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Blood on blood April 20, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in work/life.
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I don’t bleed much these days, not like I used to. In high school I would run myself ragged at lunchtime playing basketball, the hot asphalt beying for the blood of anyone who didn’t quite manage to land right. A couple spills I took are fresh in my mind, one in particular had me going head over heels, and arms, shoulders and knees all took a beating, those scars are still evident if you know where to look.

The blood gets drawn from diving into a situation too enthusiastically, it seems like the older we get the better we are at avoiding the scrapes; I’m more likely to cut myself with a kitchen knife or shaving than I am from a missed lay-up. And the cuts and bruises we used to wear with pride get hidden away in shame instead of laid out for the world to see as the badges of honour they once were.

As I am fond of saying, we should jump for the sun. We may not reach it, but at least we get off the ground.

Get out your battle scars, and go in search of more.

Money for nothing April 14, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising.
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Reminds me very much of the Scrabble piece also from JWT, though in Chile as opposed to Frankfurt where the above arrived from.

Via the always delightful bad banana blog.

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This is the great adventure April 13, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, business strategy, conversation, creativity, storytelling.
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Every time I play a gig, people ask me if I’m nervous, which I almost always am. And I think that is the way it is supposed to be – if I’m not nervous then nothing is at stake. If nothing is at stake then why am I here? What am I going to learn I don’t already know? What will the audience experience if I’m not pushing myself to some place I haven’t been before; if I know I’m not going to fall, there is simply no elation in flight.

Your friend and mine Sean Howard touches on these points in a recent post, The Scariest Thing I’ve ever Done. In it heleverages an eBook he published called The Passion Economy (rockstars Gavin Heaton and Katie Chatfield contribute as well). It’s a candid assessment of his work, and he’s honest about fis failings. More to the point though, he makes a case for purposefully putting yourself into those awkward and unknown territories. He’s preaching to the choir with me, and, I hope, you as well.

If he’s not, then why are you here?

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Appetite for destruction April 8, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy.
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(best blog post title ever!)

Watch: the below TED Talk by Clay Shirky from 2005 where he talks about the ideas that went on to coalesce in handy book form, disguised as his popular work Here Comes Everybody (or put it away for later and just keep reading, you’ll get the point).

The trouble starts in the wide open spaces

The trouble starts in the wide open spaces

Here’s the thing about disruption: it doesn’t happen by someone releasing a better product, it happens by someone releasing a simple product that caters to your least demanding customers (aka the people in the long tail, aka the wide open spaces). From there, it is easy to move up the tail a) as your product improves, and b) as people learn what features they can actually do without. This is why arguments like Google Docs isn’t as feature-rich as Word don’t work; the people using Google Docs aren’t playing on the field that makes Word a better choice.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the long tail is all well and good, but you need a strategy for the head because that is where the money is. And he is right. What Clay gets at in his talk though, and what I am proposing, is your strategy can be to work your way up the tail, co-creating with your audience to the point where you are impinging on the head.

Bet your ass you will have the attention of everyone in the room at that point.

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Let’s push things forward April 2, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising, technology.
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While thinking about Balloonacy the other day, I watched a TED talk from Scott McLoud who has authored several books on comics. Scott, whose approach to comics is equal parts advocate, raging super-fan and passionate academic gives a great overview of where the medium has been, intertwined with his own personal history.

In discussing the move of comics from print to online, he refers to it as “a classic McLuhan-esque mistake of appropriating the shape of the previous technology as the content of the new technology” (about 11 minutes in).

Marshall McLuhan who he is referring to, is famous for saying “the medium is the message“, the idea being whatever you’re saying is impacted and altered by the medium it is delivered in. As a tangible example, this piece in the Op-Ed section of the New York Times carries more weight than it being on my blog, even though the content could be exactly the same…but I digress.

In the move online we found the tangible points to make sense. Email was DM, banners were billboards, video initially wasn’t even possible. While email hasn’t moved that far, banners (thanks to Banner Blog) are staring to find their own uniquely digital place as more and more people question what we can actually do in this space. It is of course too easy not to ask the question and just get the work out, but that isn’t going to push things forward, or ultimately retain your clients.

With all this in mind, I’m trying to pull together a list of campaigns or ideas that could only have been digital. Balloonacy, Nike +, what else? It sounds like something interesting is in the works for Killzone 2, the possibilities of this medium are only limited by our ability to conceive them. To think there are still people who only want to make TV spots – they can have them!

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