Warren Buffett, my good friend and investment adviser, has a theory that explains the proliferation of chain stores and other such trends in the world of retail. He calls it the three I s, as in the three eyes. There's no genius here, just observation. And I think astute observation.
First comes innovators. These are the people who do the hard work. Who sense or help create a trend.
Next come the imitators. These are the people who quickly catch on. They say, "there's money to be made in brussel sprouts, I'll open up a stand as well."
Finally come the idiots. The people who are just now opening up high-end coffee shops.
It occurs to me that clients, agencies and even individual creative people within agencies can be similarly classified. In very few cases will you ever have intercourse with an innovator. Most often it's likely you'll be in one of the last two categories.
Both of which recall to my mind a fourth I.