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Posts from June 2015

Ideas Are Connections Between Bits of Knowlege

Student Design Award Winner - Curiosity: Exploration and Discovery 

Our rather brilliant and lovely mate Scott sent me this delightful little film - it won a student design award and very much aligns with how we think at Genius Steals.

To whit, we are called Genius Steals because it's something we believe and our beliefs define how we work with clients. 

[We also believe that the age of naming your company after your own names is over and a little old school and icky.]

[We make an exception for the gloriously named BartonFGraf9000 because it's Gerry's dad, the story is funny and it explains a lot about the tone of the agency and their work, which doesn't take itself too seriously, because funny.]  

What we believe is that originality is a myth - that nothing comes from nothing - that ideas are new combinations - so that the more diverse stuff you expose yourself to, the more interesting connections you can make.

[PLUG: I map all this out in Paid Attention.]

Our beliefs are printed on our business cards, so we are pretty clear about what they are. 

Genius steals values

 [From our Year One Story

We don't want to be like Groucho Marx:

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." 

This doesn't mean we aren't willing to change our minds - it's a vital skill, especially in a world that changes as fast as ours does. 

It's why we love to work across a vast range of sectors and geographies - we are currently working on a tech start ups, a hospitality brand, several agencies, and our publisher, with collaborators and clients spread across SF, NYC, London, Madrid and wherever we are that week.

The more broadly we work and travel, the more diverse the pool of things to steal and recombine into new solutions and ideas. 

It's also why we partner with Seenapse, because the inspiration engine helps you think with other people's heads, to find connections you don't have. 

It's why we don't have a menu of products because, as the video points out, anything that can be routinized will be automated. 

Processes are great when you have known outcomes, projects are where we don't what the outcome will be at the start.

We like Noah's stuff on this:

Process management is a way to ensure that the same outcome is always delivered, while project management is a structure for supporting activities where the outcome is meant to be different every time.


Some of our projects are strategic, some are rapid turn around ideation, some involve content creation, some involve coming to Mexico [where we are this week] to run brand experience workshops for team members from all over the world for a global brand. 

Not knowing what we'll be doing or where we will be next is pretty exhilarating

[although it does come with a 100x increase in logistics! Imagine planning a trip every single week.

Fortunately Rosie is a business and logistics genius [among many other things] and our assistant is awesome - we're even flying her down to Mexico for these workshops as part of our team.] 

and keeps us inspired. 

We aren't taking on any new clients until Q4, but if this sort of thing makes sense to you like it does to us - get in touch anyway - we like chatting to nice people regardless of business stuff.

You know, like humans. 


So yeah we live in the age where everyone is a brand and branding themselves hard all the time and that.

But just as we try to rehabilitate companies to speak less like jargon infected corporate psychopaths, we have to be careful about not letting vice become verse. 

Or - here's a funny video! 

Here's Part Two, also

[BONUS: the song in the background is Doses & Mimosas by Cherub, from 2012, which is currently one of my favorite tunes, with an awesome NSFW video.]