On To the Next One.
Some personal news…
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
- Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
I started Deep Focus in 2002 (as a very naive 26 year-old) to change the course of the ad & entertainment industries. To spit in the eye of the establishment. To build an agency that made clients just the right kind of uncomfortable. One that could actually impact the business of content. One that could be the first to wield social media to tell engrossing stories. One that could tear down the artificial walls between creative and media. One that actually cared about consumers. One that would attract, defend, support, and grow the best talent in the industry.
We did it. It was hard. It was uncomfortable. But it was worth it.
In 2010, I sold Deep Focus to my friends and, now family at Engine, and we went global together. We tackled big issues. We built new models. We gracefully leapt across and between mediums. We worked with some of the most brilliant marketers in the world (and with their terrific teams).
When I stepped away from Deep Focus in June of this year, I did so leaving it in the capable hands of my friend and colleague Ken Kraemer. I also knew that I had unfinished business to tend to at Engine, and as its Chief Experience Officer, worked closely with Engine US’ unstoppable, unflappable, unimaginably smart CEO, Rick Eiserman, to help continue to build Engine to be the best integrated, innovative, modern, intelligent marketing services company. It has been so much freaking fun, and I’ve been able to work with fantastically brilliant collaborators and competitors along the way.
There are absolutely amazing things (and news!) coming out of both Deep Focus & Engine in the next few months, and I can’t wait for you to see them.
But for me, the time has come to get uncomfortable again. I’ll be leaving Engine at the end of the year with an eye towards something(s) new. Something(s) outside of the ad industry that I’ve come to awkwardly and toughly love. Something(s) where I know I’ll be able to continue to give back, and be a strong advocate for creativity, justice, truth, diversity, and equality. Something(s) new. Something(s) important. Something(s) big.
I am just so thankful to all the people I’ve ever worked with at Deep Focus & Engine. A company and its culture is its people. You have been my friends, my (work) family, my mentors, my inspiration for 15 years.
I’m also so lucky to have been able to work with some of the best marketers in the world at some of the greatest companies in the world; you have taught me so much. You took chances on me and my company when it wasn’t always the safest or most obvious choice. Thank you.
I’m forever grateful to the partners and platforms that said “yes” to our crazy ideas even after saying “no”.
Most importantly, I’m blessed to have such a wonderful family at home that has supported me in every step of my journey thus far, and continues to support me as I take steps towards whatever is to come. I love you guys.
This all doesn’t mean I’m “going away”. I’ll continue to share my thoughts on advertising, marketing, media, communications, and society & culture, in general, here. I’m sure I’ll also have an announcement or two along the way.
But for now, a new beginning.
In the words of the late, great MCA:
“Well I got to keep it going keep it going full steam/ Too sweet to be sour too nice to be mean/ On the tough guy style I’m not too keen/ To try to change the world I will plot and scheme.”
Right after a nap.