We’ve moved office recently. Quite a big move for us - all the way from sunny Shoreditch to a perch high above deepest adland. They say a change is as good as a rest, an opportunity to refresh and get your energy back and that has certainly been the case for us so far as we discover the strange new restaurants and cafes of ‘Upper Noho’
We moved the same week that the lovely chaps from Creative Social were hosting an evening entitled ‘The Internet Used to be Fun, What Happened?’ I had hoped to go along, unfortunately I got caught up in my usual diet of spreadsheets, strategy documents and forecasts – the irony was not lost on me.
So whilst I could not be there in person, it did at least cause me to stop and consider the proposition. This question obviously came served with a healthy dollop of sarcasm, but also a touch of melancholy, a pining for paradise lost.
As the internet has gone from the secret sauce on the side to the main course, the expectations of what it can deliver have rightfully increased and come to be respected. Those involved in producing it have adopted an air of increased professionalism and competency because frankly the stakes are undoubtedly higher than they ever have been.
More investment comes with more expectation of higher returns and more substantial impacts. Failure is less tolerated. Our desire to always be in Beta can become stifled by the need for things to work straight out of the box first time.
The search for people who can make this happen ensures that the competition for talent continues to be fiercely contested, which can put the handbrake on the pace of change as we scramble around trying to hold on to people rather than pushing forward.
A maverick attitude around digital can be harder to maintain, but whilst it may not be the Wild West anymore, there are still ample frontiers out there to be explored.
Being the centre of attention comes with disproportionate leverage, the ability to make things happen and attract investment. Rather than slow the march of digital progress this odd moment we are all in is likely to prove to have been a tipping point into a period of accelerated change, where we can actually get things done.
Ambitions are there to be achieved. Outcomes are there to be delivered.
The trick is to do all of this without losing our sense of humor along the way!
It’s incumbent on all of us now to not get bogged down in the complexities of making everything work together. Its time to get the Jesters hat back on, strike up a smile and start having fun again.
(A version of this post first appeared in Campaign Magazine.)