Posts Tagged 'Crunch'

Next Big Thing – Reinvent yourself

Everyone’s got to do it. The Credit Crunch has changed all the rules. You need to reinvent yourself, because those old Pre-Crunch formulas just aren’t adding up.

Ask an Estate Agent. He got hit by the Tsunami first.

Tips from me below?

– Hold hands: As always in life, things seem alot rosier if you have someone who will hold your hand. This is a thread you can input to. I’ll feel less lonely if you can add your own comments. 

– Get a blog and all the cyber-tools (Delicious? LinkedIn? Feedburner? Twitter?). Don’t be slave to them, but realise that all the tools are gaining profile for a reason. Know your reason.

– Get out more: meet people you respect most, tell them your truths and ask them to recommend other people that you should speak to (cf Theory of the Strength of Weak Ties)

– Don’t worry about money, worry about being digital. Dubai, Russia, Brazil, India, China… the talk is that these markets (and what Martin Sorrell called ‘The Next Eleven’ on Radio 4 this morn)… they are emerging markets. But, the new big superpower is the digital continent. You don’t have to upsticks to stake your claim. (I’m blogging this wirelessly from The Diner

– Don’t get too clever. Stick to what you know. With the world’s foundations shaking, you need to get onto safe ground. There’s no better moment in a conversation, for me, than watching someone hit their sweet spot. The thing they feel passionate about. The topic where they lose their inhibitions and self-consciousness – and just spout their expertise. They don’t need your input and won’t be knocked off the track. Because they know they know best. Go there. And take it online. (or to Dubai – whichever you think is least extreme).

– Be a mongrel. Cross pollinate the things you are passionate about. Don’t start in anything that isn’t your comfort zone. Port in a storm. Better the devil you know. Cliches in a recession.

– Be happy. Downshift your expectations of yourself. Look for ways to pat yourself on the back. One pat and you can treat yourself to chocolates or downtime. Two pats and you take the rest of the afternoon off. Happiness is contagious. More contagious than money or love.

– Read history books. In good times, fortunes are made. In bad times, empires. Remember, the hard times are the making of people. Austerity measures are good for the soul. The journey is the reward. (And, there’s nothing new under the sun – so work out what history book to rip off for the ‘next phase’).

– Ignore as much as possible. Sit in your comfort zone and say ‘F*** it‘ to everyone’s silly alternative ideas or the host of bad news out there. In fact, there’s a book on the subject to go along with it. See here. Sent to me by my friend’s yoga teacher, the author. Now sitting on a hill in Italy with two fingers up at his old London adland life.

– Surf the web. In my first attempt to find ‘F*** it’, the book. I found Opens your mind. A bit.

– Back winners. The cream will rise to the top. Because it takes a devil-may-care attitude to troubles. It doesn’t feel risky to be jumping into things that you know well. Go with your gut feel. Take that leap.


Castaway – a corker beckons


Sorry if I’m bugging you with invites and reminders – and you are thinking ‘where the f*** did that all come from?’
Quick hit
Castaway is on Tues 25 Nov at the offices of Fortune Cookie, (The Lightwell, 12-16 Laystall St, EC1R 4PF – just north of Hatton Garden). 6.30pm.
Please come. If you haven’t RSVPd, then BYO beer as we won’t have catered for you. We’re catering for 30 whom I know are coming – but will welcome more. And, your all supposed to BYO anyhow.
The reason for Castaway is that I’m on the hunt for the Next Big Thing – and I keep bumping into amazing amazing people and their businesses. Digital, design, brand, content. To survive the Crunch, you are best to collaborate. The cool innovations will get traction, but only if they team up with the guys who have the right clients’ ears and commercial balls of steel.
You hit the spot, so I thought I’d flame you this invite.
You guys can get a very quick fix of hot people and partners at Castaway – I can assure you that there’s some right rich cream that’s floated to the surface and heading to Fortune Cookie’s offices. Oh, and a jolly nice chinwag and ale.
Who you gonna meet?
Take Cookie themselves – safe pair of hands, been at the heart of the internet since before Web1.0, just bagged the build of and the worldwide site revamp for a car rental co. They’ve grown 70% in the past 12 months and do websites that work like National Rail Enquiries, Miss Selfridge, Amnesty. They proudly tell me they’ve got 34 major digital awards in the cabinet.
Or, Huddle. Online collaborative tool. My chums there have just been selected as the opening round of apps to be embedded into LinkedIn as it opens its API. Bunch of 20 and 30-somethings in SE1 taking on The Valley.
Have a look at Oil Productions. They launch their interactive drama on Channel4, sponsored to six figures by Wellcome Trust, in Jan 09 – a category game-changer with reality TV, dramatic plot lines, online real/fictional clue trail, schools education programme. Yes, the elevator pitch will blow your brains. But, when the penny drops. Boy.
Get your head around Unanimis. Now a grand-daddy of web ad servicing.
Sniff the latest from The Valley Brits with You Noodle. Utterly w**k name, but brought to you by the guys that bagged billions from selling Paypal.
Or, our very own UK neat ideas: I always thought community lending sounded a right duff idea, then all the ‘real banks’ exploded. Check I hope they are making hay. Or, travel info techsters – the crunch is sure to be good for public transport.
Is anyone on the make doing ‘conventional’ stuff any more? Check out – they used to be contract publishers, but are cutting it with NMA site of the week for (which also means that instead of doing mags for plumbers, they hang out with Kate Moss). Or, once a PR straightman, now digital superhero or the boys who blog like Steve ‘Wadds’ Waddington at
And, for sure, I need to nod to previous Castaway hosts Big Als and All of Us. Check – even those ‘straight ad men’ are working for Google now! And,– the cobblers children have a new website.
The roll-call gets bigger. Meeting just a trio of these people will restore your faith in surviving 2009, even if we are ‘Iceland2 – Waiting to Happen’.
Spread the joy.

