AT A GLANCE:
Location: Based in Los Angeles, CA
Headcount: 2 full-time employees
Industry: Creative team
Application Replaced: Prior experience working with in-house teams
Solution: The inDinero Basics
Started with inDinero: 2016
The Story Behind Human Expansion Co.
The Human Expansion Co. is a full-service production company dedicated to expanding the human experience.
The company was started by David G. Stone and Jason Cochard, veterans of the advertising, public relations, and entertainment industries. In their most recent years, Dave worked as creative director and head of film for the U.S. West at Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world’s largest marketing communications companies and Jason founded his own agency, Eyelight, while taking on various behind the scenes roles in motion pictures.
The two came together in 2016 to create The Human Expansion Co. to work with forward-thinking companies looking for brand development and brand identities. Through the development and creation of documentaries, scripted films, animations, and other forms of original content, the team aims to redefine how brands engage with their audiences.
Dave and Jason use agency experience to anticipate obstacles and find small team solutions.
Both Dave and Jason worked as creative forces within larger organizations that have entire departments to handle operational efficiency. As they began their journey to create Human Expansion Co., the two knew that in order to execute high-quality original, artistic content, they would need to find ways to handle the operational back-office tasks that keep the lights on. To keep the core business a lean two-person team, the founders looked at outsourced solutions:
They find a workspace happy place with WeWork.
So much of their work is on-site or on set with their clients. When it came to finding a headquarters, the duo didn’t need an elaborate studio. With access to essential office elements and the right creative vibe, WeWork ended up meeting their requirements.
And get their cash flow ducks in a row with inDinero.
Just as companies turn to creative advertising to increase revenue, even the most creative souls need to make sure they’re getting paid. From his time as a producer in a high-performing corporate environment, Dave understood the importance of accounting and SMB compliance. Luckily, WeWork had recently partnered with inDinero and was able to make the connection.
“When I was at Ogilvy & Mather I had access to a full finance team that handled invoicing, reconciliations, contractor and vendor payments, etc. Now that I'm running my own team, inDinero is that finance team. It’s almost like having inDinero means having my own finance department.”
- David G. Stone, Co-founder at The Human Expansion Co.
For these founders, “Feast or famine” means being flexible and financially responsible.
Human Expansion Co. is primarily a two-person operation, but at times their projects require more hands on deck. At those times they become a full-service agency, which comes together like a sharing economy of skilled professionals within their network.
This ecosystem allows them to offer their clients more services at onset or later on as projects take flight. But pulling together great teams comes with great administrative responsibilities. Because the product they sell is a movie, essentially every job-related expense falls under their cost of goods sold (COGS). But inDinero’s software makes it easy for Dave to account for the costs that go into each project—purchasing or renting equipment, sourcing spaces, hiring a crew of independent contractors.
Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) are expenses a business can directly attribute to creating or constructing the end product they sell to customers. This can include materials and labor costs but not costs associated with distributing or selling the product.
For more accounting terms (and no accounting jargon), download our glossary,
License to Travel
Dave has never looked at location as a limitation for taking on work. (In fact, in his spare time, he has an ongoing quest to photograph every uncharted corner of the world!) So while the two are primarily based in LA, they travel all around the world constantly for professional projects and for fun.
Dave shares how modern, travel-friendly resources empower his wayfarer lifestyle:
“Because inDinero’s software is cloud-based, I can access up-to-date financial data from anywhere at any time. I can be on set with a client on the other side of the planet and send an invoice, pay a bill, or submit a batch of expense reimbursements making it easy to keep up with my finances from anywhere.”
“The traveling desk gives me access to a workspace in any WeWork. With WeWorks popping up across the globe and expanding in new countries outside of the U.S. it’s the perfect solution for the nomadic entrepreneur.”
Stepping Into Social Good
From the beginning, selecting the right projects was more fulfilling than Dave and Jason could have imagined. Much of their initial work has been for international government agencies looking to bring the ways they’re helping communities to a broader audience.
This immediately inspired Dave and Jason, and social change is now a driving motivator for Human Expansion Co. As storytellers, the two use cinematography and other strategic content to help organizations achieve their goals and bring them to the forefront of their brands.
Get a Taste of Human Expansion Co.’s most recent projects:
Human Expansion Co. has a growing library of work they've done for brands big and small, including an original documentary featuring poet, activist, and nasty woman, Nina Donovan:
Watch the Teaser for Nasty:
You've heard her words, now hear her. Nina Donovan's words were heard around the world when Ashley Judd read her poem, "Nasty Woman," at the Women's March on Washington. Already one of the emerging voices of a generation, Nina is only just getting started. She is an inspiration to those who know her, a catalyst for the movement marching to her poetry, a firebrand to those who would demean her, and one hell of a #nastywoman.
See the full documentary here: www.HumanExpansion.TV/Nasty
In September, the team shot and produced a documentary in Africa for USAID which Bill Gates introduced at a conference run by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Around the same time, they produced a shorter commercial spot for LA-based eco-chic jeweler, Crash Jewelry that creates luxury jewelry from the metal of Mercedes, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley, and Audi cars.
Interested in working with Human Expansion Co. on your next creative campaign?