Political Barbarism

“In a shouting match between politicians, the goal is not to win, but to deafen. Once the public cannot hear the shouting, they’ll also be deaf to the facts – which are what truly stand in the way of any candidate.”  -CM

Data Doesn’t Buy Shit

Somewhere in the vast, dark, poorly-spelled history of the Internet and devices and data, there was a Genesis moment. Some software maker, device maker or other maker decided that they owned the rights to the data produced by you during your use of their software or device.

The road to Hell isn’t paved with good intentions, it’s paved with End User Licensing Agreements. And lawyers.

Here at The Slant Global HQ and Auxiliary Bingo Hall Parking Lot, we see this seminal moment a bit differently. Because we view advertising differently. We believe that you should own the facts about you. And what you do. And how you do it. Without you, it would not exist. You, therefore are the creator. So the data that you create is obviously yours.

Our current digitally-anal-probed reality begs to differ.

Read any EULA. That’s the thing you agree to every time you download software or use a service or initiate a device. Yeah, the one you didn’t actually read. It will likely tell you all about how your data is kept private and blah blah blah. What it won’t say is that you own it. It belongs to the makers of said software or device.

Sadly, while this little fiasco may have begun with an honest need to analyze usage and improve products and services, it has been infected with the rank, trend-chasing know-nothings of advertising. It is being misused, mishandled, misappropriated and misogynized.

People in advertising are abusing your facts. Molesting them, even. This is 100% true for 100% of people who have an email address, social media account, phone number, TV, FitBit, Google account, computer, smartphone, tablet, Internet access, automobile or mailbox. You. Are. Being. Ogled. 

Creepy, isn’t it? Someone out there is looking at facts about you and thinking, “Wow, a nice, well-to-do X0-something with a good job who searches the usual sites, reads news on an iPhone 6XYZ, loves *insert favorite sports team* and is going camping this weekend. With #friends. And their #dog. In a #Jeep.”

#stalked

And why? So we in the advertising business can send you a hyper-targeted advertisement for Off! Insect Repellent and pine-scented Febreeze.

Advertising was never quite a noble pursuit. The purists and icons of bygone eras set about the task very differently. They had a philosophy. They may even have had ethics. I think they realized that, to be in advertising was to be a person like everyone else. You didn’t know everything about them, you just knew enough to relate.

Now we delude ourselves into believing that we’re more efficient and effective by targeting highly specific data sets. This is a big, fat, stinky lie. What we’re doing is stalking people and wasting time and money. P&G just realized it. Hopefully more will, soon.

Nowadays, it seems as though planners and clients alike are lost unless they know how many Cheerios you poured in the bowl this morning, and what percentage of fat was in your milk. This is the new version of missing the forest for the trees.

We seek the one, not the many, and that’s wrong. Advertising is mass communication. Advertising is about the idea, not the target. Advertising is about the product, not the data.

And so, good consumer, I urge you to change your perspective. Demand to own your data. If you do, you might just change advertising for the better. Advertising will follow your lead. Because data doesn’t buy shit. People do.

Unrest

As a marketer, it is always in my mind that the mood of the public is important to what I do. But what do you do when the public is in no mood for your advertising shenanigans?

Dark have been my feeds of late. Innocent people killed. Innocent police officers killed. What’s been solved? What have we learned? What have we accomplished?

The seams of our society seem to be more threadbare. The Romans, as their civilization unwound, were prone to lascivious or voyeuristic distraction. If you visit BuzzFeed often, you’re repeating history. Those Romans were caught in the throes of empirical nepotism, when the next ruler was half as competent and twice as corrupt as the last. Tell me that does not resemble our own circus of an electoral process. It’s a wonder to me that the seams held as long as they did for the Italians, but that makes me wonder.

How strong are our seams? How serious are people in their thankfulness for what America and our society offers, however flawed? And how serious are they about having their voices matter? Violence is, in the scale and scope of societal change, a distraction. Outrage is a numb divider. The longer it lasts, the more normal it becomes. It changes nothing for the better.

We are prone to distraction. That’s a human thing, not a technology thing. The Romans had no smartphones, Pokemon games, BuzzFeeds or the like. They simply had a populace that saw its trajectory to earth too late. Not that I respect Roman society all that much – slavery, violence, Imperialism, and debauchery are not cornerstones of a healthy society. But I do see in them a reflection of where we are today.

