24 April 2008

Looking for a Funny-Shaped Peg

Do you think like an Account Planner? Is the moment when the overwhelming fog of data conflicting with goals and objectives clears and the pieces fall into place like crack to you?
Do you work like a Group Account Director? Do you love the moment when a client starts talking about "we"?
Do you live like a Strategist? Are you restlessly curious - a constant meddler and dabbler and explorer who loves nothing better than proving yourself wrong?

If you are one of those rare "funny shaped pegs" who says "hell yeah" to all the above - well then you know how frustrating a "normal" job can be. Having to draw arbitrary lines around what you can do - creating fake constraints on where you get to play. It sucks, right?

Well then... do I ever have the job for you.

If you've managed and lead clients; have developed and delivered strategic insights and process; and have created plans and tactics -- within a design and creative services context -- this could be the dream for you.

Come and join a bunch of design-obsessed funny shaped pegs like you.

Send email to jobs@method.com with the subject line, "Principal, Client Services".

Tell them Chris said they were looking for funny shaped pegs. They'll know what you mean.

11 April 2008

"new path to liquidity"

Very (very) interesting post from Fred Wilson...

There is no doubt in my mind that he is spot on about many of the underlying forces here (and about some of the issues and likely outcomes as well. But at the same time - I disagree rather vehemently with some of his other points.
The Internet is decomposing into a vast array of micro-services that we, the end user, stitches together to make our own unique web experience. It is the de-portalization of the Internet and it is very real. And yet, these large behemoths are trying to do their normal consolidation play on the Internet. First of all, it's not going to work. They are destroying value with all of their M&A efforts and the bigger they get, the more value they will destroy, for them and their shareholders.
Incredibly well stated - more clear on both topics (the future of web "software" and the issues with the large ex-Portal companies as seen illustrated in MicroHoo) than I could EVER hope to be.

The description of internet features/services/products becoming a "vast array of micro-services" is perfect. But what's been left out is the push on these micro-services (usually by investors I fear) to become something larger (and more "portal like"). See LinkedIn. See Plaxo. See Flikr Video.

And it's really important to realize the implications of the statement that these micro-services are "stitched together" by the consumer. This is truly profound statement. It's profound at a Product level, at a Business level - and of course at a Brand level. This is a fundamental shift in the way things work.
Here's the problem. The company/web service creation process needs some kind of end game. The entrepreneurs who spend years and risking a ton need a way to get paid for that effort. And those of us who finance their efforts need to get some return on our investment. We can argue about the magnitude of the return we need and a host of other things, but the fact remains that without a path to liquidity, all the innovation that is being created by the entrepreneur/VC equation will stop happening.
But here's the rub...
I totally agree that investors need their returns - and that VCs really (really) need that return. Their entire existence depends upon it.

But do the entrepreneurs need that end game?
In this (brave) new world - is it really years and tons of risk? We're not talking enterprise software here.
I'd argue that - for many entrepreneurs - it's reasonably low risk these days and the time investment to get to having a job that doesn't suck and pays reasonably well is not that long. So... is having a job that doesn't suck (and getting reasonable pay) enough? Do all entrepreneurs really want to GetRich?

Here is the scenario.
You see the opportunity for the creation of a new micro-service that people can use. There is a potential revenue stream from it. You join together with two other people and spend three months building an alpha version.
You set it loose. It works or it doesn't.
If it doesn't - you move on (having lost 3 months). If it does - you keep developing and now have jobs that don't suck (and are getting reasonably compensated).

How does this "stop all innovation"?
This implies that all technology innovation is and has been driven by the desire for Fortune.
Sorry man... I don't buy it.

01 April 2008

Learning, Values

One of the most important values for me is a desire to continue learning.
More than that, perhaps, it's an appreciation for the importance (and value) of learning.

As relates to that - nothing frustrates (and disappoints) me more than people not being interested in learning. Or worse yet... thinking they have nothing to learn.

Being here at Method is fantastic in a number of ways.
Of these, the one that means the most to me is that here, more than almost anywhere else I've worked, I have huge opportunities for learning. There are so many people here who I am learning from - and so many opportunities for learning.
I've learned about Swiss International Style from Sean.
I've learned about Prime Time Ad Avails from John.
I've learned about presenting design direction effectively from Robert.
The list goes on, and on, and on.
And that's just what I've learned from my co-workers. Add in the tons of stuff I've learned from clients...

It makes me realize that, if you're like me, you need to evaluate whether or not a potential employer considers learning a core business value - and evaluate how much you're going to be able to easily learn - when making a new job decision.

Me... I'm lucky.