Archive for the ‘ future ’ Category

Brief update

Wow is been a busy and inspiring couple of weeks, you contact a thousand people and sure enough quite a few respond.

Consulting: Have been approached by three different organisations so far interested in getting me in for various extremely interesting short term projects – nothing signed off yet but a very good start – basically the more I can consult the longer I can take to ‘work things out’.

Film: Working on a couple of initial treatments for feature films with Stuart Barr & Marc Hawker, one genre (which seems to be turning into a sci-fi, horror, comedy), one a bit more ‘grown up’ family drama. Very early days.

‘New Business Idea’: Lots of people interested in ‘playing’, working on defining it, structures, funding, organisational stuff – more on this very soon. If anybody out there knows a ‘friendly’ intellectual property lawyer  for whom I can buy lunch in exchange for a bit of advice please let me know.

New Digital Marketing Agency: Basically from the conversations I’ve had I could start a full service digital agency tomorrow and probably have a few new clients to inaugurate it. However, this can easily be rolled up into the ‘New Business Idea’ so it’s going on the back burner for a couple of weeks. However given that I’m potentially looking at the cluster model – i.e. decentralised, lots of partners and skill sets – am interested in hearing from anybody who might want to play, especially in ‘traditional creative concepting’, search &  media.

Music: Not a lot of activity yet, but have a few meetings set up in the next few weeks – and no I am not even remotely thinking about setting up a ‘label’ but there is an awful lot of other things in that space which are fun.

Job: Had my first job interview EVER. Wasn’t even for a specific one but seemed to go well – potentially two or three things they’ve got in mind – which I hate to say were actually quite interesting.

Dot Com: Couple of ideas kicking around, been a bit slow due to wanting to folk not being around but am sure will pick up momentum over the coming weeks.

Non-Execs: Having a few meetings this week – next week, more soon.

Games: Got a couple of folk in mind to have a bit of a brainstorm with but they are being a bit elusive – will nab him next week bwhahaha

Write a book: Err too busy right now to even write the blog so … pause.

Change Location: Realistically not likely to happen in the short term so might as well just pause it. Having said that lots of interest from Edinburgh & SF 😉

Party: Having a ‘Life After Lateral’ party Tuesday 2nd March @ The Strongrooms in Shoreditch – looking to be much fun with the Lateral family new and old, near and far – if you didn’t get an invite and want to come sign up here (need to know the broad numbers):

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?invites&eid=338182684664

I just want to thank everyone who is participating in this little experiment, your words and support continue to absolutely blow me away.

j

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Analog to digital conversion

Over the last week I’ve met a bunch of folk from a variety of disciplines and industries – it’s been quite mind expanding. One of the recurring themes / questions has been “how do I transition or re-position my analog business into a digital one”

I just thought I’d share a few observations and thoughts on the subject but with full disclosure that I am not a Harvard MBA, nor do I write self-help books (yet ). I just tell it as I see it.

Fear

Fear  a.k.a ‘blind panic’ triggers the old fight or flight mechanisms. This can lead to change for changes sake which tend to be accompanied by profound errors in judgment. Fear is a great motivator but often its simply the mind killer.

Blind panic

The emphasis is on blind. This can manifest as the inability to see the opportunities staring you in the face or to appreciate the inherent value of the assets surrounding you. Your typical social media strategist will bend your ear on the value of listening and making sense of the noise. This is good advice, however it’s one dimensional, taking this time to look at yourself, your organization, means looking beyond your peers but to those who are achieving success in other spaces, not just the obvious ones. If you just listen you’ll just hear what you want to hear – by looking and understanding you’ll hopefully see the big picture.

Fight

If you are blind it is really kind of difficult to work out who exactly you are supposed to be fighting. Often you simply end up lashing out at whoever is closest unaware of the dude with the sniper rifle a couple of miles away.

A friend of mine once told me to “fight the fights worth fighting for”  – words which have been incredibly useful over the years.  I never knew the origins of the phrase till recently.

“The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing – for the sheer fun and joy of it – to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.”

I.F. Stone

Sums up the last fifteen years pretty well, certainly in interesting take on “Fail Forward Fast”.

Flight – A surprisingly common story.

