[ Transcript ]
One of my first memories as a kid was sitting at the kitchen table staring into a bowl of Cheerios, really intently, and thinking, “I wonder if there are other worlds in that Cheerio and there’s another little kid staring at his Cheerio thinking the same thing - like a mirror in a mirror in a mirror. Never shook it. Didn’t become a particle physicist, but it stuck. Until this day, I look at things as though they could be different , should be different - a world of possibles – some would argue that this is a prerequisite for a ‘designer’. I agree but I think it’s just an important mindset – being curious to making something better.
So, here’s my quick story that you won’t get on LinkedIn- 5 minutes of parentheticals, the between-the-cracks peppered with some spontaneous trivia. If it’s on the resume – it’s not here.
Wayback machine - I went to college for Architecture, simply for the reason that it included everything else ( math, history, art, design ) and I quickly found myself creating unusual environments that were pushing on as many levels as I could push. I like to push. Trivia – I was expelled from high school ( long story ) When I graduated from Oxford, in a recession, I wound up running a Magic Shop outside of Walt Disney World, and was recruited by a Carnival family in London to come build a nightclub for Magicians. Trivia – yes, I know how David Blaine did it. It was great fun and provided the opportunity to practice with the Pros and learn how people see. There was a little bit of old fashioned British corruption, so I came back to the states and landed on the first rung of the computer animation explosion. This is when it took you three days to animate a bouncing ball. I went back to school and got another degree ( curiosity again ), and wound up being recruited into an airplane hanger on Treasure Island with 30 brilliant guys producing film effects that simply hasn’t been done before -these guys were literally making history. Trivia -my favorite meal is crab and mashed potatoes. I lost all my teeth when I was 12 and think I’ve used up about 7 of my 9 lives.
I also moved out to California to be a Triathlete. That obviously didn’t pan out so I took off and hit the mountains of Northern California, jumping from Monastery to Reservation, and found a teacher and would sit for months, silent, eating fermented soybean – no joke.
I sold all my things, with the intention of becoming a Zen Priest under the tutelage of this pretty amazing guy – no, not David Carradine, but his name was DragonHeart. Why can’t I get a name like that, eh?
And then. Wait for it.
I got a totally random phone call from a Creative Director at Modem Media. They saw my work online and needed an art director. I thought, this could be the bounce money I needed.
I went to the agency and I never looked back. Over 20 years I’ve worked for six different agencies and all the networks in pretty much every conceivable role. Immersing myself in technology and innovation along the way.
Trivia - I love technology but I love nature more, and the further I study both, they are curiously aligned. I love to travel and more importantly I like people with a capital P. I have had the great fortune to work with some very talented ones while creating ‘firsts’ along the way.
Trivia - I collect cook books and shadow puppets from Indonesia.
So, all this rolled into one is Brandmaki. My particular role ( get it – role >? ) has brought me around to user experience, which in my mind includes everything - again. I love solving big hairy problems, particularly when they’re real.
Trivia - petrichor is my favorite word on the planet. I would spend a months salary on something that would last me a lifetime.
Ernest Hemmingway said ( he was probably gutting a deer to sleep in when he said it ), “I don’t care what you do, as long as you’re the best at it.” I like to surround myself with those people -sharing and collaborating. Design is too important and much too complicated for Heroes. I think my secret sauce is I have three legs – one in design, one in tech and one in strategy and I can hang in the C suite– I know the difference between wasabi and wabi sabi. Trivia - I like to keep score at baseball games and today my favorite color is blue.
I feel so lucky to be doing what I’m doing when I’m doing it. Technology has only been solving our problems for a little while, and making it human centered even shorter. I believe we are at an inflection point where design and tech are going to make quantum leaps – the only question is, are they going to take us with it. Too serious.
More Trivia - I like sushi like a dog likes bones. I love to make bread and read heavy books about magical realism and cognitive psychology.
I read this piece recently from a Microsoft recuiter, and he said the best resumes were the ones that tell your story, so there ya go.
I think my persona is summed up in one word – curiosity. I am insanely curious about what I don’t know.
What have I learned along the way? Well, never burn bridges, always be kind if you can muster it, never eat or drink anything blue and never do business with someone who sweats when they talk to you. Oh, and try to work with nice folks.
So, in this crazy age of instant messaging, instant oatmeal and instant gratification, sometimes it’s good to just pick up the phone and connect with someone.
Call me. Let’s chat.
Oh, I have always loved underdogs.