Thought Leadership

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a knowledge worker.

As knowledge workers, the value we bring to our world is no longer in our physical labour.

Our currency is in ideas.

And rare, desirable currency is in the form of valuable ideas.

The Gestalt Effect

Last week, designer Yana Makarevich, caused a stir by with her remarkable take on the World Wildlife Fund logo – transforming the familiar Panda into three other endagered species, using the exact same shapes.

The WWF logo (including Yana’s new interpretations) are an example of The Gestalt Effect – the ability for our brains to …

Should we outsource content creation?

In this age of Content Marketing, we’re often asked by clients: “Should we outsource content creation?”

More often than not, the reason this question comes up is because a Search Engine Optimiser has put the fear of God into our client who is now scrambling to ‘catch up’ with competitors who have all been using content for SEO purposes.

Firstly, creating content for the sole purpose of SEO on the surface appears right, but is in reality …

Shakespeare on identity

This above all: To thine own self be true – Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away

Such is the power of the Force that any Star Wars fan who weren’t at last night’s launch, will have to abandon social media today (or at the least, tread carefully) to not have spoilers revealed.

How did Star Wars get to a stage where earned media is so strong, that consumers can’t even avoid impressions even if they tried?

What can Brands learn from George Lucas and the most profitable franchise in history? …

Quality vs Quantity

When it comes to Content Marketing, the prevailing options facing marketers today appears to be: Quality or Quantity?

“Should we post fewer, more personalised, higher quality pieces or flood the market (even outsource) with a constant stream of lower quality, generic-but-fresh content?”

The problem with this question is that it assumes …


Last week, the UK’s largest tabloid newspaper, The Sun, removed it’s website Paywall and once again allowed its content to be viewed free (but ad supported again) online.

The reason for the change of heart was because The Sun was earning less from subscribers behind a Paywall than they were from ad supported free content.

The conclusion isn’t that Paywalls don’t work for …

The Sharing Economy

A phrase commonly used to describe the global, connected environment we live in, is the Sharing Economy.

Tech startups like AirBnB, Parkhound, AirTasker and countless others, are adding incredible value by facilitating more efficient ways for us to share the resources we already have – whether they be spare rooms, spare car spaces or even our spare time.

Consider that the world is now at the beginning stages of …

Einstein quote on Creativity

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein


If 2014 was the year of ‘Content Marketing’, then 2015 would be ‘Storytelling’.

As marketers, the reason to be storytelling isn’t that’s what we’re told to do nor because that’s what everyone else is doing and definitely not because its the latest fad to be replaced with another.

The reason we’re storytelling is that the …

The Ideas Boom

This week, Malcolm Turnbull made an announcement startling in its breadth and vision – in the form of our new National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The government has made sweeping changes across industry, taxation, education, even Visa & immigration sectors in order to …


In an incredible open letter to his newborn baby, Mark Zuckerberg last week publicly pledged to give away 99% of his Facebook shares (worth USD $45 billion) to solving the world’s biggest problems.

How could we create so much value for the world that we could live on just 1% of our income?

‘Tis the season for giving.

Recommended for you

The Facebook Newsfeed is perhaps the algorithm most of us are familiar with. Nobody sees every post from all 1200 of their Facebook friends – the algorithm does a remarkably good job at curating what we see to updates from people we are likely to care about.

The ‘Explore Posts’ and ‘Discover People’ suggestions on Instagram likewise curate what gets recommended based on your social graph and past post engagement.

Since 2009, even Google’s search results have been personalised to you based on your …

Richard Branson quote on business

“A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better” – Richard Branson

Questions to ask your agency

Last week, the Media Federation of Australia released a Transparency Framework presumably as a response to the alarming cases of misreporting &…

Hunter Gatherer

In the Industrial Economy, we only needed to be hunters.

Target the right prospects for our product/service and capture them with attractive bait.

This was in a time when attention was concentrated …

Dunbar’s Number: The Rule of 150

At what point does an idea go viral?

At what point does a contagion become an epidemic?

Malcolm Gladwell posed this fascinating question in one of the breakthrough marketing books of our time, The Tipping Point.

Of the many findings that would be of interest to all marketers, the one that fascinated me is Dunbar’s Number …


Not sure if you should post that update on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc?

If you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or …

Joe Kraus quote on business in the 21st Century

“The 20th Century was about dozens of markets of millions of consumers. The 21st Century is about millions…


“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” – Epictetus

Selling is telling. Marketing is listening.


For decades, the way to get software made was via top-down, sequential, ‘Waterfall’ project management methods.

Such models, though logical, were based on the assumption that we knew exactly what the customer wanted, there was ‘one best way’, that we knew …

Leading with a mission

Just over a month ago, Mark Zuckerberg made headlines for delivering a 20 minute speech at Tsinghua University, Beijing… entirely in Mandarin.

If we can look past his accent and political motivations for making such a speech, Mark revealed what he believed was the foundation of Facebook’s success …


Checklists are a great way for us to sort order from chaos and to give us a sense of satisfaction and progress when marking items as complete.

The more sinister, subtle and often subconscious use of checklists is when we use them to …

David Droga quote on storytelling

“The ad industry’s traditional approach to a story arc — beginning, middle and end in a 30-second spot…

Cow Paths

The classic CBD grid sure makes getting around the city easy.

The compass-aligned grid makes it simple to give and receive directions – turn left here, turn right there, head north etc.

The problem is …


Should one have been purveying their Facebook feed, one may have witnessed a series of launch campaign bites for new Lindeman’s wine brand, the Gentleman’s Collection.

With the Gentleman’s Collection marketing, Lindeman’s have identified a problem with their target market – confusion over what it means to be a …

Display x Connection

Recently, Google very quietly introduced an experiment to disrupt themselves – no less their single biggest cashcow, Adwords.

