New York, NY
What a wonderful, unexpected ride it has been.
Fourteen years ago, when I founded my first company, MKG, it was with little more than a cell phone, a laptop, and a pretty ambitious dream.
I wanted to do something different. Not for the sake of standing out—as many of you might know, that’s never really been a problem of mine—but because I was driven by a belief that I couldn’t quite shake: that each of us should work the way we live, and that our professional lives should be an expression of the deepest parts of our personalities.
Now, all these years later, I’ve been very fortunate to have largely held true to that initial vision. And what a journey it has been. We are now five companies, with offices in three cities, and over 100 combined employees.
We have truly come a long way.
MKG has grown and matured into a leading experiential marketing agency, working with some of the world’s largest and most iconic brands. Spun out of MKG in 2013, Pink Sparrow is a scenic fabrication and design shop that has expanded far beyond my wildest expectations, so much so, in fact, that it will soon move to a brand new 20,000 square foot warehouse, more than doubling its capacity. Our youngest company, 214, has blossomed into a boutique branding & communications agency that specializes in positioning and amplifying emerging brands with heart.
And then there is Live Grey, originally founded as a movement that captured my philosophy of breaking with traditional notions of black & white work/life divides. Live Grey has now evolved into a thriving business, one that helps companies both large and small challenge those divides, and encourages employees to live authentic lives inside and outside the workplace—a goal that fully embodies that spirit upon which all of my companies were founded.
The journey has indeed been incredible, but with steady growth comes new challenges. That is why, in October 2015, I founded Pineapple Co to serve as a parent company to all of these businesses.
Under the leadership of myself and Dave Garlick, my long-time Chief Operating Officer, Pineapple Co provides broad strategic vision and people and business operations support across the portfolio of companies, which allows the leadership of each company to focus their time and energy on doing what they do best: creating amazing and innovative work for the equally amazing clients they serve.
But, as something of a serial entrepreneur, I am always looking three steps ahead, contemplating my next venture. And as such, Pineapple Co also provides a platform that nurtures my continued desire to make new connections and explore new ideas. Stepping away from the day-to-day operations of these companies has given me the flexibility to discover, develop, and incubate new entrepreneurial ventures—and this is where my deepest passions lie.
I can’t wait to see where the journey leads next, and I hope to see many of you along the way.
Maneesh K. Goyal