August 05, 2015

Radical Simplicity

I am getting started on a new book entitled Radical Simplicity.

Radical Simplicity is intended to be a prescription for ridding our business of the immaterial, wasteful and frustrating practices, people, and behaviors that are confusing the shit out of us and undermining the effectiveness of what we do.

It will try to strip away all the bullshit of our industry. What's left will be a radically simple way to think about and practice advertising.

Any sensible person working in marketing and advertising knows there’s something deeply wrong. We can’t quite put our finger on it, but we can feel it.

My belief is that it stems from a downward spiral of oppressive, unnecessary complexity that has infected our culture, our thinking, our systems, and our organizations.

It is manifest in several ways:
  • a feeling that a great deal of what we are doing is a waste of time and money
  • systems that obstruct the carrying out of assignments rather than facilitate them
  • organizations that encourage vagueness to protect egos
  • a sense that the waiters are doing the cooking, and the umpires are running the bases.
  • non-productive jobs that are 80% meetings and presentations and 20% doing something
  • data, measurements, and processes that have names but no value
  • a culture drowning in false goals
  • a deep distrust by marketers of the people creating their advertising 
  • thinly disguised contempt among agencies for their clients 
  • media practices that are so alarmingly arcane, no one knows where their advertising is running, how much they are paying, or even if it is running
  • a profusion of dreadful, pompous corporate titles that sound ridiculous and mean nothing 
  • a constant drumbeat of anxiety 
We are very confused.

Radical Simplicity will aim at finding a simple path through the woods. It will aim at freeing us from the relentless torrent of bullshit and worthless legends and rituals that are ruining the advertising and marketing industries, and sending talented people running screaming from us.

If advertising were religion, Radical Simplicity aims to be a type of Reformation.

In keeping with its promise Radical Simplicity will be under 25 pages.

It's a tall order. Wish me luck.

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