The truth is, you can go out there and become an expert in policy, an expert in history, an expert in environmental science, and then I will believe that your voice should carry more weight than the general public. But if you’re a billionaire who made a bunch of money from shuffling money around on the internet, there is no way I’m going to trust you as a source of empirical scientific truth, and if you’re a VC who sees themselves as somehow the walking embodiment of David Ogilvy without ever having worked in comms or branding, I am not going to listen to anything you have to say about marketing and advertising when you want to act like I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, and that’s the way it is, bucko. 🍕🔥🙌💯
I’ve been the CMO for a tech startup, the CMO for a consulting firm, the director of marketing for Australia’s largest startup space, I’ve built up the #1 Medium blog in the APAC region, I have written more than 1500 blog posts, I’ve spoken at tech conferences from Sydney to the Netherlands, I’ve written the introduction to a couple books, done panels at Dropbox, delivered talks at General Assembly, won a Platinum Hermes Advertising Award, written for TIME/Motto, Business Insider, the SF Chronicle, The New York Observer, Hubspot, Smart Company, INC.com and 40 other publications, run workshops for accelerators, advised VCs on branding and eaten several cheeseboards.
“…standing in the roaring of the Jordan, cold with its dreadful chill and very conscious of it terror, of its rushing, I, too, like Hopeful in Pilgrim’s Progress, can call back to you who one day in your turn will have to cross it, ‘Be of good cheer, my brother, for I feel the bottom and it is sound.’”
In the moments where it doesn’t, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself when your writing is not honest, forgive yourself when it is not good. The day will come when it is, if you let your words have teeth and if you let your words have claws.
When programmers and developers and tech companies today do not speak up for the marginalised, and criticise “identity politics” and feel that they somehow have a right to debate who should and shouldn’t be in tech, they are disgracing the memory of Alan Turing. That is inarguable.
I’m eager to get started. I want to lay the groundwork in our programs which will make it easy to see the value in ethical, innovative and disruptive technologies. We want startups who share our vision to empower people and organisations to achieve more by working together, experimenting, iterating and scaling up.
The fuck ups that you remember, you don’t remember just because they make you feel bad. You remember them because you know, deep down, that there is a lesson you’re supposed to have learned from them. There’s a lesson in everything. Every time I’ve hurt someone and been hurt. The struggle is that I’m not always good at finding that lesson. But then, neither are the self help gurus who want you to pay them to do that. All you can ever really consistently do is strive to find a teachable moment when the universe kicks you and chokes you out in your downtrodden sod of pure shit and despair. So try and focus on finding that lesson, every time you screw up.
There’s a burned out legacy for every revolution that will always see its icons printed on T-shirts and sold at gas stations. It’s inevitable, as people catch onto an idea and forget it when the next one arrives. It’s the legacy of Johnny Rotten, and it’s the legacy of people who were young and weird once, and found that a part of that was valuable on the open market.