Rei Inamoto Is Starting His Own Business 2 Weeks After Leaving AKQA

Partnering again with Rem Reynolds

Less than two weeks after former AKQA worldwide chief creative officer Rei Inamoto and New York general manager Rem Reynolds parted ways with the agency, the two announced they're getting back into business together.

While Reynolds and Inamoto only decided to team up recently, Inamoto said he's been mulling the idea of opening his own shop for quite some time—especially after noticing how technology has pushed the industry to change over the last 10 years. 

As soon as news broke that Inamoto was leaving AKQA after 11 years, he teased to the new shop on Twitter. He listed his recent working history, followed by a small hint at his next step.

The duo hasn't landed on a name for the shop just yet, but Inamoto said he and business partner Reynolds have agreed that the star will be the shop's official logo. Over the years Inamoto has been known to sport T-shirts in various colors with a star printed on the front. It's become somewhat of a uniform for him. "You need to keep consistency in your brand," Inamoto told Adweek.

The name is impending, but the vision for the shop, which will be based in New York, is crystal clear. Inamoto said he and his partner plan to build a "business invention studio" around four key pillars: user interface, strategy, data, and technology. "These are things that are really key in this day and age and will be more important than ever moving forward," Inamoto said.

The company, Inamoto said, will partner with startups and focus on business and product invention within the design and technology fields. He and Reynolds are the only staffers so far, but they plan to hire people with expertise in the agency's four pillars.  

"I'd like to keep a few senior people with a few bright young minds. I think it's important for companies to operate efficiently and be lean," Inamoto said. "I don't have a specific number in mind, but I would like to keep it small."