Spanish Armada

So, the Spanish are finally conquering Britain. Through banking prudence. Abbey National, Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester… the Santander Group has picked them all up so that it holds the purse strings of middle England.

Check out this piece on the inspiration for their corporate HQ, housing 6700 employees on a campus 45 mins from Madrid. Impressive, scary and perhaps the shape of things to come..

The next big thing after trust… timing

We seem to be at the point of maximum fear. We have casualties aplenty. We have finger pointing. We have governments breaking ranks with each other. We have freakish optimism from vultures, which says that things aren’t hurting enough… when it feels like they are hurting like they never hurt before.

We have tremors, then major aftershocks.

And we have Anthony Bolton, President of Fidelity Fund Managers, saying in the FT Money section (things are so bad that people are reading the Money sections – see below!), that he’s not been more optimistic in years. See ‘We’ve seen the bottom of the abyss‘.

We might be riding through mental hell, but there seems to be a sense that we are getting settled with the uncertainty, that there can’t possibly be any more uncertainty, that 2009 is already written off, that the Bank of England, Feds and Governments are in the process of taking extraordinary, bedazzling steps. But, at least, action is underway.

So, it’s right to call the bottom. And, while the whole system seems to be creaking. The statistics of BIG start to look very attractive. Because you can start small, start low, start from the minus-zone. And, any move in the positive direction will register big percentage hikes up.

You start when the tide has gone out, the waves have sucked out all the water… and a sense that there must be some swishing, gushing jet to ride back up the beach of capitalism. So, timing is key to the Next Big Thing.

There are many articles about winners and losers. I’m mentally preparing for pain a-plenty all round, because it only seems fair that the pain is widespread. But, as with other water analogies… Archimedes Principle holds true: displacement. If people aren’t using cars, they are getting their bike repaired. If they aren’t buying Champagne, they will still treat themselves to Cava. Look on the bright side. Turnip sales are up 75% at Tesco!

And, as Bolton points out, there are sectors that are oversold. He points to Media and Marketing Services. To Reed Elsevier. Buy buy buy… into the world of B2B communities…

So… to my earlier point…

In times of massive uncertainty, people devour news. And, Barry Diller has tried to show impeccable timing with the launch of The Daily Beast, headed by editorial doyen (or is that dinosaur?) Tina Brown, who described the internet as Terra Incognita before she was hired to Da Beast. She looks to me to be trying to do ‘The Week’ online before Felix Dennis has got there. (Only, I love The Week because it’s print!!!)

As earlier on Opencast, I say that Barry Diller has spotted that the web is turning into TV channels… and he’s packaging up demographics… so The Daily Beast is staking out an audience space in the Baby Boomer age group (my mum, I think that means… particularly if they have elderly Andrew Neil blogging!). I’m not betting against it, but it all looks a bit pre-RSS and post-Huffington Post if you ask me…

Timing… yes, timing…

Charlie’s Twitter status

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