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Featured on Mar 04, 2011

Andrew Zarick

"Love to hate to fail"


I'm an independent contractor of all things awesome! I've lived in Brooklyn for almost 8 years. I started my professional career as Digital Strategist for a DUMBO-based interactive marketing agency called The JAR Group. I now specialize in performance and acquisition marketing through paid search, social and display channels. While in DUMBO, I co-founded Digital DUMBO - a community of New York's brightest digital thought leaders. The organization was quickly grown into one of the city's largest digital communities with almost 4,000 members. When not helping companies acquire new users or grow revenues with online advertising, I manage - a hiphop music aggregator. Although I'm from Kentucky, I now live one block from Biggies childhood home so my street cred has increased a hundred thousand trillion.

  • Title: Co-Founder, Digital DUMBO & Performance Marketer
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Brooklyn, Clinton Hill
  • Contact: Andrew Zarick

Back in March of 2010 the Huffington Post asked you where you’d like to take Digital DUMBO.  The community has since doubled in size, so we’re curious - has Digital DUMBO has evolved as you had hoped and expected?  Also, do you and your co-founders have any specific plans for the community in 2011?

Digital DUMBO has actually surpassed our expectations. We have been fortunate to have received coverage in not just The Huffington Post, but also MediaPost, Guest of a Guest, PSFK, and HOW Magazine. However, we attribute our growth largely to our loyal community of digital thought leaders. They have been essential in helping us grow organically, without the need for much marketing or PR. We now have a community of over 3,700 highly talented professionals. This year we hope to expand our programming beyond our monthly event. We are currently in the planning stages of what we're calling the Digital DUMBO Workshop Series. We also hope to become a better matchmaker for the community - connecting job seekers to hiring managers, and companies with digital service providers within our community. This means improving our web presence and holding more events for community offline.

You founded and manage, which you describe as a hip-hop music aggregator.  Best 3 hip-hop artists of all time?, Fergie, Taboo. Kidding. Biggie, Rakim, 2pac

You recently left your last full-time job at an interactive marketing agency at the end of last year and now work on your own as an independent contractor.  What’s both the best and worst parts of being a contractor on your own?

By far, the worst part of being an independent contract is securing health insurance! There aren't too many affordable options out there that are comparable in benefits to what a larger organization can secure for its employees. Also, as an independent offering acquisition marketing services, I am constantly looking for the next client. However, this year I hope to concentrate more on product development as opposed to marketing services. Health insurance aside, being independent allows me to get out and meet a countless number of people who are working on interesting things, many of whom are open to collaboration. Not being tied to a desk all day is extremely liberating.

Digital Strategist