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Ric Leichtung’s Desert Island 5

We asked Mailchimp partner Ric Leichtung, founder of AdHoc, what his business can't live without.

Ric Leichtung is the founder of AdHoc, a Brooklyn-based concert promotion and marketing agency. Started by a group of music lovers in 2012, AdHoc launched as an online music zine that paid attention to the community around them as they supported emerging artists from a dingy waterfront warehouse in Williamsburg. Things changed when they started using the space to throw parties and started producing events—Grimes, Björk, A$AP Rocky, and Cardi B are just a few of the headliners Ric has booked.

Very quickly, the nature of their business shifted into experiential production, digital marketing, and project management.

Although the pandemic has created its share of challenges, Ric continues to embrace his company’s improvisational ethos, evolving and growing the agency as opportunities and needs arise. Recently, he launched a nonprofit called NYC Nightlife United, an emergency grant program for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ music businesses and workers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are 5 things Ric can’t live without:

1. Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation by Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver

Adhocism is about problem-solving by listening to the world around you, brainstorming ideas, and using the best, most exciting parts of each to make something new. Our agency, which is a riff on the name of the book, takes a lot of inspiration from this approach and it’s my first stop when I hit a creative block.

2. Blonde album by Frank Ocean

Even though this album’s old, it’s still my ultimate comfort food. It’s gotten me through some very, very tough times—it really does feel restorative and healing. Blonde is such a great cross section of so many genres, ideas, and collaborators. It’s an amazing record that still feels fresh and new, and also timeless.

3. SD Sauce

I’m obsessed with this New York-made Thai hot sauce. It’s raw food, made in small batches, and is the perfect mix of lime, chilli pepper, and anchovy. These days, I’ve been cooking more than ever. It’s helped me destress—even though I’m horrible at it. Cooking is quite challenging for me because, frankly, I don’t like to follow directions.

4. Zapier, app automation tool

Zapier is kind of like Legos for app development. Essentially it connects two platforms’ APIs together, but you don’t need any coding knowledge to use it. There are thousands of apps with open APIs you can feed into it. Zapier allows you to create really interesting, game-changing stuff, and is especially useful when you don’t have the size or budget to develop your own software.

5. Snickers, my Siamese rescue cat

I built a business on doing what I love so I end up putting in long hours without even noticing, and he reminds me that there’s a world outside work. After a long day, he jumps onto my desk, puts his paws on my keyboard, and meows at me about the importance of stepping back, taking a breath, and giving him pets. He gets his way every time, and I’m lucky for that.

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