Three is a magic number.


Marcelo Vergara | Dec 07, 2023

Myth and Fact

In May 2023, we celebrated the start of 23 years in the mix.

There are no "clever" points or recommendations for this post, not today. Today, we deal in mythology and some factoids.

P3 had an interesting beginning and has been an interesting business to be part of. We are a bit Bumble Bee (and a bit Mule). It is a mix of two essential ingredients (service and craft) that should not fly, and like a Mule, it is arguably better than the sum of its parts. But it does fly, and what a beautiful flight it has taken us on.

I wanted to share a bit about us that rarely ends up in a pitch deck or website. It's more mythology than pure fact (at this point, I can't remember everything, so please forgive me if I get it slightly off.)

Make a Name for Yourself

Gard Gibson and Dave Stewart named Propaganda3. Gard always thought Propaganda was a cool name for an agency, but was taken in 2001. So Dave added the 3. He stated clearly and emphatically that "3" is a magic number. was available. I only asked that Red, White, and Black be our base colors. Why ❤️🤍🖤?

I grew up in STL. Ask me which high school I attended and then look at its colors.

The Helping Hands Era

From 5/1/2001-5/15/2001, we were squatters in a portion of the building that our former company, BlairLake New Media, occupied. An extension cord powered our first server. We pulled it through an open window from another friendly tenant's office. We then moved into a loft apartment at 523 Grand Ave, in the River Market. The "Helping Hands" Building was the right building for us, considering our ever-present maniacal focus on service.

New York State of Mind

We ran from 5/1/2001 till 11/30/2001 in an operating relationship with a firm from Rochester, NY, called Logisoft. Shout out to Rob Lamy, who trusted us and put up the much-needed financial support we needed to get up and running. That relationship ended unofficially on 9/11/2001, and officially on 11/30/2002.

We became Propaganda3, Inc. on 12/1/2001. It's a long mother of a story, and over an Irish whiskey, I'll tell you all about it.

What Have We Done?! 😱

Gard and I formed our official partnership on 12/1/2001 after being turned down by several (6) banks. It was painful and humbling. We had a bank president introduce us to his intern and had the intern reject our loan application. It left a mark. We finally landed at MO Bank. They, I assume, saw we had some fight in us and gave us a much-needed break.

Thank you, Grant, Bryan, and my much beloved and missed MO Bank.


In 2004, Gard and I reluctantly decided to part ways. We had not yet found our place in the KC Business community. Sales lagged, and we could see it was not sustainable. I loved Gard Gibson then, and I love Gard Gibson today.

I acquired Gard's shares and prepared us for what would be ahead.

Borrow from the Best

Along with Dave Stewart, John Holland, Willa Cline, and Eugene Arokiasamy, we reorganized ourselves. We relaunched P3 as a digital production company. I copied our business model from one of the most important humans in my business life (and regular ordinary life, too), Teri Rogers, and her creation Take2 Productions (Hint…oy…).

TIP: Copy from the best.

Growing to Change

The move to the production market fueled growth and new opportunities. We moved to 415 Delaware. A building owned by three great men and collaborators from Blacktop Creative (one hell of a shop) which brought me closer to another mentor and friend whom I could learn from, Shawn Polowniak. 👈🏼 This guy is a Mensch. 

From that point, we grew to 37 talented team members in 2012. However, I also discovered that the growth we had experienced from 2004 to 2012 was not sustainable because I was not a very good manager of this type of growth then, so if we wanted to maintain our customer service and craft position we needed to adapt. So we made the decision to slowly reformulate into a small but mighty boutique, allowing us to be hyper-focused on service and craft.

This has allowed us to redefine P3 and prepare for growth again when the time is right.

Failure Builds Resilience and Vision

We have also had many things in those 22 years that have not been ideal and caused pain and suffering. We have had projects that did not go well for various reasons, mostly due to things we needed to learn from and grow through. A byproduct is that it yielded many valuable lessons. Another small business lesson: failures only become permanent when you fail to get up after getting knocked down.

I personally have had to learn and accept that I have failed many times and have done my best to recover from those errors. I know I have upset the staff at times and let some of our team down with those failures. I have gotten up and done my best to change and address the root causes of my failures. These lessons have focused the grace and compassion I have for my colleagues, clients, and friends/family.

As a wise man says, "Life is so Rich."

And Now, Back to our Regular Scheduled Programming

Ups and downs, business cycles, fads, trends, shared hysteria, recessions, expansions, and a pandemic – P3 has endured it all in spite of my sometimes less-than-skilled leadership. What I lacked in knowledge and skilled leadership, I have made up for with grit, an open heart, open eyes, and lots of love and grace. So as "Carl Spackler" said about the Dalai Lama's tip of Gunga Galunga, "So I have that going for me, which is nice."

Today, I consider the current P3 to be the best version of its 22-year run. The crew we have today is super talented, highly skilled, and experienced. And most of all, they collectively have the best heart and appreciation of one another than all teams I have ever had the luck of being a part of. I'm amazed by their dedication to each other and their craft. They are motivated by the idea that they get to do great work together for our clients and for themselves. And that attitude means the entity of P3 will always be well-served.

I can unequivocally state that they will do great things together. All that is left is to live up to our potential and do our best. Do our job and execute!

The Magic Numbers

Along the way, we have made many friends and collaborators and put up some pretty magical numbers.

  • Built over 200 Video Games
  • Built over 5300 Projects
  • Built over 125 Mobile Apps
  • Served over 500 Clients
  • Supported or created over 10 Civic and Arts Related events for the KC Metro
  • Practiced the craft with over 100 Team members
  • Won over 70 Awards (Local, Regional, National and International)
  • Supported the founding of over 20 new ventures (3 of our own included)
  • We have 8 team members with over 10 years at P3 and 3 with five years at P3.
  • Eight current Team members started as interns.
  • At least 12 office dogs 🐕🐩🦮🐕‍🦺
  • And over $50,000,000 of economic activity in 22 years

Thank you all who have been part of this ride. We plan on upping these numbers in 2024. Come with us and join the fun!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, and Wonderfully Combative Festivus!

Much love and happiness to all, and see you in 2024!


Marcelo Vergara
Marcelo Vergara, Owner + Operator
The bus came by and I got on... that's when it all began.