Giving up Food for Funk. Or why it’s time to try something new.
Last summer I went to the DO Lectures in California. I managed to persuade a client, Bloomberg, to sponsor the event. It was a very inspiring three days up in the hills. I guess it was a mini TED or a TED for hippies (business hippies). Anyway at one of the talks the speaker told us to concentrate on our mind, body and heart. And work out just one thing that we wanted to do for each of them. It was very revealing to me that I was very clear about what I wanted to do in each area and - surprise! - none of them involved working at a big advertising agency.
It’s no secret that to anyone that follows me that I have been wanting to do something more entrepreneurial for a while. So this summer I am taking some time out from advertising to do just that.
People always ask me what exactly I am doing so here’s a list. I also think making a public list will force me to actually complete these things.
- launching my ping pong clothing brand; Thompson Punke. The site and online store are now live. The idea behind this is that there are a ton of people across the world that want to play ping pong and belong to a tribe of some kind but currently there is no clothing brand that is even remotely cool. Not one. We are bringing a little of the street to the table. We are starting out as clothing line but are also making a $100 DIY Punke table, paddles and cases. I’m partnering with the amazing Red Antler in Dumbo on this.
-Writing the third Creative Social book. I contributed to the first two but will be the main man for the third which is called Digital Disaster Stories. It’s a collection of interviews with the world’s best Creative Directors and Producers about projects that they completely fucked up. The point being that the very best make mistakes, all the time. It’s natural, we learn, move on, no one dies.
-Launch ‘The Little Giant Squid’ book and iPad app I wrote along with the one and only Flo Heiss.
-Continue to be a mentor for TechStars. The deal I signed between JWT and TechStars is definitely one of the things I enjoyed most so I am looking forward to spending some more quality time with the talented people over there.
-Advise the outdoor media buying start-up ADstruc. I have been advising these guys for a few years and want to help them make the next exciting step.
-Work with Help Remedies. I was an angel investor in Help early in 2008. They are going great guns now and clearly don’t need much help but there are great opportunities to do some fun creative work with them.
-Develop a TV Show around the international Pro Surfing Circuit with my man Jingo. Real surfing, not web surfing.
-Do a few things with the music industry that I can’t be more specific about right now but music is a love of mine and it’s an industry that needs creativity - so now is the perfect time to s-s-s-s-scratch that itch too.
These are the ‘professional’ things, if you can call sitting around talking and coming up with idea a profession. Personally, I will be DJ-ing in Cannes and throwing party there on Thursday night along with Tom Morton, Ben Malbon and Iain Tait. This promises to be a lot ofun - more deets soon. And I just finished building a house in the woods. So for once the term ‘gardening leave’ is perhaps appropriate.
This is certainly not goodbye to advertising. I passionately believe now more than ever that armed with a great idea magic can happen - just look at Help Remedies. But it’s time to look at the industry from the sidelines for a bit, maybe freelance a little and then make a decision. Whatever I do next I know it will be small and with a digital core.
As for the song above. It’s just all about trading money for doing something you love. The break at 2.29 is what life should feel like.