There is a loud and constant demand for equality, but there is little understanding of the word. Equality, as far as I can tell, should be a barometer of opportunity, not of status. I want to be equal to Warren Buffet, but I know I do not deserve it as I have not his talents, knowledge, or experience. I have not taken his risks. I have not made his decisions. That’s the kind of equality people seem to be after these days. Equality of possession, not of opportunity. In Rome, there was slavery. In America, there is entitlement. Neither is right.

Violence was entertainment in Rome for a time, when the Coliseum was packed with throngs of the blood-thirsty and bored. Think about it for a moment. A society that says it is willing to charge admission for you to watch someone die at the end of a spear or in the jaws of a lion is obviously stating that the value of life is cheap. Mind your words and deeds in such a society. Yet, we tolerate great amounts of violence in our day-to-day lives. The scope of America is far greater than Rome, so equal violence will seem much greater. We blame guns and terrorists and mental illness, none of which are the problem. We do not value life. This is obviously the case when someone can no longer safely claim that all lives matter. One life must be worth more than another.

The trick is, once you assign a value to life, it can be bought and sold. It becomes, like oil, a commodity. Life should be priceless.

Imperialism probably conjures the idea of conquering other countries. Rome did that and America has as well. There will always be war as long as there are people and resources over which to fight. but I’m not talking about that. Imperialism has another facet. It exerts control. It strangles liberty. Woe betide you who badmouth the Emperor when one of his retinue was in earshot. That was a free ticket to the Coliseum with better-than-front-row seating arrangements – an invitation to have someone tickle your ribs with something very sharp. In America, too, we have turned our Imperial instincts inward.

And we have draped that cloud of interference in the guise of protection. You can’t have privacy, but here, have some security. You can’t have your freedom, but here, try safety on for size. Prosperity? Sorry, fresh out. But have some “equality” instead. It’s good for you.

Debauchery? Look at your news feed. Count how many “her dress dropped jaws” or “wardrobe malfunction” or “sexy selfie” headlines you see. Sex is truly the weapon of mass distraction.

We are enamored with our boogeymen. The creatures under the bed are the ones telling us not to be scared of the creatures in the closet, who will tell us that the under-bed creatures are much much worse.  On one side, most Americans will tell you that our government is inept, and in the next sentence, they’ll claim the government will protect them. On the left, they decry police officers as dangerous and out of control, and then tell you that you shouldn’t have a firearm because those same police are on the job. On the right, they tell you to own all the guns you want, just in case some evil terrorist comes home to roost. Meanwhile, they define terrorist as “everyone who practices a certain religion, or is perhaps brown.”

Advertising can teach us many things. As the world’s second-oldest profession, it predates both America and Rome. Here’s a quick primer.

#1 An advertisement that has, at its core, a real truth and no misdirection will be more successful and make a more successful product than one that is flippant, irrelevant, distracting, or untrue. The same applies to a society. Or news. Or government. Unless these are true, and communicate with truth, they will eventually fail. Lies are cards. Only so many can be stacked before the house crashes.

#2 “Free” is a powerful word, but it creates the wrong expectation. Giving a product away to start is often a good way to get people to try it, but once they have, it must stand on its merits if the company is ever to make money. Governments around the world are hooked on the old bait-and-switch. They call things “free” while they charge you for them elsewhere. Nothing from any government anywhere is free. You have likely paid for it multiple times over. If people know exactly how much things cost, they can establish value and decide for themselves if they’re willing to pay for the product. Societies should demand the same.

#3 Powerful personalities do not necessarily mean great decision makers. In advertising, the upper echelon of creatives, directors and above, carry the executioner’s sword for ideas. Most of them have large personalities, and I’d say about half of them have decent decision-making skills. In government, with the present object lesson implied, big personalities are no guarantee of better-than-wretched decision making skills.

I very much love my country, but like my profession, it has taken a very sour turn lately. It is almost always down to poor leadership at the very top, and an easily distracted population at the bottom. People clamor for equality, then lose sight of the goal when the next Marvel movie comes out, or the next time Ciara flashes underboob. People are outraged now so often that is less a state of mind and more a state of being. Perpetual outrage. Fueled by cable news and agendas. Brought to you by Starbucks and Bank of America and Huggies.

We’re doing our best Rome impression. Do not feed the lions.

