The Drip Edition 14
Fresh off the back of our company conference at the end of last week, I feel newly invigorated with the joy of work life. I’ve had blinkers on the past few months, focusing on getting (and keeping) it all together, and haven’t actually stopped to take a look around at the larger picture of where Iconic has got to.
This past week has been emotionally, physically and mentally draining, and there were some really low points. But there were some incredibly high points too. Working with such a talented team, I saw some of the strongest examples of team work I have ever seen in my career, as we poured literally hundreds of hours into an RFP for a major Telco brand.
And it paid off – we were a finalist among industry-leading peers! So even if we don’t win, I can honestly say I have never been more proud.
And after a difficult few weeks (months?) of incredibly long hours, work weekends and many sleepless nights, it felt good to see the culmination of where our business has gone in the past 12 months. And let me tell you, I feel emotional about it.
When I started at Iconic, there were only a few of us working in the business, with clients whose budgets were so small they hardly covered salaries.
I left my safe job at a large agency to join this tiny little digital company because I wanted to be part of building something from the ground up. And it was not easy. There have been many ups and downs and difficult moments – personally and also as a business – and I wavered many times, fearing we might not make it. But Dermot and Rory were there to carry the emotional load of my near-breakdowns.
And when I looked at the room full of people on Friday – close to 100 of us in the room, and a company now 162 people strong – I was nearly moved to tears.
I am in awe of who we have become.
We have built something that I thought improbable just 18 months ago, and I had not truly appreciated the immensity of it until Friday.
So here we are.
We can give ourselves a massive pat on the back, and breathe a small sigh of relief. The hard work is not over, but oh my gosh, have we done something spectacular, and I feel so grateful to each and every one of my Iconic family.
We’ve made it.
So with that emotional offload, let’s get to the crux of why we are here – so you can listen to my insights on what is happening in my world*.
This week we can look forward to the new Motorola Razr (yum); training the brain to focus using mindfulness techniques; Instagram hiding likes; Amazon virtual healthcare; the new Tesla truck launch fail (LOL); graphic design trends to look forward to in 2020; how to ask better questions to get better ideas; and a colour-shifting jacket that literally reflects every colour on the visible spectrum.
*Special thanks to Bryce, who basically found most of these interesting articles by himself, whilst I was an anxious ball in the corner working on a pitch.
Let’s get to it!
How To Train Your Brain
I’ve been on this mission for a little while. I’ve been trying to figure out how to work more deeply, through using journaling, meditation and mindfulness to create focus, being comfortable with quiet, and being easy with being bored rather than stimulated. My aim through this is to better deal with difficult tasks and emotional ups and downs, and not simply be reactive to my environment.
For me, it is an incredibly long journey.
I am not a still person. I like quiet, but I have a very busy mind. Some might call it ADHD.
I have been trying to use meditation to develop mindfulness, and through this create ease and focus in my approach to my work, otherwise I flit from task to task and fire to fire, feeling fractious and as though I never finish anything. Even now, I have been replying to all my emails; finishing this newsletter; reading articles on strategy; trying to put out a couple of fires and set up meetings. It’s only 11:05am on Monday morning and I have accomplished none of the things, but started all of them.
This article is a long read – an exercise in focus itself.
A small extract from the article:
“This mini-guide is a 14-minute read. You’ve completed reading the first four minutes so far. Finishing the rest in one sitting will be effortless for some of you. But others won’t even get close to staying focused enough to continue reading for the next 10 minutes. To do that, they will need to force themselves to not open another browser tab or grab their mobile phones.
Understanding the fundamentals of uninterrupted work requires understanding that very exact effortless focus which sits on the thin line between loose focus (one that risks losing it to distractions at any second) and forced focus(one that eats up your limited mental stock).”
Instagram is hiding likes.
All the influencers are probably crying into their perfectly crafted soy matcha lattes on the banks of some perfect holiday destination, framing the right shot whilst asking themselves what the point of it all is anymore.
I am not sure if this move is a good or a bad thing – it certainly will make advertisers, brands and influencers focus on metrics other than likes, but to what end I am not sure. What else is there to focus on, if your content isn’t filtered into what performs and what doesn’t?
It seems the company is trying to make Instagram safer for users by removing polarazing content, or content that is only created because it will gain traction, and also make its users focus on other things, not just the dopamine hits from engagement.
What is super positive is that the social media giant is working with therapists and engineers to look at ways in which it can become healthier, which is certainly unexplored territory for social media platforms, which have historically focused more on gaining those ad dollars.
Read more here.
The New Motorola Razr
Everyone is VERY excited.
I challenge you to bring me one person who does not like a flip phone. There is something so satisfying about holding a flip phone in your hand and being able to snap it open, that pleasing click when it opens, and then again when it snaps shut.
Read this review and let me know whether you’d consider it. I love the idea, but perhaps more in a nostalgic and ironic sense than in the way that actually makes me want to put down my iPhone and run back to my teenage years.
Whilst I am the sort of person who does things because they are ironic and amusing, I’m not sure I would take it this far. Then again, I also don’t like change, so prying my hands away from the Apple universe is going to be a tough one.
Amazon Virtual Healthcare
Amazon has recently launched medical care on the go to its employees, giving them access to healthcare professionals over video chat and text. The aim is to save on medical costs, but also become more modern in its approach to employee healthcare. It makes sense, as the retail giant has recently acquired a number of healthcare services, including an online pharmacy.
I really love this idea, because WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO GO TO A DOCTOR!
We literally live in a world where we don’t have to go to a bank anymore because we can do everything from our phones.
I can conduct my tax returns digitally.
I never have to go to a retailer if I so desire.
So why should we have to go to a doctor for a prescription or a check-up when I have the sniffles? This innovation from Amazon is hopefully where all employers are headed.
Tesla Launches New Truck And LOL With Me
Last Week Tesla launched its new indestructible truck, and during a demonstration to showcase the durability of its windows, both of them shattered.
Musk’s companion on stage was asked to pick something up and throw it at the window, and instead of bouncing off, the window shattered. It also doesn’t seem like he was throwing that hard. It’s both embarrassing and amusing in equal amounts.
The meme team was out in full force, with some classics already.
Graphic Design Trends 2020
If you are looking for inspiration and creativity, check out this awesome video of 2020 design trends.
It is beautiful! We’ve already seen a lot of these coming through in the best designs of 2019, and I think it’s safe to say that we will see a lot more of these trends coming through in everyday design over the course of the next year.
This jacket is made from 2 million glass spheres and reflects every colour on the visible spectrum. Trippy.
See it here.
Ask Better Questions To Get Better Ideas
I often reference the Planning Dirty blog here, and for good reason. They give away SO MANY free and wonderful ideas and insights for advertising folk.
This presentation is the latest in their quest to make advertising better and more impactful. This presentation is a list of 9 questions that we can ask ourselves in order to get the best insights and ideas out of an advertising campaign, plus it gives real world examples of each question applied to actual campaigns. Brilliant.
And Finally, This Joyful Momen
This is the feel good story I needed to see to end off this year: A young girl with her fat little puffy baby arm, waiting for her forever family to come collect her from the adoption agency.
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
And on that incredibly tear-wrenching moment, I bid you adieu.
Have a great week!
If you have any questions, or things you want to share, let me know by hitting that reply button.