• I had lunch with the inimitable (and unstoppable – he’s 85!) David Gluckman this week. David is a legendary marketer, one of the inventors of Baileys (among many other drinks) and the author of That S*it Will Never Sell. He’s a great storyteller and has been present at the birth of many brands that went on to become household names, and many that didn’t. (The failures are often more interesting than the successes.) His book is well worth a read.

  • Missouri, an agency I’ve been working with recently, had their tenth birthday party on Thursday and it was great. Congratulations to the gang – here’s to decade number two.

  • As I adjust to solo working, I’m finding myself unlearning lots of behaviours that made sense while working in a larger company. There, so much of the emphasis is about teamwork and sharing. In IT systems, that usually means accepting a system with less overall functionality if it has better sharing and collaboration features (like Google Slides vs. Keynote, for example). But now I have to develop things on my own, I’m free to make different choices.

  • Along these lines, one thing I’m conscious of no longer having is access to any kind of collective image library. A creative agency tends to do lots of vibe shows and moodboards, and soon forms a collection of potential stimulus. When it comes to words, I’m a nearly-obsessive note-taker; I have more than 4,000 notes and over 300,000 words stored in my Obsidian library. But I’ve never consciously collected images. I’m beginning to change that, using an app called Eagle. If the app ever stops working, I have all my images right here on my computer, it works offline, and I don’t have to pay to store them in the cloud. It’s not the digital asset management system an agency would use, but it’s great for me as a solo person.

  • Eagle has a great feature that I also make use of a lot in Obsidian: randomness. In this case, the ability to go to a random selection of images. I’m a big believer in the usefulness of this for sparking thoughts, as the writer Robin Sloan articulates better than I could:

    “It’s also a pretty regular occurrence for me to just browse through my notes in a completely random fashion – it’s something I’ll do over a cup of coffee. Sometimes I do it just for fun, but usually it’s because I’m working on something and I want to have some raw materials rolling around in my brain.

    “I find that random searching like this has a lot of power to create unexpected connections in my brain; it can almost be like consulting the I Ching. In my experience this kind of searching really works, and it produces interesting results.”