You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

March, 2007

Mistakes, Observations and Magic

Been up since 7am helping with the PSFK conference. Overall the day went off without a hitch.

I'm sure some of the official bloggers will have lots of in-depth insight. I just want to pull out the three things that I wrote down in my notebook today.

"Computers don't make mistakes"

That comes courtesy of Laurie Rosenworld who was explaining why she chose to make art and design by hand and glue instead of Illustrator and Photoshop. Laurie does some amazing work with bits and pieces of saved type, photos and other assorted goodies. Everything is rough, but she brings beauty to it. She reminded me that the perfect solution isn't always the best. Sometimes it's nice to bring a human element to design (and marketing). (As a side note, Grant McCracken wrote a little about a conversation we had as it relates to Laurie's work.)

Most of the time your insight's an observation.

This one comes courtesy of Simon Sinek. It's a point I've thought about in the past, but can't be reminded of enough. It's important to dig beneath the trends and find the truths that lay beneath. An observation is easy, anyone can make them: The talent is in a) turning your observations into a larger insight and b) understand the difference between the two. It brings me back to something I wrote about Drew and Renegade before I started working there: "For Neisser's Renegade Marketing, this means looking for 'truths' not 'trends.' 'Trends come and go,' he says, 'truths survive. Trends can provide color. Truths, substance.'"

Sure we all know these things, but how often do we remind ourselves to keep going deeper?

Don't talk to people like they're adults.

This comes from Mike Byrne of Anomaly who closed up the conference. Being a 'serious' adult is far less fun than being an innocent child. So how do we, as marketers, inspire the kind of hoping and dreaming that make up a kid's every day life?

At first it was hard to tell if Mike was being serious or just taking the piss out of all of us. Turns out it was the former and in the end I think he nailed his point with a Coke commercial of all things:

For just a moment you can't help but think maybe there is some magic inside the machine . . . Why doesn't more marketing do that?

March 7, 2007
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.