. In addition to successfully scaling Search Discovery, he created and sold a software suite named Satellite to Adobe Systems in 2013. He’s still one of my mentors and a source of inspiration.

Judgment calls

Best business decision: Leaving a secure Full-time job with benefits and paid vacation to start out on my own. When you commit to a decision to leave, there’s no turning back.

The hardest lesson learned and how you learned it: You can never have enough cash on hand. Companies don’t go out of business because they lack talent, desire, and drive, they go out of business because they run out of money. You never understand how tough it can be until you experience net 60 and net 90 pay cycles.

Toughest business decision: My toughest business decision is bringing somebody in to help when a particular client or type of work ramps up and then the work slows down or just goes away. Then the clocks really starts on trying to find enough for that person to do to keep them on board. Sometimes it seems like it’s the nature of the business but it never gets easy.

Biggest missed opportunity: When we weren’t big enough to handle what we were pitching for. It was one of those rare instances where we had the inside track on a contract that would’ve transformed the company and put us in a whole different place. We understand the “fake it till you make it” mantra but there’s a fine line between optimistically stating capabilities and downright misrepresenting. Later, I found out from some of my mentors that big jumps & growth in business happen when you take on these types of contracts.

True confessions

What I like best about job: Working with people that I truly like. Meeting and partnering with diverse clients & companies whose direction I believe in.

Like least about the job: The unpredictable work hours and seasonality of the volume/workflow.

Pet peeve: My number one Pet peeve is the “gold rush/herd mentality” Since programming and computer science are currently trending, everybody who’s watched one episode of Shark Tank is rushing to try to cash in.

First choice for a new career: It would be car-related. Either being an on-air personality or technical consultant for one of the many automotive-related series (cars, coffee, SpikeTV, TopGear, etc.)


Full interview Here

RDG is an award-winning digital media boutique based in Atlanta, GA. Our mission is to help organizations enhance their branding and marketing efforts through the use of digital media and emerging technologies. We combine design, UX and front-end development to create high-level, user-centric digital experiences for web and mobile. To learn more about RDG, visit