Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A manifesto.

Every day in my agency, there are a few of us who cut against the grain. The world around us is a world where we schedule meetings to talk about work, then schedule meetings to discuss the work, then schedule meetings to discuss the deck that will present the work to the client.

Once the work is presented to the client, there are, quickly, more meetings scheduled.

Meetings are scheduled to discuss the changes the client requested. Then more meetings are scheduled to go over the changes that have been made and still more meetings are scheduled to build a deck that takes the client through the changes that have been made and those that haven’t been made.

This river flows endlessly, through all seven rounds of client changes.

As an industry, we have jumped on a crazy wheel that spins around faster and faster but gets nowhere.

The fact is, whole weeks if not months go by where work doesn’t get done, it only gets re-done. And at no point during this enervating and ridiculous process does anyone ever have the temerity to suggest that this isn’t the way things should be.

The new normal has us not in the advertising industry but in the do-over industry.

About 15 years ago as Nasdaq was running up to 5,000 on its way to its tech-crash, those of us working on start-ups and dot-coms used to say with conviction, “fast beats big.”

In other words, first on the air or first in the market would carry the day. Today most messages spend more time being revised than they spend being run.

I believe in something I call Now-ism.

Now-ism isn’t about meetings or discussions or deliberation.

Now-ism isn’t about complicated charts and research and re-dos.

Now-ism is about going back to you desk and doing shit.

Now-ism is about taking your best shot based on the brain you were given, the skills you’ve developed and the gut you trust.

It’s not about doing things when you’re scoped.

Or after the eleven-teen other meetings you have to attend.

Or when there’s a proper brief.

Or after your time-sheets are done.

Or when you're 'inspired.'

It’s about cutting the crap, cutting the cord, cutting to the chase, cutting out the middleman and maybe cutting out early.

So you can get things done.


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