Goodby Alumni Launch Argonaut in S.F.

New shop is backed by Project Worldwide

Meet Argonaut, the latest San Francisco agency to be launched by alumni of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

The shop, which opens this week, is led by chief creative officers Rick Condos and Hunter Hindman and president Jordan Warren. Condos and Hindman were most recently executive creative directors at Goodby.

Warren is a former president of West Coast operations for the now-defunct, which Omnicom rebranded as Signal to Noise in 2010 and shuttered in 2011. Warren also co-founded San Francisco agency Eleven in 1999.

Argonaut has yet to sign any clients. The agency, though, is financially backed by Project Worldwide, a small but growing holding company that includes events marketing shops like George P. Johnson and has expanded through the acquisition of agencies such as Partners + Napier in Rochester, N.Y. 

The new venture's initial team of six also includes lead technologist Robbie Whiting, head of strategy Max Heilbron and new business chief Conal O'Doherty.

At Goodby, Condos and Hindman worked on brands like Cisco and Chevrolet. Before that, they partnered at Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam on Coca-Cola, helping to create ads such as "Happiness Factory."

Argonaut follows on a long line of Bay Area startups founded by Goodby expats. In 2012, former partner and ecd Jamie Barrett launched barrettSF with Patrick Kelly. Other Bay area shops with Goodby roots include Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Venables Bell & Partners and Eleven.

"It really feels like the right time for us," Hindman said. "It's something we've been thinking about for a long time. But we ultimately know that it comes down to the people we surround ourselves with who will create the success that we'll have. I think it was that right moment where we ran across the right group of people."

When asked about the name, Condos said Argonaut "both signaled our kind of feeling going out to do this, the adventure we were undertaking [and] the type of people that we want to attract and the kind of clients that we want to work with."

Condos added that "there's a certain amount of quest for the unknown here and courage and striking out for unknown futures is exciting."

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.