Are we using AI backwards?

Before we begin, a word of warning: I know very little about AI. Because of this, some of my explanations below may be a bit off-base. Certainly don’t take my word on anything technical – and if you think I’ve got something wrong, feel free to email me back explaining how ignorant I am. However, […]

Want something? Then stop trying to get it.

All of us here have one thing in common: We’re trying to get things. Perhaps we’re trying to get more customers. Or a new listing. Or a better relationship. Or spiritual enlightenment. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter.  Because the way of getting something – anything – is always the same: Be the sort of business […]

You have a responsibility to be interesting

Let me let you in on a secret. It’s not something they’ll teach you in business school. Or in strategy books. Or on branding courses. In fact to be honest I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard it explicitly referenced anywhere at all – although the hints of it aren’t hard to find: If you […]

The lie of expertise

Before getting into this week’s essay, I just to alert you to a new undertaking of mine: Concept testing on Linkedin. From now on I’m going to be doing one post a day on the platform where I’ll be trying out new ideas and theories, having a chat about them, and then potentially expanding on […]

What does meaningful work really look like?

The other day I saw a great couple of tweets from a user called Madeon, which I repeat here in full: “I think it’s a tired idea to pretend every piece of art is ‘telling a story’ or ‘spreading a message’ like those are the only valid reasons to create” “Can you imagine watching a […]

The secret process of expert thinkers

I’m going to level with you. It’s about how I work. And I’ll admit up front, it makes me look kinda lazy and unprofessional. But through this essay I hope to show that not only is there logic in the laziness – but that it’s actually the only way to do effective intellectual and creative work. First, […]

Strategy should be joyful

Somewhere along the way, business has acquired an unwritten rule that goes something like this: Creativity and artistry are only to be applied in the media elements of company, specifically its advertising and branding. Advertising and branding, the external media “dressing” of a business, are the acceptable canvas for fun, playful, exuberant, emotional creative thinking, […]

Taste: The secret ingredient

A client and I were recently analysing the surprising success of the canned water brand Liquid Death, now valued at over $700 million.  In case you’re not familiar with it, Liquid Death is notable because the entire brand is essentially one big joke – it’s water (obviously a pure and healthy substance), presented in a “dangerous” […]

Don’t try

There’s an idea which permeates our schools, workplaces, and culture at large which goes something like this: The more effort you put in, the more results you get out. It’s a truism so bland and uncontroversial that it barely registers as an “idea” at all.  It’s more like a scientific law, taken for granted as […]

“The great flattening”: A visual companion

These essays tend to be a bit wordy, so I thought I’d mix things up today with a few pictures. This is courtesy of blogger David Perell, who by chance compiled a few images the other day which directly speak to some of the trends we’ve been discussing. He calls it “The Great Flattening”, by which […]