AnyAgency, USA

We at The Slant Global Headquarters and Climate-Controlled Self Storage Units are always up for hypotheticals, no matter how eerily they resemble real life. This post, we will explore what an agency might post when looking to hire creative talent – if it told the unfiltered truth. Allergy alert: contains sarcasm.

WANTED: Creative Rock Star!

We are a fun, young, forward-looking group of creative professionals looking for someone to add to our team of rock stars. Of course, what we really mean is we want someone who’s already demonstrated the ability to do great work in spite of the incompetence of clients and agency leadership at their former place of employment. We want to lure them here and see if we can successfully turn them into listless robots like us.

If we were rock stars, we wouldn’t need you, would we? And by young, we actually mean cheap. I mean, we have talented young people, but they’re here because they’re cheap, not because they’re young. Seriously, these fridges of craft beer and closets of snacks are fucking expensive! By forward looking, we mean we’re looking forward to you getting here so we can take it easy. Or looking forward to our next position at an agency that doesn’t redefine dysfunction.

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits. We didn’t offer any context, of course. We’ll make our compensation package look like a dream come true. Anything to draw you in. In actuality, we’re going to probably work you so much no amount of PTO will enable a full recharge. And we’ll chain you to a laptop and phone so we can always email and text you. Deadlines, you know?

You must have 5 – 10 years of experience on recognized brands that we can appropriate for our next new business pitch deck and our website. It helps if you’re also stylish, if not full-on hipster, so that we can continue to develop our image. Some samples we could pilfer would be super! And write us a few case studies while you’re at it. Go team!

You’ll be managing a team of eager, talented people. Actually, that’s kind of wrong. You’ll be managing freelancers that we’ll only agree to use when you’re a few seconds away from workplace violence. We’ll also be putting a huge screen of account people between you and clients, and you’ll rarely be allowed to present your work. Because you’re not yet submissive enough to their asinine requests. We want them happy, not successful. If they’re too successful, they trim budgets. We need them to have crises. And if we create them, we’ll know how to solve them, right? Strategic!

Apply directly to this ad, because we don’t want to pay a recruiter to find you and would rather just get a reasonably warm body. Send your curriculum vitae and a doctor’s note saying you’re actually alive to recruitment@anyagencyusa.com.

Choice

Here at The Slant Global Headquarters and Hipster Haunted Hayride, we are always looking for wisdom, and trying to make sense of AdLand. This will not be our usual post, then. Today we’re going to try and dispense a little wisdom regarding the most powerful thing in all of human creation, and the source of all freedom.

Choice.

A choice is something every human being can make. Must make. Sometimes, those choices will be bad choices. Sometimes they will be good. Sometimes, even when it seems there is no choice, there is – just no pleasant choices. Everyone would choose a storybook ending, but reality often forces choices toward the gray area. Not good or bad, but merely choices.

There are two things all choices share. One is that they must be made. Even if you think you’re not deciding, you’re only deciding not to decide. Put it this way, if you can choose door #1 or door #2, and you don’t decide? You’ve chosen to stay put. Progress isn’t made by shirking choice.

The second thing all choices share are consequences. That word typically has an ominous connotation, but truthfully, there are as many good consequences as bad ones. Choose to drive and efficient car? Save money on fuel. Choose to jump off the roof onto the trampoline? Break some bones and become a YouTube star. The bad kind.

There are personal choices. Like choosing to cheat on your spouse or choosing to start a business or choosing to go volunteer or choosing not to brush your teeth before bedtime. Choosing to cut ties with a romantic partner or choosing to kindle a friendship with someone random. White or wheat? Paper or plastic? Team Sparkly Vampire or Team Fuzzy Werewolf? We are always choosing. Life is a cycle of choice and consequence. If we’re lucky, we have good advice, enough education, and enough depth of faith in ourselves to make the most positive choices we can.

Beware of those who seek to limit your choices. About what you can buy. What you can do. Whom you can associate with. Or what you can know. Limiting choice is the most pervasive of all forms of control. Recognize those who would control you. I choose to ignore them whenever I see them.

Everything you do – or do not – is a choice. And every choice has a consequence. It stands to reason then that we should think about our choices as much as possible before making them. Your life, career and legacy are all simply the product of your choices. I don’t know which ones are right and which are wrong for you. But I do know this: Don’t let someone else choose for you. That means you choose not to control your own fate. Choosing to be at the whim and/or mercy of another is a bad choice. Even if it’s a good person. Because that person is not you. Your destiny should always always always be your own.

