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July 2007

Buckit kids.

Friday night at the Bible conference. There’s a couple that live there at the conference grounds, Mr. and Mrs. Yourgi. Mr. Yourgi was a college school mate with Jim Elliott and Nate Saint at Wheaton. They all sang in a quartet together. Anyhow, we talked Mr. Y into playing some piano, while a bunch of us sang. He can really play the keys off the thing. So, we were singing four part on all the old songs. Just about a half-dozen or so of us. The piano was incredible. But our singing was a little thin—by Friday some people had…

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Hard to get back up to frenzied.

We were away for the week at a Bible conference. It was awesome. Drove nine hours in a 12-passenger van full of lovely Christian ladies (five ladies—Anne being one of them—and me...woo-hoo!). The trip up was good. Singing. Talking. Stopping at Greencastle Coffee Roasters. The teaching was excellent. One guy talked on Joshua and Revelation. The other guy was all about evangelism, from Acts. The trip back was sort of bitter sweet. You know how that goes. Great week. Relaxing. Invigorating. Spiritually thrilling. Then, the long, slow drive down the mountain...back to the real world.It’s been a little tough. I…

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I remember when consecutive pages was cutting edge.

A friend of mine, Bill Reynolds, who is a big-time media guy, once laid out this conundrum that media guys face. The big wins often come from cutting edge ideas—using media in a way that has never been done before, using things as media that nobody ever thought of as media before, stuff like that. But the long-term win for media comes from nailing the numbers and delivering the best cost per....Lately, we’ve been working on some edgy media tactics that have to do with email and text messages. It’s gotten me thinking about all the stuff I saw developed…

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Portable and scalable.

We’ve been talking to some retailers who are thinking about expansion. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked to clients in this position. The difference is that these folks seem to have a rare ability in the area of operations. The fact is, if you can’t operate profitably, there’s nothing marketing can do for you—except hurt you faster. If you can’t make a profit with one store, with three employees, and with 1500 square feet, chances are you won’t be able to make a profit with two stores, six employees, and 3000 square feet. That’s not how the economies of…

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A better kind of RFP.

Every time I get into the middle of an RFP, I think about how unnecessarily burdensome the whole process is. It sometimes seems like the purchasing types want to make preparing and submitting the proposal a sort of right of passage by which you “earn” the business. I don’t think that’s the case, but it sometimes seems that way. It’s very common for an RFP to be 10-20 pages long, and require a proposal of that length or more. Generally, this expensive response process weeds out agencies it would be helpful for the client to hear from. I know we…

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Does great work come from a desire to do great work?

I’ve just been thinking about this. I knew a guy back in the 1980s, who talked in headlines. He thought Chiat Day was a national holiday. The guy lived to do great advertising. Problem was, he burned himself out. And in the end, he didn’t really have much of a body of work to show for it. Last I heard, he was working in a bike shop in Atlanta. Knew other people who had the “show up and do your job” approach. On any given day, you’d say they were hacks. But at the end of the game, when the…

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