Week 5

by danhon

A full week, one that spilled over into the next one more than usual. That’s good when things are slightly messy. Too tidy means not enough interesting collisions are happening. Not enough serendipity.

Mostly work this week. I flew out to the mothership in Portland for a big project I’m working on that’s just getting started.

Culture is an interesting thing. It’s one of the big things that attracted me to Wieden + Kennedy and this time – my second real trip to the Portland office – I started to put together a better understanding of the DNA of this place.


I’ve only been to two of the network’s offices, but it’s been said that each office is infused with some sort of ‘Wieden + Kennedyness’ without them all being clones. Somewhere in between a clone and a franchise and, as ever with Wiedens, a little chaos. It is not like walking into a Gap or a McDonald’s or a Starbucks. I’m not sure what it is like, but there are bits and pieces of, well, soul, that show through, but that have been enthusiastically and vigorously mixed with local culture and sensibility. London is very London-y. Portland is very Portland-y. But they are both so very Wieden + Kennedy.

Nike is progressing. Nokia is making progress. My Secret Agency Project(s) are moving forward. Everything is motion, nothing is stopped, everything has momentum. Things are being added: another Nike project, another Nokia project, some Fairtrade, more bits and pieces of internal agency stuff. All good. Starting to feel a bit like I’m nearing the too-busy, not-enough-time for reflection point. I need to watch that.

I flew out to Portland on Wednesday; that means Wednesday was a bust, and Monday and Tuesday were crammed full, running – reeling – from meeting to meeting to meeting. Business class travel has not entirely lost its allure and become mundane. I am still, amusingly, mildly excited by the prospect of a seat that I can move around by pressing buttons. I suspect that this will always be the case.

First flight with an iPad, though. Angry Birds HD and a rip of Paycheck, which I hadn’t seen since it was in the cinema. The former is addictive, the latter doesn’t hold up on a second viewing and is another one of those Philip K Dick movies that isn’t as good as the book.

Thanks to Alice, I got to meet with Kim Pallister (and took along a fellow Non-Traditional Creative, David Mikula) and brains duly sparked. Kim is also not on Twitter.

Monday was a big war room meeting with whiteboards, paper taped over walls and the first iteration of a supremely detailed timeline.

I got pulled into more projects and gained a stack of reading material.

Just before I left for Portland, I gained the help of Hayley Hobbs who’s already working with Andy Cameron, the ICD in London. Hayley has been awesome.

I got to see Adam Heathcott, who was recovering post-Chalkbot 2, and Ann-Marie Harbour, the kickass PM on that non-lady scented bodywash everyone was talking about.

Jay Bushman got Carri Bugbee and I together, and there was more brain sparkage.

I had a great chat with Crystal Beasley, with whom I’m helping out on pieLabPDX and whose brain I also sucked dry about the awesome stuff Cheezburger Networks is up to.

Outside of work: Sherlock – fantastic. Very current Doctor Who, but as @brrdatplay pointed out, setting aside the fact that both were written by the same team, they do both feature a scarily smart man – most certainly significantly smarter than anyone else in the room – idiosyncratic to say the least, with an appetite for mystery solving and a penchant for dragging companions along for the ride.

I caught a showing of Salt with Jeff Gillette, the CD I’m working with on my big project. Entertaining, but fundamentally, not a Bourne movie. I also got a medium drink at the cinema. That was a mistake; it was bigger than my head. Before I even saw it, I was offered an upgrade to a large for 50 cents. I  declined; it would’ve looked like a giant bucket.

I spent a lot of time and a moderate sum of money in Powell’s.

I lost one mayorship, but gained two. Foursquare was mentioned many times in meetings.

Business trips with an eight hour time difference are difficult. You snatch time first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I missed @brrdatplay. Our cat didn’t miss me one bit.