Own your choices. Even the bad ones. The bad ones will teach you more than the good ones ever will. Nobody is perfect.

Above all things, this: Whomever you are, whatever you do, make your own choices. Don’t listen to one point of view. Listen to as many as you can. Don’t just trust face value – many people and facts are two-faced. Don’t just let the world around you steer your life. Choose to steer it yourself.

You can do this. I know you can. Listen to the world. Listen to your heart. Consider your knowledge. Let the combination guide you. Make good choices. You don’t have to agree with me. But I get to choose, too, and I choose to believe in you.

Racing To Be Last

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“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last.”  - Winston Churchill

What Winston is getting at is that people are often in a hurry to please someone without first realistically pondering the end result of an action. Yes, I’m going to steer this toward advertising. Below, when I say “saying yes,” it means to cater obsequiously to a client’s input. In other words, to pander.

It’s very easy to say yes to everyone in advertising. It is especially easy if everyone around you has to do what you say. After all, “yes” makes clients happy, right? Sure it does. But the appeasement-as-a-business-plan mentality fails to consider a few things. This business has a client side and an agency side. The business plan affects both.

The client side is rightly pleased when appeased. It’s a false flag, though. The modern agency-client relationship is fraught with false flags. They can be data-driven and they can be relationship-driven and probably lots-of-other-stuff-driven. “The agency did what I say and that’s a good thing.” True or false? The answer is that it depends.

If you hired an advertising agency to do the work because you could not do it yourself, why are you paying them to do it yourself? You give an order – be it strategic or creative – and they say yes. This is not a relationship, it’s an appeasement. If you want to be the creative director/hero, hire an internal production department. It’s cheaper, though it will be harder to justify junkets and wild nights out. The agency middle-mans that for you.

If you hired the agency because what you were dictating before wasn’t working, then you still have a 100% chance of failure and a 50/50 chance of having to take the blame. And a 100% chance of being to blame. Don’t let agency yes-men fool you into thinking you’re the best thing ever. That’s the trap. Don’t fall into it.

That’s if you’re a client. If you’re on the agency side? It’s sad to have to even discuss this.

If you’re on the agency side, you’ve likely noticed the dwindling number of super-talented creatives – especially at the senior level. These are the people with the actual ideas. Not the ones you delude yourself into thinking you came up with, when all you did was cop it from a fashion magazine at the dentist’s office. You’re saying yes because you can’t come up with something better, and you don’t want anyone else to do it either. By saying yes, you become the preemptive hero.

It’s like trying to win a war by surrendering before it’s even declared.

Always saying yes is a disservice to the client. It deprives them of the thinking they’re paying for and the solutions they need. Caving to their often shortsighted and usually mundane ideas is like a drug. It’s gratifying at first. And then, withdrawal. You’ve set a precedent and now you’ll look like a dumbass if you try to stop it.

Not only that, saying yes is also a disservice to your coworkers or reports. You now have a group of people who were hired to solve problems who are instead given the tedious job of executing something bad. It’s beyond disheartening.

Mutiny has started for lesser offenses.

So if you are a serial yes-sayer with any kind of power in an advertising agency, I implore you. Make sure you’re honest with people when you hire them. “You’re not here to create, you’re here to execute.” You do not need creative directors. You do not need writers. You do not need artists or art directors. You just need people who can type, move things around and build PowerPoint decks.

What you do, then, will be the lowest common denominator of all marketing. You will become the drive thru. And when the work doesn’t perform, what then? You think that the kiss-ass method is going to save you, but it’s not. It’s going to doom you because, at some point, the work has to perform. When it falls flat, you’ll know why. And you’ll be stuck.

You’ve just been saying yes all along, feeding the monster. You’re racing to be last, and when the time comes, the crocodile won’t care.

The Sinking Feeling

Boat sinking
Chances are that if you’ve worked at any job, much less an ad agency job, you’ve been canned. Fired. Sent walking. Pink slipped. Downsized. Laid off.

And, unless you’ve got blinders on, you’ve seen or felt it coming. It’s that odd, unshakeable shadow that follows you around. Even to the bathroom, the creepy bastard. It’s in the way certain decision-makers look at you. It’s in the work you’re asked to do – or not asked to do.

