All posts filed under: essays

Twitter & Trump Are Trash

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essays

First thing: This isn’t a post calling for the overthrow of Jack Dorsey. Mike Monteiro wrote that, and he wrote the shit out of it. This also isn’t my confession that all the creative energy and professional time I threw at the web in its early days was misguided and I helped build the mess we’re all in. Rick Webb wrote that, and he wrote it better than I could.  This post isn’t a screed […]

Your Manager as an Algorithm

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essays

If nearly any task can be governed by an algorithm, that means nearly any management role can be performed by software. The white-collar jobs that were assumed to be safe from automation may in fact be even more vulnerable—and your boss’s job might be automated before yours is. Before rushing into this brave new world, managers, employees, and AI engineers should consider the benefits and failings of AI management. We looked into algorithms as managers […]

How to save American Apparel

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essays

This post was originally sent to Standard General, the investment firm which has assumed 44% ownership in American Apparel, on July 9th of this year. No word yet in response. At my company, NOBL – a strategic consultancy, we help large and ambitious organizations prepare for and profit from disruption. We’re also Angelenos, with an office right in American Apparel’s backyard, so we want to see the retailer regain its footing and continue its mission […]

What is Advertising?

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essays

Whether you’re borrowing it, creating it, or bucking it, advertising is the use of culture to influence commerce. Which means … Creatives need to live and breath big and small cultures, fast and slow, old and new, online and offline. Clients need to demand work that earns its own attention and ignites communities to share the work on the brand’s behalf. Agencies need to measure the work for both impact on sales and impact on […]

Five Tips for Surviving Change

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essays

23 months ago I took on the mantle of Director of Invention at a hallowed ad agency here in LA. I assumed a title no one had ever heard of before, took what was my first gig inside an ad agency proper, and set about (with considerable help) to re-engineer a perfectly good, highly successful factory to produce an entirely new kind of output – marketing as product. Since, rightly or wrongly, I’ve been asked by clients […]

How to Scale Invention in Your Organization

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essays / orgdesign

Classically, the marketing department’s role within the larger organization has been to spread value. To take the raw product of the organization and to distribute a product or message across geographical boundaries and into the hearts and minds of a target market. Today, more and more, the role of the marketing department has become one of creating value (from entertainment to service). Market shares have solidified, mediums have matured, attention spans have shortened – and […]