Marc Aptakin, the founder of MAD and its Factory, as well as the co-founder of MAD Dev and MAD Labs, is a visionary entrepreneur who thrives on innovation, pushing boundaries, and unleashing creativity.
With just a laptop and a resilient spirit, Marc transformed MAD from a humble beginning into a comprehensive creative solutions company. His commitment lies in delivering honest, captivating, and consistent work to his esteemed clients.
Over the course of his journey, Marc has paved the way for MAD to redefine reality by raising the bar in connected experiences, digital production, and the development of custom products.
Drawing upon his wealth of experience and expertise, Marc Aptakin has solidified MAD’s position as a trailblazer in redefining reality through groundbreaking approaches to connected experiences, digital production, and the development of custom products.
Marc’s remarkable journey serves as a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence and his unwavering dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation.
The inspiring story of Mad, a creative agency that reimagines the possibilities of immersive experiences, digital production, and bespoke product development, began 22 years ago.
Marc Aptakin, the CEO and driving force behind Mad, possesses an unwavering passion for creativity, culture, and innovation. He single-handedly built a future-forward agency from the ground up, consistently pushing the envelope and anticipating industry trends.
Reflecting on the origins of his entrepreneurial journey, Marc Aptakin explained, “As a fine art photographer, I stumbled upon graphic design through the printing industry. In the 90s, the printing industry sought to expand its services by establishing in-house agencies, but this proved to be detrimental to customers.”
He continued, “In fact, my first agency emerged from a failed print shop that had been mismanaged by the original owner’s son. Having always been fascinated by technology, which I attribute to my voracious consumption of William Gibson’s works, we have continuously integrated cutting-edge tech into our operations and strived to stay one step ahead.
Our inaugural augmented reality experience was implemented at Mad through a direct mail piece in 2008, and since then, we have consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation.”
When recounting the crucial elements that contributed to Mad’s growth, Marc identifies three key factors: curiosity, vision, and execution. Through his decades of experience, he discovered that nurturing curiosity, identifying growth opportunities, and effectively navigating them are pivotal for building a thriving business.
As the agency expanded, Marc faced the significant challenge of learning how to delegate tasks while preserving Mad’s original vision. Overcoming this obstacle required finding a delicate balance between coaching employees and empowering them to take the initiative and excel in their respective areas of expertise.
Today, Mad flourishes with an impressive roster of clients that includes industry giants like Toyota, Oracle, and LolaVie. The agency’s ambitious plans include the expansion of the MadLabs division, which encompasses Mad Arts, into a 20,000 square foot immersive museum.
Driven by creativity, intellect, and the unwavering commitment that characterizes Mad, this museum aims to establish itself as a research and development lab for the agency’s diverse client base across multiple industries.
Marc envisions opening branches of the museum in three cities within the next three years, demonstrating his relentless pursuit of innovation and growth.Marc Aptakin’s entrepreneurial journey also intertwines with his commitment to supporting emerging talents.
He firmly believes in the power of giving back and has leveraged Mad’s abundant resources to guide employees and clients alike toward achieving their goals. By fostering an environment that nurtures wonder and curiosity, Marc ensures that space is created for new opportunities to flourish.
When asked about his motivations for giving back, Marc responded, “As business owners, we have the power to make a significant impact through simple acts of kindness.
Sometimes, providing guidance or sharing our experiences can make a world of difference to someone starting out. I strongly believe in paying it forward and hope that, when my time comes, I will have inspired a legacy of generosity and support.”
From the ashes of a failed print shop to the heights of a nationally recognized creative agency, Marc Aptakin’s journey showcases the power of forging meaningful relationships, continuously expanding knowledge, and honing one’s skills.
As someone who has experienced the challenges of becoming a CEO firsthand, Marc takes immense pride in not only supporting his employees in their own entrepreneurial pursuits but also championing artists across the United States who possess a distinct vision.
Through his unwavering dedication, Marc Aptakin has not only built a successful business but also created a platform for others to thrive and leave a lasting impact on the world of creativity.