Yes, some people get blindsided by it. That’s noble and ignoble at the same time – it speaks of dedication, but it also speaks of arrogance. And yes, some people have no reason to believe they’re on the block. Life isn’t fair. That’s beside the point.

Here are some signs you should be on the lookout for. If you’re seeing these, search your feelings for one that’s sinking. Because it might be accurate.

Your boss or your boss’s boss dislikes what you’re producing.
Matter of opinion? Yes. But don’t get all shocked when the opinions of those who are above you start to sour and you end up getting dropped. Do not kowtow to bad ideas and always stand for what you believe in. Just know that the moral, ethical or creative high ground can be a lonely place. And it may get lonelier. Be prepared.

The assignments stop coming – or change in nature.
So, there was a time when the cherry assignments always seemed to hit your desk. You were the go-to person. You were the lead horse and leadership always rode you out of the stable. But lately… Those cherry assignments have gone elsewhere. Certain jobs have been freelanced out. You find yourself wanting work, or doing menial work instead of the good stuff. Asking for it may or may not get you anywhere, but it’s worth trying. Idle hands are expendable overhead. Lack of work may be a strong signal that you’re being prepped for dismissal.

Attitudes change.
Always been pretty tight with your supervisor or the HR peeps? If you feel sudden distance, your Spidey sense should be tingling. Most professional friendships built on respect don’t change in this way. Sometimes, you’re fortunate enough to have someone to tell you outright – or answer your question honestly – that you’re on shaky ground. This can be anything from a “proceed with caution” message or an official review. Good working relationships can give you valuable lead time. By the same token, that respect should be returned. Don’t bail without notice, and don’t set fire to anything when you leave.

Check yo’self.
Card carrying cynics, especially in advertising, often need their perspectives checked. Sometimes, inner negativity becomes outer negativity which isn’t acceptable. This is more likely to happen the longer you’re in a situation that doesn’t suit you. Just as certain illnesses will never go away unless they’re addressed, so too will that toxicity only increase over time until you either let it go or get let go. Make sure you’re not your own worst enemy. Everything is a choice – including staying in a job you might no longer like. And that’s on you. Go your own way or SITFU. It’s a Marine Corps term. Google it.

You just get a funny feeling.
The least reliable but sometimes only warning of impending termination comes from the critters in your abdomen – a gut feeling. These are your REAL Spidey sense. There is a reason cops follow their hunches. Even if they’re only right half the time, they’re right half the time. If something seems off, maybe it is. Start digging.

Client attrition.
This is a fancy way of saying a big client has told your agency to get lost. Or simply gone out of business. This happens and is the nature of advertising as a whole, for instance. Nothing will kill a bad product faster, in fact, than good advertising. If that client goes, so too will some staff. Even if it isn’t your client, be aware. They may decide another person is more worth the money than you. People become numbers at this point, and if your number is up, it’s up.

New broom sweeps clean.
Whenever your section, department, agency or client undergoes a management change, there’s always the chance that you’re on the block. In fact, I’d guess that this is one of the more alarming situations. A new bean counter thinks you’re earning too many beans versus someone of equal title in a previous/alternate agency? Your beans are reclaimed and you are kicked out of the soup. This is usually the most frightening because it doesn’t have to make sense for anyone in the real world. Just a ledger somewhere in a holding company’s black heart. Or a new client with buddies at XYZ Agency wants to relive the good old days.

These are a few of the more noticeable red flags. Note that any of them can easily be a false flag, but you’re wiser to hedge your bets. Chances are where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Keep working. Keep doing good work. But when you have time, plan. Always have an exit strategy. Also, don’t get mad. Very very few bridges deserve to be burned. Bide your time, be graceful, and enjoy a week or two of you-time.

After that, think about what just happened, why, what you did or could have done, and what you really want to do next. Every door that closes presents an opportunity. Look for the next door. Keep smiling. Be true to yourself and remember – you’re not sunk. You’re just finding a new port of call.

That Moment

There are a lot of moments when you’re a creative. They’re those points on the timeline of your day you remember. It’s a byproduct of always trying to sharpen thoughts like swords – you perceive specific feelings or reactions more acutely.

