jump to navigation

When honour is at stake, this vow I will make November 29, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising, business strategy.
Tags: , , , , , ,
2 comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about The Three Musketeers – my framework for business models which places them (perhaps overly simply, but simply none the less) into two baskets: All-For-One (self-serving pursuit of value) or One-For-All (pursuit of value for an ecosystem). The former is business as usual up until the advent of Google, at which point things seem to turn, and we see more and more businesses cropping up and being successful by creating value

I had, for the longest time, felt uneasy about Facebook. My sense was that it was founded with All-For-One principles, and I have a hard time viewing it as a business that seeks to create value for an eco-system; it is, to my mind, the second coming of Microsoft rather than the second coming of Google.

I say that, but I also now can’t help but acknowledge the market they have developed for small and local businesses to target customers, and the platform they have provided for brands to interact on a more personal level with fans. In some ways, it lessens the role of the ad industry, which to my mind has a hard time justifying itself as even remotely One-For-All, and so can only be viewed as a good thing.

Your friend and mine Umair Haque takes aim at Facebook in a recent Harvard Business blog: over the Farmville debacle

Once, banks held debt till maturity. The great unnovation was being able to sell it to the next guy, who sold it to the next guy, and on and on and on. What was once a simple, short value chain lengthened to the point of absurdity. Exactly the same value chain pattern is surfacing in media. Ads used to be bought and sold through a short value chain. Facebook ended up serving toxic ads because they were sold through lengthening chains of intermediaries — each of whom shifts the buck to the next guy.

The argument does and doesn’t hold water in places – to my mind it swerves dangerously close in places to the kind of opinion that states ISPs are responsible for their customer’s illegally downloading music. The overall point stands however, which is sacrificing the end-user for the man with money is a short-sighted strategy.

We need to spend more time creating things that user wants in the first place.

That is what One-For-All is all about.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

All that noise, all that sound November 17, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in philosophy, technology.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

So my agency is on a decent size pitch at the moment, and we were talking about the acceleration of technology over the last three years as it pertains to this particular company. And we were video taping various people saying different things and so I of course being the narcissist I am went off back to my desk and sat running a monologue over and over in my head, trying to think of something clever to say while being able to toss it off as if it was largely off the cuff.

And then when they came to film me I was on a conference call. And then the opportunity was gone because they’re in a bit of a rush.

The thing I thought of though, I thought was quite interesting, and it was this: the technological revolution we’re going through right now is currently being framed as a change in lifestyle, when what we’re really dealing with, on a really fundamental level, is a change in life itself. 20 years ago, many-to-many communication was basically impossible, and even one-to-many was limited to those who could afford to do it, usually requiring a publisher.

Now anyone can, and because there are still more people in the world who knew life without the Internet than there are who only know the Internet, being always connected is deemed a lifestyle and a choice. As that ratio changes however, being disconnected is going to be seen as a lifestyle and what is currently (at least in some circles, not mine) considered an “other” state, will be the norm.

The norm on the rise now is being able to get a message to anyone you want or as many people you want at any time you want. After thousands of years of relative status quo, it’s changed over night. Which is why I say the web is young, and why I say we haven’t fully grasped all this yet. I could just have a smaller mind than most (it has often been suggested), but sitting and pondering it for a moment kinda blows it to a thousand tiny pieces.

And having said all that, the only thing I can be sure of is I would have wound up on the cutting room floor, with the Creative Director going “Do you really have to do that every time?”.

…I suppose I do…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Image courtesy of bass nroll, with thanks to compfight.

Tell the whole world the truth is back November 15, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in intent, work/life.
Tags: , , , , ,
3 comments
Doc Searls
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve spent the last couple years talking about intent in various guises. Sometimes related to marketing, sometimes to business, but always, always at the heart of what anyone is doing. It has become an intrinsic part of what I write about, as anyone who has been with me for a little while will attest.

In February 2008 I penned a piece looking at Facebook’s advertising ecosystem (things have changed dramatically since) and referenced a piece by your friend and mine Doc Searls on The Intention Economy. This phrase showed up again in a presentation I did called Digital Strangelove, and I realised just today, after stumbling across Doc referencing that presentation (tremendous honour and incredibly humbling) that despite spending a long time making sure the appropriate references were in place and credits given, I had not tipped my hat to Doc and his original article which clearly made an impression on me.

Thankfully the medium within which we work allows for easy retraction, correction and re-dissemination of correct information – if we choose to take advantage of it. I have updated my deck with a link to Doc’s original piece in the credits, and wanted to take the time to acknowledge the source of that phrase. Additional credit I can only add by stealing from Sir Isaac Newton: if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Thanks Doc.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ch-ch-changes November 8, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in technology.
Tags: , , , , ,
4 comments

I just got spammed by Glue, looks like maybe their notifications engine had a little freakout and sent me a bunch of messages I had already received. Which is fine. Part of playing in this new space (both as a producer and a consumer) is sometimes things go awry. Software (i.e. anything on a screen) is in flux, it is not right – just least wrong. And it gets less wrong as people find ways to improve it.

Seeing those messages suddenly arrive though, I’m wondering about the tolerance people have for that. Nobody expected those to arrive (least of all the developers I imagine), and if it had been a major brand, then it would have been annoying. But it came from a service trying to do something good – connect people.

They’re a start-up and still getting things figured out, and that is fine. Last year people were fond of droning on and on about Twitter having scaling issues. You know what? They’re supposed to!! That is part of building a popular service!! They had scaling issues because they focused on building something people wanted – their server going down on a regular basis meant they were doing their God-damn jobs. In turn you got a service you love for free.

Give. Me. Strength.

Image representing Foursquare as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

I am fond of banging on and on about my mate Tim saying “If you want to understand change you have to be part of it.” And part of that, particularly when playing with services like Glue or FourSquare or whatever it will be tomorrow, is an understanding that this shit is in flux. And it will get better and it will get worse and that is the contract you sign when you join.

It is called the bleeding edge for a reason, things get broken.

And thank God they do.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

I’ll send an S.O.S. to the world November 4, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in advertising.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

Tomorrow I’m teaching a course at the agency I work at, titled (long before I arrived) “Today’s Digital Consumer”. The first thing I’ll be doing is pulling out “Digital” from the topic heading, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has read Digital Strangelove.

I’m wrestling with theory vs. practice right now though; it could be a very practical talk, or it could be one of big ideas, and I’m not sure where the common ground is. I feel like it’s a moment for practical advice, for saying things people can take away and do. I also feel like advertising spends too much time just doing, and not enough time thinking about how it should be done.

Regardless, I’m thankful to have an audience that stretches across a variety of disciplines, from media planning to print production, and I’m hoping what comes out of it is a practical discussion, a lively debate and some points of view that challenge my own. It isn’t about being right, it’s about being least wrong, and I’m viewing all of this space right now with a smile and a shrug and a sly nod to a future version of myself who is already looking back and saying “Remember when…”

Image courtesy of the gracious and lovely Hugh Macleod.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.