Thursday, November 29, 2007

i am what i am.. oh wait, no i'm not

How I missed this post from Russell for so long I do not know. He nails something I've been thinking about for ages better than I ever could. This notion of 'always in beta' (found via Faris) is beautifully simple: In our current universe, constant improvisation and evolution is not a pressure, it is a necessity. Any veneer loses its shine and changing the surface is more stimulating and engaging that constantly repolishing it.

I've spent the last six months flitting between dozens of comms agencies across New York and London and I started to feel the same way about agency philosophies. It actually started getting painful talking to people about their and even my ideas about the industry. I met a lot of people who had been deliberating for months about how to position themselves; rearranging very similar words like Scrabble players desperate to maximise their score.

Here are just a few phrases currently being used by agencies:

"Ideas that work"
"Productive ideas that excite"
"Fuel the fire of conversation"
"We create ideas for our clients that people want to spend time with"
"Stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in"

After a while it all starts to sound the same. By September, I was thinking, you know what: We all get it. Let's just get on and do good work. A philosophy should be a loose set of guiding principals, or an attitude. If you spend too long trying to craft it into a unique, perfect and eternal flame you'll find things have moved on while you were registering the trademark.

Technology has reduced business, culture and everything else to the real-time physics that human beings have faced since the beginning of time. The world is just a big experimental conversation, in which the most interesting, useful and engaging stimuli wins the moment. The smartest thing for people, agencies and brands (which are all the same thing really) to do is to be flexible, smart, considerate and just get on with it.

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