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I'm a New York-based independent strategist.  

There are lots of great ad and strategy shops in New York City. And I've worked for a bunch of them.

 

So why am I freelancing?

Because right now the world is too exciting to be working for just one company.

What brands do for people and what people do with brands is changing. Agencies and companies are being re-built in new and interesting ways. The rulebook's been thrown out. We can do things that weren't possible before. 

I believe that the best way to understand how the world is changing is to work with those who are driving the change. I've been lucky enough to work with some of the most interesting companies out there - speed-learning, risk taking, experimenting, giving and taking new ideas.

So working with me is a two way deal: I'll bring you everything I've learned, and I'll learn from you what makes you great.

And because R&D is important, not just for corporations but for people, I only work eight months a year. The other four months are 'lab time' - time to experiment with life itself - make stuff, volunteer, learn new skills.

 

I've been working with some interesting companies

Droga5, co:collective, Google, Vice, YouTube, A+E, BBDO, Publicis, Redscout, Headmint, Havas, Publicis, Cooke & Co, Trollback, The Coca-Cola Company, Constellation Brands, Special Forces NY, Project WorldWide. 

 

Stuff I love

Projects where the solution is not (just) communications, but a product, or a tool, or an action, or an idea the brand can own. 

Tough cases: brands facing big challenges who have yet to tap into opportunities created by changes in culture.

Supposed low interest categories, born from the belief that any category can and should be interesting.

 

What I’m good at

Defining a brand's cause, its fight, its story, based on its role in people's lives and in culture at large.

Finding the big idea fast. I distrust insights that need six weeks of research to get uncovered.

Using human language to get at human truths - I hate marketing jargon and business-speak.

Tracking down interesting stories within big piles of supposedly boring data and information.

 

What I'm not good at

Large teams where everyone has a say. I go quiet in rooms with 20 people talking over each other. Maybe because I grew up in a large family?

Standard brand templates, with their endless tweaking of words. Trying to decide between 'refresh your life, every day' or 'refreshing vitality, daily'. We've all been in those meetings. I have found that large brand documents that ladder up to very broad 'higher order benefits' often become the enemy of doing something bold and interesting.

All-day meetings. Does anyone enjoy them?