Digital 40 Over 40 2017: Kabeer Mamnoon, CEO and Co-Founder, Ready State

Dan KhabieKabeer Mamnoon
CEO and Co-Founder, Ready State

Despite having been born in the age of bell-bottoms, Kabeer Mamnoon is not one to glorify the past. His agency, Ready State, aims to get away from the legacy "Mad Men" models of advertising, where digital is just another box to check when creating a marketing plan.

The agency’s model eschews the siloed, process-heavy approach of traditional agencies in favor of a collaborative methodology more akin to software companies (using cross-functional teams working in short bursts to get work done quickly and adjusting on the fly). Applying digital thinking to digital marketing seems to be working: The agency has shown 1,555 percent revenue growth over the past three years.

Mamnmoon’s personal philosophy is "question everything," and it manifests in Ready State’s work as "investigative marketing." The approach peels back layers of superficial messaging to find a brand’s authentic voice.

For Airbnb, Ready State embedded a creative team at the company to absorb the client’s culture and quickly launch more than 100 marketing initiatives, including a business-travel coffee table book and digital extensions for the brand’s "Night At" experiential promotions. And for Hewlett Packard, the shop used simple line animations within lab notebooks to make the technological advances of its Enterprise business more relatable.

As the father of two toddlers, however, Mamnoon also understands the other side of "question everything." He exercises "first principles thinking" to answer their constant "why" questions; the frequent interrogations may also inspire his penchant for long, meditative runs.

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