MJ to Madge, Nike to Covid.

Jack, my fellow co-founder, and I have argued on more than one occasion about who the better performer was. Apparently, this is an incendiary subject.

I won’t share my own personal views publicly for fear of reprisal from ‘the other side’, but I will impart a touch of shared wisdom: Whoever you prefer, the pair are forever connected by era — something we cannot or should not reprise — and their ability to reinvent themselves.

The king & queen of pop were musical mainstays for generations. From ABC; to Billie Jean; to Man in the Mirror; to Earth Song. From…

It’s hurting your business.

Let me tell you a little secret:

On occasion, dear reader, I don’t know what I’m talking about. I say words; they flow. I offer advice and tender an idea without due construction or examination.

I don’t release a flutter of nothings unto the world lightly. They are beaten from me under the stresses of urgency and obligation. The necessity to communicate anything overrides the value of sharing anything of real value.

And I am not alone.

Your job, whatever your occupation may be, is to get the most out of the people around you.

We’re programmed to believe that…

Define and drive purpose in your market.

Marketing & advertising campaigns start with this question: What do we want the consumer to think, feel or do as a result of the work? The proposed outcome to which will be based on the current perception of the audience — ambivalent, engaged or otherwise — and the business’ commercial targets.

Digital projects, sponsored by objective analytics, start and subsist on the conversion of targeted user behaviour; the drive to increase clicks & scrolls, spend & return.

So why isn’t this approach commonplace in branding?

Great branding should make you feel something. It should direct and lead application (including the…

Speed of decision, execution and demand define what you do more than ‘what you do.’

Anyone that recoils at the thought of racing 26-odd miles to complete a London Marathon and yet finds themselves darting a few metres to try and catch a bus twice a week will know what I mean.

There’s running. And there’s running.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that these two models of physical endeavour shouldn’t command the same terminology; verbs are defined by their parameters as much as their action.

Closing a door and closing a door so hard that the neighbours wake up are two very different things. …

Who’s your money on?

Stand there. Go on, just stand there, on your phone, reading whatever-the-shit while I do all the work. Please. Continue. No really, please.

That’s me. Regularly. I’m rushing, doing. And they’re clearly — CLEARLY — not.

Calm. Peace. I find it. My reflection is energetic and unflattering.

Backlash against my personal and entirely occasional hyperactivity aside, we’re all wired to distrust our fellow man to some degree. And distrust leads to the most regressive measurements of performance: Activity.

‘If I can see them do it, I know they did it and therefore I know they did something’ is the not…

If Hollywood bows to Roma, then I can’t tell you where we’re going.

Roma, Alfonso Cuarón’s drama set in Mexico City, won the Golden Lion at the 75th Venice Film Festival and was nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning three.

It was another Hollywood success. Except, it wasn’t.

Netflix has executed a ‘ladder up’ strategy, scaling a series of rungs that have propelled them from online DVD distributor, dispensing third-party videos, to the world’s dominant content creators. Netflix is due to spend $15bnon content this year alone.

Roma was only the 10th foreign-language film to be nominated for best picture ever. Repeat, ever.

The Academies unerring bias towards movies shot in their common…

You already knew this, right?

Here’s a quick bit of maths (school started early today): There are 52-odd Tuesdays in a calendar year and 1 of each of the following:
– Mother’s Day
– Father’s Day
– Valentine’s Day
– St. Patrick’s Day
– National Pie Day / Ford Mustang Day / Haiku Poetry Day (I didn't make any of these up)

Now, would you rather your team focused on those 52-odd Tuesdays, their process compounding in value as they repeat the necessary tasks to prepare, execute and amplify content, or ask them to jump between once-annual, often-niche celebrations?

To caveat: No, these options are…

Few terms are written about more than the P word (what is it with marketing and Ps?). And yet, for all the words thrown out into the digital abyss, the cavernous gap between recognition and understanding remains.

Let’s start with the basics. Personalisation isn’t an email that starts with Hi <name>. Nope. Not one bit. Yes, it may increase email open rates. Sure, the oral equivalent is a better icebreaker than ‘Hey…and you are?’ But it is not, repeat it with me, personalisation.

Neither is Netflix suggesting a series of box sets based on your viewing history. Or Google changing…

Brexit might not kill us all, despite rumours to the contrary, but it sure as shit is making our country a less attractive place to live.

Since the vote, hundreds of thousands of people born on a different side of a body of water have left Britain, or decided not to travel here to work. This has weakened our talent pool. It’s lowered service levels. It’s probably caused a few HR managers, GMs, owners and operators to lose their damn minds.

Right before we spent a bit too much of a night and way too much of our profit on a wild night out to climax our working year, we spent a couple of hours together figuring out what went well, what went not so well and what we could do better.

2018 was our first full year in operation. The first complete year of designing, building, capturing, meeting, managing and selling. Here’s what we learned.

1. Office space matters

We moved into our first ‘proper’ office in February. …

James Sandrini

Is thinking or drinking.

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