One of my favorite quotes is from Einstein. “If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.”
One of the times that made me most proud was when a client offered me a substantial budget to help them discover more problems. It may seem counter intuitive, but clearly defining the problem I’ve learnt often can help you quickly resolve the issue or more clearly see what issues you should be resolving. More here at ClickZ:
There are a lot of things that motivate us in work. Some people are motivated by power, some by money, some by pride. One of the things that makes me happiest of all is making things that make a difference, that actually add value in peoples lives and gets our clients and teams noticed for their hard work. It’s fulfilling to make things I can show my friends, my family, that make them laugh, think or that they find useful. That motivates me. Within 3.5 hours this evening a few of the things that me and my team have been working on for the past few months all of a sudden got noticed, and it felt nice. But it was nicer the fact that it all happened within a few hours of one another.
5:50 PM – My sister texts me this image – a project we did for Pizza Hut made the “Love It” list for the Time magazine print edition. Even in a world of pixels, for some reason when they print it on paper it feels a bit more substantive.
At 6:30 PM a creative director I worked with and respect, posted on Facebook about a financial product that MRY recently helped incubate in house. He offered his critique. Then I noticed that it hit the top of product list. Here is a snap shot of the product ranking on producthunt.com where it reached top ranking yesterday.
At around 9:00 PM after a few drinks with my friend Tal, I noticed a NY times article on FB from a friend who works there talking about a session and a brand idea that MRY Health had come up with and a strategy the team created.
In a creative world, it’s nice that the work is gaining momentum. Onward and upward.
I’ve hit somewhat of a small milestone. Writing and publishing online though a paradigm that I understand professionally is not a dynamic I pursue personally. Since starting on this journey, I have not promoted this blog and have made this more of a personal and counterintuitively subtle experiment in online publishing.
Today I got a nice surprise. I just got my first positive review for the writing on ClickZ.com as well as hitting the top of the list for most read. It’s a small milestone but motivates me to continue on this journey. To the 3 people who read this blog who probably include my wife and sister. Thanks.
It’s great having one of the most read articles on ClickZ, a bit motivating to keep on writing. I always try to apply my personal life experience to my work experience. One can not help but be influenced by the way you grew up and what you saw as a young person. This article on is one representation of my life experiences intersecting with how I see my work life.
I hope you all enjoy!
I am a real believer in not doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome (a thought widely attributed to Einstein). But in my work and personal life, I see this paradigm of perpetuating past behavior play out daily. It’s amazing how incredibly hard habits are to break. We often think of bad habits as something only exhibited in our personal lives (eating too much, smoking). But in fact , routine can be a huge deterrent to professional innovation. Here are two pieces that speak to this theme.
This article covers how habits force us into similar activities as exhibited in themes at SXSW.
The years of relying on TV as a primary driver for marketing is a powerful habit, one that will take years to shift.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of interactions. Creativity is often seen only through the lens of content. The funny video, the interesting graphic, a joke. It’s what people see, and have a human visceral reaction towards. Content is very important but the way we interact with that content is that subtle layer that is equally as critical. I recently wrote an article on shifting interaction trends as it pertains to verbal cues.
I know there’s been a lot written about the way we interact with home appliances. This article is more about shifting interaction models when verbal cues are introduced. How will our lives change when talking to your xBox becomes a ubiquitous act.
What an apt metaphor for the intersection of art and culture. This Saturday, we at MRY are bringing Rev Run to the SXSW party. I’ve always respected his talent and found him to be a true musical visionary. Always slightly ahead of the curve.
Lessons I’ve learned: When I started my career in marketing, I was taught originality at all costs. What I realized over time is that originality comes in many forms. Often it is not in creating something wholly new, but in the cross pollination of what presently exists. It may be as simple as taking two disparate elements and bringing them together in unique new ways. Rev and Aerosmith demonstrated that magically with “Walk This Way”; at the time, a genre bending new look at music.
I really hope he plays that Saturday.
ClickZ was nice enough to publish an article I wrote on the importance of the number 11 on Instagram; the article is here:
A brief synopsis: “The number 11 now represents when your Instagram image has hit a certain level of credibility. Admittedly, I am not that cool on Instagram, since some of my images don’t hit this threshold, but for many users this simple milestone is important. In a study MRY conducted on Millennials’ technology behavior, one young woman noted passionately the need to reach this number. “If I don’t hit 11 likes, I take down the post after a day — it’s just too embarrassing to leave up there. Nobody likes it.”
One of the strategists on my team pointed out to me that as usual Snoop Dogg said it better than me. It’s always amazing to me how a well placed meme with just a few words can truly fill a canvas. A picture really can say a 1000 words.
I know one thing: the web doesn’t need another blog. But I’ve recently been doing a lot of writing and decided I needed a place to house all of this work. I will aim to not add to the clutter and deliver a new perspective built on the unique convergence of ideas.
Personally, I have often found myself at the intersection of unique vantage points; always having one foot in the door of two or more point of views. It all started with where I was born, in Hong Kong, a cross between Chinese history and British opportunity while attending an International school that taught me American creativity (whilst for some odd reason holding a Belgian passport). My parents were one of the few Asian parents who actually encouraged their young son to pursue the arts. I spent a summer at R.I.S.D. oil painting, but then decided that was too impractical and leaped to the counter-point, a Columbia education where I, at first, aimed to major in economics, but landed instead with a major in Philosophy.
My career has spanned cities from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, to New York. I was first taught branding and story telling first hand by some of the masters of the craft. Always looking to mix it up, a little less than a decade ago I made a conscious decision to see its application not in 30 second video or print but through the lens of technology. I’m really lucky because my day job as the Chief Strategy Officer at MRY and previous jobs at AKQA, McCann, allows me to take all of these disparate points and connect them in new ways.
My simple hope is to share this perspective, not to develop more clutter but a unique vantage point on the intersection of humanity x creativity x technology.
Thanks for reading, I hope I can in some small way help.