Moments come in just two flavors: good and bad. That moment you jot down a headline and think, “Damn. That’s good.” That moment when you tweak a design that’s been bothering you and it suddenly all gels. “Fuck yes.” And that rare moment, becoming rarer, when a client says, “This is the idea I’ve been waiting for. It’s brilliant. Go with it.” People talk out of their asses all the time about how much they love the work, but most of it is lip service. When a client really gets behind something? Awesome. Those are the good moments.

The bad moments are just as seminal in their effects. The moment that the “disruptor” enters the meeting – someone who was not invited, doesn’t know the strategy, has no clue on the background, is unfamiliar with the client, the product, the target or the material, and starts offering up “solutions” that are “brilliant.” Sounds like a long rant, but it’s the combination that gets you. Or that moment when, with deepening horror, you realize there is no coffee. Or that you’re going to be working late, again, on something for which you’ve already shed all the blood you’re willing to shed.

This is the yin and yang of my day.

I’ve often – far too often – wondered if there were a way to bottle the feeling you get from a good moment. I don’t know if it’s chemical, psychological, emotional or purely reactive. The good moments trigger an endorphin rush. The bad moments trigger the fight or flight response. I’m sure some may think, “Easy, dude, just blaze one and boom!” I can’t get behind that. I don’t like the idea or the feeling of my brain chemistry or capability being altered.

I’m a control freak when it comes to my brain.

Perhaps what we need, then, isn’t to bottle the feeling, but find a way to create it more often. Understanding each other. Trusting each other. Focusing on the work, and on doing the best work. Letting go of the frustrations that bind us to the negative responses and embracing our freedom to let that shit go. When we get there? That’s going to be one Hell of a good moment.

Too Many Concepts, Not Enough Ideas

There’s a trend in advertising to “over deliver,” as I’ve often heard it called. And sadly referred to it myself. It’s the idea of giving the client more than they expect in some rancid fantasy that they’ll love us even more. It only requires a little bit of thought to counteract the tendency, but we apparently don’t have time for it.

Well, I’m going to find the time right now.

When an ad agency gives a client ten “concepts” when they were asked for three, they are essentially telling the client a number of not-at-all-good things.

We can’t decide or self-edit. We’ve got a lot of weak-ass ideas along with a couple of good ones and we do not have the skill or intestinal fortitude to cull the herd. Or, perhaps worse, we cannot agree on anything and require you to be our referee. Or we’re dealing with a lot of internal politics that won’t allow cuts. Or we don’t think enough of you to tell you what we think. Pick your poison, because at least one of these is probably true.

Your ridiculous deadline? Totally reasonable. We can do a zillion ideas, all within your budget, and they’ll all be as “good” as these. We don’t need time to actually think about anything. We’ll just vomit into an InDesign file or copy deck and show it to you. Because we’re super fast!

We don’t need time to think. Thinking is so 60s. Today, our brains have been replaced by Google and stock photography. There’s not really any skill involved. We Google words and ideas just magically happen. Instantly. And EVERYTHING has been photographed and is available royalty-free. Literally. Everything.

We thrive on micromanagement. By showing you ten ideas instead of three, we’re inviting you to play designer and copywriter. Ideas are like LEGOs. Just mix and match them yourself and tell us which parts fit where. Because we all know that Frankenstein had a happy ending.

We’re pandering to you, not doing what you actually need. We depend on you not knowing the difference. We’re not concerned with the actual goal of the creative, only that you’re pleased with it. Because we want you to be happy as soon as possible, even if you get demoted or fired because your ads aren’t working.

We literally have no self respect. Instead of having confidence in – and fighting for – the ideas we believe are strongest and purifying those ideas by spending our time perfecting them, we lack the confidence, the direction, or the freedom (or a combination of the three) to do our best work. But you’ll like sifting through page after page of also-ran, knee-jerk, sparkly bullshit. We know it.

I’ve always been a firm believer that a client deserves a choice, but there are limits. There should be marked differences in the ideas, enough so that mix-and-match banality should result in obvious failure. If you have two good ideas and five fair ideas, you should only show the good ones. And next time, spend the time you waste on five fair ones to turn two good ones into one or two great ones.

Thinking is where ideas come from. Context aids thinking, but hurry does not. Noise does not. If you’re going to over-deliver, I believe you should do so in quality, not quantity. Ten so-so ideas are worth the same as a hundred bad ones – not much. But one truly great one? That’s the only one you need.

We should over-deliver on the greatness of an idea, not the page count of a concept deck.