They killed my great big idea – I should give them a raise!

January 25, 2010

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @NYCA

I had a great idea – no really, a big, rare, juicy one. It was clear, unique – it was an app for cripes sakes! And for a client who is innovation focused!

I ran to the digital producers, “Get your heads out of your cloud computing and get on this faster than now!”

They did their wireframes. Had some questions – actually doubts: cost, timing.

“I don’t care how much money,” I said, “This is a great idea – do it, now!”

They brought it to strategy and they did some research on the target and had reservations. Actually they thought it was a good idea but not in coordination enough with the rest of the work we were doing.

“Go renegade with me!” I called, charging in no one direction.

They brought in media and they did some data digging – interesting idea as it was the target would be insignificant.

Dead. They killed the idea because it wasn’t a grow! idea.

Lucky me, lucky clients.


I trust you with my life

January 20, 2010

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @NYCA

I read that 40% of the people who get a diagnosis from their physician will doubt the doc if their social network friends question it. Now, I like second opinions like I do another slice of cream pie but will this undermine the medical attention one gets? How about when people start taking advice from their Facebook buddies and start exercising more than the doc wants and have a heart attack?

And if this happens with someone who has gone to medical school, what happens when you are buying light bulbs from the hardware store and ask your peeps what they think of the sales associate in overalls’ opinion that 60 watts is the way to go?

People trust other people because those people are like them. Comfort is healthy when not numbing. This is a new shift; it used to be comforting to know that the person you were being advised by was different from you. Doctors would wear lab coats to show they were medically superior and perhaps cleaner. These days, fewer physicians wear those coats. Overalls once showed that the hardware salesguy was more serious about his handcrafting; that’s why he had all those places for his tools on his jumper. Now he is either in a costume or seen as a bad dresser. Uniforms in stores are rarely seen and if you took off the associate’s name badge you couldn’t tell the customer from the patient from the tool guy from the doctor. They’re just people talking to people. This puts pressure on the information over pomp — which is a good thing for all advice takers.

Still, expertise needs to be questioned in order to be trusted. I still check the fine print on the diplomas when waiting in the examining room for the doctor.


Hiring For The grow! Gene

January 14, 2010

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @NYCA

Hiring is more and more the key to our success. We are out of the way of others in our industry and we need to be a destination point – not geographically but for services provided.

The cultural and the technically-fit fit here. One without the other won’t work. I read that those whom people like will be better on a team than those who are disliked but are stronger at their discipline. If that makes the team better and the work better, then I see that as a win, win.

Our hiring process is long and slow and deep and expensive. There are interviews over the phone, in our offices, via email, on our social site; presentations, group discussions, test projects, reference checks.  We have many of our people meeting, weighing, and prodding the candidate. All to meet people who have the ‘grow gene,’ as we call it – curious, beginner-minded though experienced in their field, irrepressible (with lots of bounce-backability); mentally strong enough to be a loner yet community-minded enough to be able to collaborate with abandon. When people say our work is great we measure that by the growth in the marketplace that the work helped stimulate. Our key indicators that we can achieve such growth are in the right people for us and our clients.

Hire slow, fire less, grow more.