Monday, May 26, 2008

Fad vs. Fact.

In the early days of the internet, companies sprouted like marijuana plants in California. They spent millions upon millions on TV commercials or, nominally, to create a brand. Then when the initial capital was spent, there was nothing left. Because there had never been any there there. They were fad-based. Not fact-based.

This week, Synarchy named a new CEO. And Crispin lost, after just 13 months, the portion of the Nike business they had wrested from Weiden & Kennedy. This leads me to ask a very simple question: Can I see your portfolio? What brands has your leadership built, transformed or regenerated? I cannot cast aspersions toward Crispin for Burger King, but what else? Haggar slacks? VW? It remains to be seen if Crispin will be able to make Microsoft cool.

As for everyone else, those figureheads at the head of companies, what have you done? Wrung costs out of a system? Retained employees? Presided over 3.7% growth?

Fads and people who are faddish get big jobs. Then they fail. And everyone once in a while, perhaps, substance will prevail.

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