Sunday, June 29, 2008

He Bill(t) this city

So, William Henry Gates III the baby faced 52 year old 'king of the nerds' clocks off from his full time gig as Chairman of Microsoft and there are as many people saluting as giving him the 'bird'.

Ok so I understand the criticims of him being a techy monopolist but surely for those moving in business circles, this is the departure of the greatest business success story of the modern age? Bill Gates must be the tallest poppy we've ever known but something tells me he isn't going home and crying into his tv dinner over school yard jibes.

This is the guy who said We've got to put a lot of money into changing behavior. A big tick on Bills scorecard for that. With a company vision of 'a computer on every desk in every home' this would have seemed a rediculous statement when he first made it some 30 years ago and you can be sure this is still a huge way off, but to think you can get send emails from remote islands in Thailand or visit a Microsoft digital literacy centre in Limpopo, Africa, surely hats off to Billy boy for these incredible examples of a flattening world.

Can a man who has used his vast accumulation of billions to help try to rid the world of devastating diseases and poverty really be such a bad guy? Since 2000 The Gates Foundation has commited US $16.5b dollars to help democratise health. Sure, its a big call to suggest being able to wipe out a disease like malaria but if no one ever suggests it or works towards these efforts, it's even less likely to ever happen.

Anyway, all seriousness aside, a man who makes a farewell video like this has got to be alright. Check it out .

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A couple of philosophies

Yesterday David and I were running training in Sydney on objectives and target audiences. We came up with a couple of succint lines which we wanted to share.

First, our philosophy when it comes to writing good, simple objectives:-

Objectives should be SMART and helpful. SMART is easy - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Helpful means that when you have a good objective it helps you find the solution, it gives you direction to find your way through the complexity and deliver a nice simple idea. So, awareness doesn't git the bill that well as it doesn't often give you that much direction - any solutioon can raise awareness. But, "to help people realize how much they love Big Macs" is helpful because it immediately gives you some clues as to how you might proceed. (Not forgetting to make it SMART too!)

Second, our philosophy on target audiences:-

Your chosen source of volume should be small enough to be interesting but big enough to matter. The smaller (read: more focused / cohesive) your audience is the better insights you can get. But it needs to be big enough to support the scale of the objectives, ie to matter.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Welcome Mat

More frequently we are finding ourselves talking about all things fresh and brave and we're fascinated by how they are becoming increasingly more influential factors in the world of communications. Sure they do a great job of grabbing consumer attention in an often overloaded landscape of bland, but to make sure they also do the job of selling more stuff, we're curious as to how all the necessary elements magically come together. Well, we know there is actually a load of hard work that goes into great ideas but there does seem to be a dash of magic too...

To get some momentum happening, we are also running a bit of mini festival getting a load of different perspectives on what freshness and bravery mean to people whose diverse opinions we are interested in and we suspect we'll learn a load from.

We'll be posting up details of the Think Fresh Festival shortly.