All posts filed under: essays

New Organizational Forms

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essays / orgdesign

In the 1960′s, the historian, Alfred Chandler, crystalized his vision of corporate organizational theory with the phrase, “structure follows strategy.” Times have changed, markets have changed, the inherent usefulness of the corporation has changed, and strategies have evolved – thus it’s time again to address the structure of organizations around the globe – ours and especially our client’s. Chandler, the first true business historian, studied how the chemical company Du Pont, the automobile manufacturer General Motors, […]

Who says the future needs an advertising agency?

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essays

I wrote this post in 2010 and it generated hundreds of comments on my site and dozens of responses across the web. Looking back, I think I was right about the conditions inside most big agencies – but the market hasn’t shifted away from them yet. Apparently there’s a roaring interest in a model for the advertising agency of the future. My aim for this post is to address some of the ideas put forth […]

This Video Did Not Go Viral

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essays

Above is a video we released last week at Deutsch LA for Volkswagen. In a matter of a few days, with only one broadcast airing, we’ve already picked up over 6 million views. The LA Times wrote a nice complimentary article, with the headline – VW’s Super Bowl teaser video ‘The Bark Side’ goes viral. The headline is untrue. We did not go viral. This video is popular because people chose to spread it – not because […]

Stop Saying ‘Viral’ Video

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essays

Alright, let’s put a nail in this zombie’s head. How a virus works: A virus is essentially a set of genetic instructions wrapped in a protein. Outside of a living cell, a virus is inert. Once attached to a host cell, a virus injects its instructions into the cell, which takes over the normal machinery of that cell for the express purpose of producing more virus particles and assembling those particles. The virus particles then reach […]

Happiness at Work, a Venn Diagram

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essays

I’ve been working at start-ups and small businesses since I was 14 years old. My father and his father before him owned and operated their own small businesses. There’s something about the fight for survival for a small team that’s coded in my DNA. I doodled this little venn diagram in my notepad during a meeting in 2009 and when I published it online, people went crazy for it. Over the years, I’ve found myself […]

Fans as Lead Users

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essays

Eric von Hippel coined the term ‘lead user’ in 1986 while identifying sources of innovation. According to von Hippel, a lead user was a user that exhibited novel behaviors by being both an early adopter of technology and an early adapter of technology. These are people who are quick to join a new platform and adapt that platform and other existing technology in unforeseen ways. von Hippel asserts that these users are important to focus on […]

We are Sterling Cooper

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essays

I must confess. I’ve been leading a double life. On Twitter, I’ve been masquerading as Bud Melman, a mailroom clerk at Sterling Cooper Advertising in 1962. I also built WeAreSterlingCooper.org. And for a short period of time, I ran a wiki where I tried to get many of the other Mad Men characters to play along and create story arcs between episodes. I’ve written a full report about my other life, along with what it could mean […]