Answers from your friends in advertising and digital

A month ago I crowdsourced questions here and on Twitter for the instructors at BDW’s Making Digital Work workshop.

We settled on five.

How do we get clients to embrace more innovative work?

What can we learn from software startups?

Do agencies have a role in social media?

How do we stop the talent drain?

What kind of people should we hire?

Here are the answers from my good friends and teachers Matt Howell, Gareth Kay, Kim Laama, Tim Malbon, Sheena Matheiken, Scott Prindle and John Winsor.I weigh in, too.

Some of my favorite soundbites:

Matt Howell on innovation: If we’re serious about selling more progressive work we have to get serious about investing in prototyping, showing how something works and how you’d interact with it.

Gareth Kay on social media: One of the biggest problems with social media is that people are too focused on the media part of social media instead of on the social part.

Sheena Matheiken on software inspiration: Developers in general, especially the creatively inclined ones, are such doers. They just create stuff. They don’t sit around and noodle. They make and prototype.

Tim Malbon on software inspiration: Try not to treat what you’re trying to make like a piece of traditional media. It doesn’t need to be designed massively up front. It can be cruder; it can be quicker.

John Winsor on retaining talent: Traditionally agencies are siloed. The creative department stands on a pedestal. The account people are there to serve them. Strategy is somewhere in between. But great ideas come from everywhere so you need to set up a system that accepts that great ideas come from everywhere.

Scott Prindle on hiring: The core quality is an entrepreneurial spirit. Someone who is passionate about the digital space, maybe someone who thought about being in start-up. They have to come into the into the agency and quickly generate ideas and move things forward.

One thing about all of these folks is that they’re willing to share. Ideas, advice, insights. Take a look and connect with them on Twitter. It will be worth it. Thanks for stopping by.


BDW : two of the best days of my 25-year career.


Thanks Edward. Lots of chiming and resonating going on. I attended Google Firestarters #3 in London earlier this week. Some great speakers with provocative presentations on The New Operating System For Agencies.

Your video content is highly relevant to a lot of the discussion that took place in the "unconference" session that followed the presentations.

It would be worth your while to keep an eye on Neil's ( @neilperkin ) blog for the event write-up, which will no doubt include links to the presentations from @melex , @martinbailie and @jamescaig .

edwardboches moderator

@PhilAdams Phil, thanks for that. I ama fan of Neil and Mel. Don't really know Martin and James. Will follow up with all.