Goodby Connects The Dots

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ hometown newspaper took a look at how the agency is busy transforming itself for the digital age. The story says the founders worried that their best days were behind them, but two years ago took steps to alter the agency’s course.

Goodby, 55, a Harvard graduate who describes himself on his office nameplate as co-founder, informal psychiatrist and father, said he had a career epiphany a few years go listening to a talk by Andy Grove, the former Intel CEO and chairman.
“He said the thing he was most afraid of was becoming irrelevant and not knowing it,” Goodby said. “In a funny way that was what was happening to us. We were still winning awards, but it was one of those things you don’t want to believe is going on around you — that you are becoming irrelevant.”

Goodby apparently corralled his creative directors and said, “If you want to work here, you have to be able to do all these things,” referring to a broad swath of new media. “I told them, ‘You have to be our eyes and ears into the new world. You have to learn about it. You have to be trading ideas and be excited about them here every day at work.’ ”
Silverstein likened the sea change to being in art school all over again. There’s also mention of “Crispin envy” in the article, which I found funny although I can certainly relate.



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.