News + Thought

The myth of visionary leadership

Very successful people tend to be surprisingly ordinary. The average millionaire entrepreneur you meet will tend to be highly competent, no question, and generally fairly talented in some...

Incoming: a Basic Arts TEDx

I'm very happy to be able to say that I'll be participating in this year's TEDxFolkestone (yup, they have one there - it's all going on down the South coast). The talk will present the idea...

Forget “purpose”, do this instead

Nope. A sad fact of life is that even the best ideas will often get warped and simplified to the point of uselessness. As concepts pass through the public consciousness, people will inevitably...

Why new brands need to be less ethical

You may have heard Voltaire’s phrase “the perfect is enemy of the good” - often used in a business context to essentially mean “just get it...

A shortcut to good strategy

It has been said that the true competitor of a Harley Davidson is not a Yamaha, or a Honda, but in fact a conservatory. Within this quip lies the most fundamental of strategic truths; one which...

NEW PUBLICATION: Make companies without competitors

Following the success of the previous Basic Arts publication Make interesting companies, not interesting advertising, I'm delighted to announce the follow up Make companies without...

Gillette the latest brand to succumb to the “marketer’s fallacy”

If you’re reading this, two things can be assumed: You have seen the new Gillette ad You have an opinion on the new Gillette ad Now, for our purposes here what that opinion is...

Why “big brand thinking” is poison for independents

In spite of everything you read - including here - there isn’t really one right way to run a business. Businesses can become successful via all sorts of weird strategies, including ones that...

Steve Jobs is a bad business role model

Don’t try and be like Steve Jobs. Don’t learn from his example, don’t try and copy his techniques, don’t internalise his philosophy. I’m not referring here to his famously...

The self-loathing business

As has been touched on in these pages before, there is little more insidious than a focus on gaining “market share”. The idea encourages all sorts of self-destructive beliefs, such as: ...

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