We’ve spotted an iceberg! Abandon ship! Man the lifeboats, before the ship can sink.  Run away from everything you have, everything you have built, all that knowledge and expertise is obsolete now. We must turn our back on our history our legacy to be able to move forward! Don’t worry about freezing to death in the water. It’ll be fine.

To mix metaphors even further, tearing down the house before you know what’s going to replace it is generally a bad move.

Change

Change is good, but doesn’t always have to be revolutionary, evolution gave us opposable thumbs and how useful are they when tapping away on your iphone. Change can come in many forms.

Change can be as simple as a change of words. Why use the word ‘digital’ at all? If you remove ‘digital’ from the equation you remove the barriers. In Adland you don’t have an outdoor creative director working with a print ad creative director being managed by the tv creative director.

Face it if you wanted to have a ‘dialogue’ with your customers would you call in the ‘digital dialogue dude’ or someone who was good at having a conversation?

Separate the thought from the channel and your options expand to encompass them all or in other words “free your mind and your assets will follow”

Don’t be afraid to try this at home.

j

Switch industry : music

Switch industry : music
“great that you are unemployed – now you can start a record label” – cliff
  • pro – would be amusing
  • pro – know a fair bit about it
  • con – probably know too much about it to be honest
  • con – don’t believe in labels – should be all DIY these days
  • con – might be limited in scope
  • con – OMG would have to find bands 😉

A ‘New’ business concept

A ‘New’ Business concept
Start a new kind of business part agency / part incubator. Been toying with the idea of setting up what I can best describe as a commercial framework which would allow a whole bunch of folk to work together on creative and commercial projects. The notion comes with the reality that there are whole bunch of ‘famous’ digital, marketing and creatives who are for one reason or another considering their options or out in the open and but not particularly interested in jumping into something big.
I have said repeatedly over the years that I wanted to build ‘a next generation media neutral agency with strategy and creative at it’s core and the ability to deliver across all channels.’
I’ve also said repeatedly over the years that if you want to get there then you wouldn’t start from here (adland) and that it was most likely to evolve from something with digital DNA unafraid of appreciating the better disciplines of the old world.
Still kind of believe that, but had an thought the other day that the problem isn’t in the digital or the analog it’s in the term agency. The word agency has so much inertia attached to it that whatever your intentions are at the start you will at some point be subsumed by that very inertia you hoped to avoid.
It’s an interesting problem.
You want to create something which does great work and is in scaleable yet avoids it’s own history. Back in the day we talked alot about collectives , obsolete was in essence a collective pretending to be a company, as was antirom & tomato.
In fact, to be fair, I modelled obsolete in my somewhat naive notion of what tomato was at that point. It kind of works for short term projects but if you want to do anything long term the  lack of continuity is a problem – and a big one. That’s where structures come in or at very least frameworks! So basically what I’m thinking has structure but not necessarily walls, has  clients but is not an agency, creates businesses and manifests content.
  • pro – already got the network to do ‘it’
  • con – ‘it’ needs to be well and truly thought through

Switch industry – Games

Switch industry – games
  • pro – I know pretty much all aspects of the business already – varied experience might open doors
  • pro – love games
  • con – love games might get disillusioned
  • con – dunno which bit to go into, must ponder this

Switch industry – Film

Switch industry  – film
  • pro – always wanted to be in film – take the time and learn to produce ( or even write or direct )
  • pro – lots of friends already there to point in the right direction
  • pro –  there is definitely an opportunity to mash up my existing experience and passion for digital with the traditions of narrative
  • con – one of the hardest industries to get into and be successful in
  • con – could spend a lot of time not getting anywhere

Start a dot com / create product

Start a dot com / create a product
  • pro – working on something longer term and product based appeals – no clients
  • pro – having helped develop quite a few over the years I know what to do
  • pro – got potential access to funding
  • pro – could do it for a few years and then flog it – well that’s the theory anyway
  • Con – it’s an awful lot of work from planning to funding – not sure I’ve got the energy to do that and enjoy my kids
  • con – am a little bit A.D.D – might get bored working on one thing
  • con – err… what’s the big idea exactly? Got a few but they all need fleshing out
  • con – whilst there ain’t necessarily clients there would no doubt be investors – dunno which is “worse” in terms of interference err input but I suspect the latter ( I do of course love all clients and potential investors 😉
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