Before Wi-Fi and flat-screen monitors, Billy Jurewicz was a digital marketing pioneer. In 2000, the former Fallon copywriter founded his firm space150, hell-bent on putting a creative stake in the roughshod tech landscape, even if it meant sinking all of his own money into a start-up and taking a 1982 Yamaha Maxim 750 street cruiser to work in the winter.
The ride remains wild in the year 2013, but space150 has risen to the top of the marketing heap, defining what it means for the big consumer brands, like its clients Forever 21 and Target, to stay fresh and relevant through immersive experiences such as interactive billboards that stop crowds in Times Square.
With offices in L.A. and New York, the company still maintains its headquarters in Minneapolis, the city Jurewicz calls home. In between meetings, he stopped to chat about trends.
What has been interesting to watch in tech since you started space150?
We saw this explosion of bandwidth. We saw Flash come and go and mobile devices taking over desktops. But the social media age has made the most colossal impact, with every single person blasting information about his or her lives. Real-time communication has shifted power to the consumer. We can all be our own personal brand now, and I like the liberation aspect of that. I’m delighted to see how much destruction of convention is happening for the demand creation. That’s our mission.
To destroy convention?
Destroying convention to create demand. But you must have a purpose. I always tell my kids, you can’t wreck things for no reason. You can only kick the table down if you can build a better one.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
Let’s just say we’re going to give Coachella a run for their money in a little place called Times Square next summer.
What keeps you here?
Minneapolis is calming, smart, creative, and a retreat compared to the overpopulated coasts. We’ve got America’s best-kept secret.
Where do you hang out?
First Avenue is the best music venue to watch anything, anywhere. I hate all the lutefisk references we get, especially when we have restaurants like 112, Brasa, Burch Steak, and the best cheeseburgers and wall of sauce at the Monte Carlo. I love the Marvel Bar—Pip rules. And nothing compares to the Guthrie in design and architecture.
What defines Minneapolis style to you?
I’m not a big fan of our flannel plaid thing. But the tattoos here are well-designed. I love the cold-weather wear—guys here definitely have that Jon Snow in Game of Thrones look: rugged and cool and badass.
And your style?
Jim Morrison meets Richard Branson. My vintage Harley jacket, Hudson jeans, John Varvatos—the whole English rock meets masculine guy. I like to shop at Atmosfere, martinpatrick3, and Motto. Dolce & Gabbana for suits. RVCA for that Southern California look.
What will you be buying this fall?
I like the dark and subtle floral suits that are coming out—tailored but not too serious. It’s that Justin Timberlake suit and tie thing we have going on right now: less sloppy and more respect.
And in tech?
Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 7, which is [rumored to be] out this fall. We’ve been testing it, and it has a brand-new user interface—totally cleaned up. This new version has Instagram filters and a built-in Photoshop Touch that’s awesome.
So, now that you can afford a car, what are you taking to work these days?
My Porsche. Or my Ducati. But I still have that Yamaha. It was the horse that got me through the Rocky Mountains.