Free Idea for Dan Wieden

What’s wrong with this picture?
A – The man’s name is spelled wrong
B – The man has but one “connection”
C – The man simply has no need for social networks
On this last point, I’d like to linger. I have no idea if the real Dan Wieden signed up to use LinkedIn. Maybe an assistant did it for him and mistakenly spelled his name wrong. Who knows? What’s interesting is whether or not a person in Dan Wieden’s Nikes would have a need for this, or for any social media tool.
Let me put this another way. Does Dan Wieden have a need to be in touch with the culture that is pulsating everywhere around him? Or can his whiz bang staff of creative geniuses handle that for him?
For certain, it’s hard to be open to so-called “friend requests” when you’re day-to-day reality is one of “client requests” and managing a global network of shops with your name on the door. I get that. I also get how essential it is to be open to new ideas and new people, particularly when one’s business runs on new ideas and new people. Therein lies the challenge. A successful company wants to repeat its past successes over and over again. Thus, they are forever tempted to follow whatever formulas led them to success in the first place.
Personally, I believe that success is more random than that. Thus, if it were my firm, I’d find a way to randomize the way “things are done.” I’d also extend myself, even into uncomfortable positions, in order to grow.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.