Cask of Aged Information – ‘Life Conspires to Beat the Rebel out of you’

Last week I stumbled upon a shelf of aged (18 month, and quite delicious) issues of Business Week, Fast Company, Inc, and similar ilk of publications. At the same time, I’ve been complaining lately to a select group of people about my lack of good ideas concerning interesting blog content. A wealthy backlog of magazines has potentially (you be the judge) solved that problem.

So, instead of moan in my dry, dry desert of creativity, I’ve decided to glance through my casks of aged information for any nuggets of wisdom from months past that came true, or were total BS.

I suppose the latter represents a different kind of nugget.

May 2008 – Concerning Alex Bogusky and the newly rebellious Microsoft

In 2007, Alex Bogusky, now partner to the mammoth ad agency of Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, pulled a fast one and relocated half the firm to Boulder, CO. The move sparked a serious amount of buzz, culminated by the acquisition of several major ad contracts including Burger King, VW, and Microsoft. The heft of the firm grew substantially in 2008, boasting a $1.5 billion revenue mark in 2008 (compared to a measly $1 billion in 2007 (sourced from the Denver Metro Book of Lists).

Out of all this buzz came a cover story in Fast Company detailing Bogusky’s recent landing of Microsoft as an ad client. In addition to the profile of the ad giant, the article detailed CPB’s uphill battle to reposition Microsoft as the hip kid on the block in the Mac vs PC battle.

Difficult, nigh impossible task.

| This seems an appropriate moment to pose an aside question. Do you feel he’s been successful, given the nearly two years since Microsoft contracted with CPB to tackle Mac?|

Out of the article, I did appreciate a nugget of wisdom which Bogusky was quoted saying,

“Life conspires to beat the rebel out of you.”

(An ironic comment, as Microsoft’s image to a lot of folks I think is anything but rebellious)

Boot-strapping entrepreneurs might appreciate Bogusky’s comments, and are generally familiar with the life-beating force that drives so many business startups into the ground. Even when innovation is the name of the game, society’s pressures are not usually the pat on the back they need to stave off becoming another statistic (4/5 small businesses close within 5 years).

From Bogusky’s advertising perspective, the term ‘Rebel’ applies more to a large organizations need to change its image, rather than a startup mogul fighting for his/her existence in the marketplace. Regardless, Microsoft and the non-rebels among the corporate world may be arriving on harder times should their attempts fail to, as the Fast Company article put it, ‘let their hair down.’

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