Agencies that Build #4 – Interactivity & Connectivity | Phillip Tiongson

This time we’ve got a rather intense session on interactivity and connectivity. Joining us in the ATB virtual booth is Phillip Tiongson, Founder and CEO of Potion, an independent studio dedicated to transforming the world of interactivity. The team of ATB comprised Varun Bihani and Casey Cheshire.

Philip shared some great insights about the world that exists at the intersection of physical and digital. We’ll get to that part but first, let’s bust some myths.


  • We have just as much value and connection from miles away as opposed to being in a physical place at the same time.
  • If it’s free, it ain’t valuable

Phillip started with how he got into the business of designing interactive experiences. He tells us with his personal stories that determined his trajectory to become the founder/CEO, Potion, one of the most unconventional agencies in New York. 

Unlike the agencies that have shown up on our previous episodes, Potion’s sites exist in a physical plane rather than a digital one. Which presents a different set of challenges in every aspect of running a business during a pandemic.

Varun was quick to get the ball rolling with one of the ATB classics.

So, how do you acquire new clients in a socially distanced pandemic?

To which Phillip added: 

It’s all about the existing relationships; with your partners, competition, and clients. When starting a new and important project, you always turn to the people you trust the most. You have to nurture these relationships and invest in them. Because like we all say in this pandemic, we did business with people with whom we have engaged on some level, instead of a stranger. 

Apart from the business side of the topic, the trio went on to discuss the present use cases and the future of interactivity. 

And did we tell you that Casey, Phillip, and Varun love Rock Climbing and if you’re into that, you’re in for a treat! Find yourself among the fellow climbers discussing business.  

There are some interesting analogies about interactions and connectivity throughout the podcast which is better heard or watched on our podcast and YouTube channel.

TL;DR | Takeaways for Interactivity and Connectivity

  • How do we communicate our unique value in a way that scales, is surprising, is reciprocal, and truly accessible? These four qualities are important to keep in mind with the call for connection in a technologically demanding environment.
  • The physical world is rich with sensory interactions. However, that does not mean the digital world does not have a deep impact as well. Digital interactions have the power to cultivate metamorphic experiences through design and storytelling.
  • The relationships that you build with partners, whether they are collaborators, competitors, or clients, are where new business comes from. 
  • In the future, how we relate to each other is going to evolve. “I think of Zoom right now as the iPhone 1. This is going to explode into many different special use cases and expressions…on how we send ourselves [digitally].”
  • Career advise from Phillip Tiongson – It is easy to mistake achievement for enjoying your work. Take time to appreciate everything and everyone around you.


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