One of my favourite podcasts is Radio 5’s Sportsweek. It’s broadcast at 9am on Sunday just as I’m walking the dog so I usually listen to it across the week before work. Garry Richardson is a bit Marmite – he is always quite obviously digging for an angle, which grates with me, but at the same time, the show is excellent and he always seems to have exactly the right guests.
This week, he had the head of Team Sky – the pro cycling outfit that won the last two tours with Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome (though no such luck this year). Sky have been amazing and Sir Dave Brailsford is clearly quite a leader. I was struck by his ethos for success and it rang true with me regarding life for anyone building a start-up. When asked how he felt about the need to change tactics when his main rider crashed out of the race, he answered simply with the tenacity of someone who knows that the path to success is never direct and is always hard work:
We start off with the basics that the goalposts will move and that life’s not fair
On my cycle home, I pass one of the locations for Chelsea Fringe every evening and have been meaning to post about it. Chelsea Fringe – what a great idea. The Edinburgh Fringe is now the gem of the Edinburgh Festivals and started, I believe, as a response to the more traditional Edinburgh International Festival with its impressive, but elderly tattoo.
Gardening is and should be more accessible that just the rarefied experience offered by the Chelsea Flower Show, so the notion of a Fringe adds, at a stroke, a hint of cool and modernity – and increases the overall appeal and accessibility.
What else could do with a fringe? Ideal Home Fringe? The Proms Fringe? Glyndebourne Fringe? Henley Regatta Fringe?
Some good slides and links here, so worth a read, though I wonder what’s really new. Whatever, it’s a groovily-branded (growth hacking! lean marketing!) reminder to have a rounded product/marketing mix and to pay attention to loyalty management.
Digging through some old files I’ve found these four posters I commissioned for lastminute.com through M&C Saatchi/Immediate Sales. They’re not my favourites but they’re the only surviving ones I have. The Blair “don’t plan” ad was an opportunistic response to the news that the then Prime Minister’s wife was unexpectedly pregnant.
The best ad we ran, IMO, was “Surprise your girlfriend. Take her sister to Paris.”
It’s good to know what benefits your product offers, but really powerful brands have a purpose – a point of view on how they believe the world should be. This reason to exist can create an authentic connection with people and a guiding narrative for the business.
Great interview with Ed Catmull, President of Pixar outlining some of the practical, tough ways they manage the creative process. There are some excellent insights into how to manage creative people and the importance of collaboration.
Fundamentally, successful companies are unstable… the forces of conservatism are trying to go to a safe place
There are a small number of people who are socially dysfunctional, very creative. We get rid of them.
When we say we are director-led, we mean the director has to lead