4 responses to “The 6 differences in perspective of a tech entrepreneur to an agency …and THE SHIFT”

  1. paul bay

    Great post Mark.

    I was at an event last night where the focus was supposed to be on the future of media agencies and the industry in general. Instead I heard comments such as ‘we must be brave’, ‘let’s find a new payment model’, ‘look at our non-trading revenues’. It is over 15 years that the media agencies needed to be ‘brave’ and find a ‘new payment model’. It was highly introspective, somewhat of a time warp too, as if the industry will solve it’s issues by navel-gazing…

    One speaker even encouraged auditors to help the media agencies and owners to be more ‘innovative’. Innovative in what, putting real cars on posters? Moving 10% more monies into youtube?

    It was only when a great guy from Silicon Valley (Gurbaksh Chahal) stood up to talk about true innovation culture, that the word ‘customer’ was mentioned. He knows where his bread is buttered.

    Shift only happens when we know what shift means.

    I ran a workshop for a global brand recently. They asked me to run an agency/client session to shift their ways of working, so smarter ideas can shine through. I asked all the agencies present their sense of what the brand could be and how they can help. The Ad agency and branding agency were both putting out some nice thoughts. And the Media Agency’s response to this big question? They suggested innovation could come from optimizing the media buys by a couple of % points using a new tool they have got.

    Shift happens when we know what shift means.

    My concern is that the ones who fully understand what it means (and there are more than a few) are not able to fully influence their organisations to make the shift happen.

    So new businesses will appear and clients will go elsewhere. In fact they already are.

    One thought for the industry would be to shift from this model of action:


    to this one:


    So much more to comment on regarding your big post…I will rest there to gather my thoughts for a second one later!

  2. Steve Richards

    Mark – inertia is fuelled by fear…and fear of change is powerful.

    The bigger the organisation the bigger the fear of change – the more deep set the inertia.

    Paul’s point to change the “Think – Do – Think” model to “Do – Think – Do” is right as long as the ”Do“ means something new, the “Think” involves learning (including from failure) – and then “Do” again based on that learning.

    Agencies have great thinkers – but do they have cultures of learning that lead to action?

    The inertia of plate-spinners & serving to agreed client contracts usually stop culture change.

    The only way that will happen in bigger agencies is if small pilots are encouraged and celebrated – often.

    Small shops & entrepreneurs do this all the time.

    A few enlightened agencies do.
    Start ups do.
    Inertia never sets in.

    Too many forks – not enough eyes.

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