Google Contributor gives consumers the choice to pay a monthly fee to have ads removed from sites they visit. Subtly different to Ad Blocking, Contributor will allow users to replace ads with content of their own choice – eg. RSS feeds, images, to-do lists – effectively transforming advertising space into real estate for personal productivity.

In such a context, the only way for ads to remain to be seen is …

Automatic. Systematic. Hydromatic

How much of your job depends on following a system – established rules & processes?

Success in the Industrial Economy relied on this – we needed precise rules and processes to remove human variation so that we could consistently make widgets at scale.

But what happens when we are no longer widget workers but knowledge workers?

What happens when our medium goes from the physical to the intangible (digital) …

David Droga quote on digital vs TV

“TV is like a formula one track – its predetermined. You can still put a piece of shit…


Last month, business strategist and ex-Yahoo board member, Michael Wolf released an epic 136 page slide deck on the future of tech and media – well worth a read for any online marketer.

Inside this deck were many surprising findings – including that …

The journey is the destination

Marketing used to be about the destination.

We have ‘x’ weeks to interrupt as many unsuspecting strangers who fall into our demographic as possible with ‘y’ message.

This kind of Industrial marketing starts from …

Dark Social

Q: When is Direct traffic not Direct? A: When its actually Social One of the lesser known places…

When Transaction meets Connection

Late last month, Facebook made a relatively quiet announcement – the introduction of Search FYI.

Facebook has always had fairly limited search capability – the ability to find people to add as friends, groups to join and trending topics etc.

What makes the Search FYI update intriguing is that Facebook is now …

Herman Miller quote on business value

“Over time businesses will rightly be judged not by their products or profits, but on their impact on…

[Long Read] How to design a business from scratch today

Long time blog readers will recognise that where the online space is concerned, we advocate delivering the Best for the Least for the Most.

Why hold so fast to such a seemingly narrow minded philosophy?

Perhaps this question is best answered by exploring the alternatives. Here are the consequences we see when brands deviate and instead deliver …

I quit social media

19 year old Instagram superstar Essena O’Neill yesterday dropped a bombshell on her 835k ‘fans’ by announcing she’s quitting social media.

Instead of going out quietly, she made the incredibly brave move to ‘come out’ and re-edit all the captions to expose her incredibly staged Instagram selfies.

In an incredibly mature decision Essena vulnerably confessed her addiction to Social Media validation and that she’s now decided to …

The $9 million jacket

In September, the Baubax travel jacket raised $9 million in crowdfunding making it the most funded clothing project and the 4th most funded project of any kind in Kickstarter history.

The end result totally blew apart the initial project goal to raise $20k.

What made this jacket so special compared to any other jacket one can buy on the market today?

Ads we would pay for

Last week, Google announced YouTube Red – the ad-free, paid subscription version of YouTube.

The free, ad supported version of YouTube will continue to run in its current form, making it the Freemium offering to the new Paid upgrade.

The underlying assumption of all Freemium models of course, is that advertising is bad, no one wants it and we would be prepared to pay to get rid of it…

Trick and Treat

Last year Adobe played the best Trick possible for Halloween by turning Photoshop into a Murder Mystery – and winning several Cannes Lions in the process.

Here Adobe, created a heavily layered, 200Mb Photoshop file which contained clues to a Murder Mystery that only fans with sufficient skill in Photoshop would be able to uncover.

Adobe’s campaign became the treat of Halloween as …

Herman Miller quote on problems worth solving

‘While we definitely have to care about technology, we only have to care about it in the sense…


Imagine building a business that relies on original content that you need to provide fresh, daily and that’s here today and gone tomorrow.

That’s what florists, bakers, fishmongers, fruiterers have been doing for centuries.

Why Playboy dropped nudity

“For Playboy to survive in a platform-driven world, the pressure to conform to those standards is immense — so much so that the publication is abandoning the core of its brand’s identity”

Such is the power of the online platforms that this month Playboy made the shock announcement that it would drop the one thing it is famous for …

Neverending Story

Television has a beginning, middle and end. Digital has no real end. What it becomes is another part of the idea – you can nudge it and iterate but you can’t think of it as this contained thing – David Droga

The traditional approach to advertising is a carry over from TV – a story arc with a beginning, middle, and end in a 30-second spot – designed to interrupt people with a quick one way message.

The ability digital now gives us to be connected over time fundamentally changes …

Valuing the intangible

Back in 2001, I remember being fascinated by the news of how the Australian government made over $1 billion out of thin air (literally) – by auctioning the rights to the 3G Mobile frequency spectrum to the local telcos.

Here was an astronomical amount of money being handed over for something you can’t see, touch or feel …

Coca-Cola quote on Mobile First

“Mobile is at the core of everything we’re doing. If we can’t make a story work on a…

Blind spot

I showed my 12 year old son a floppy disk. He said “Cool! You 3D Printed the Save Icon”

The hard truth about skeuomorphism is when we’ve come from the old, we’re blind to it.

Sometimes we need a …

Back to a different Future

Oct 21, 2015.

Die hard Back to the Future fans have been waiting for today – the ‘future date’ that Marty and Doc Brown travelled to – since the movie sequel was released in 1989.

The obvious questions circling around the interwebs have been regarding the technology – where are our flying cars and hoverboards?

Art School

As different as Facebook, Google and most online platforms are, there is one thing that they all share.

In their own way, each platform exposes the long tail.

The algorithms behind these platforms filter out content that is …

The Blank Page

Every artist is familiar with the dreaded blank page.

“What am I going to do today? How do I even start? I have nothing… ”

Of course, its not the page that’s the problem …

Duan Evans quote on human psychology in marketing

“(Our work) is all about empowering the audience to help them achieve more… understand that its better to…