In a climate where most Irish companies are rife with anxiety about their bottom line, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a focus on profit, is the best way to create a profitable business. Yet paradoxically, this isn’t always the case.

The most successful and profitable companies are not necessarily the companies most focused on profit. Compare these mission statements:

Lehman Brothers: Our mission is to build unrivaled partnerships with and value for our clients, through the knowledge, creativity, and dedication of our people, leading to superior results for our shareholders.

Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Whereas Lehman Brothers’ mission as a company is ultimately to deliver shareholder value, we saw very plainly, the fallout from a business culture based around monetary greed. Google’s company mission, by contrast, is to create the best damn informational service around, for their users (thanks to our new search manager Steph for this insight).

The fact that Google has become one of the most lucrative companies of the twenty first century, is a byproduct of this goal. It isn’t the goal itself.

Similarly, when we look to Marketing, the coolest and slickest brands aren’t out there trying to be cool and slick. They are focused on other more important things, like product innovation or design excellence. We see a glimpse of this philosophy from Apple COO Tim Cook:

“We believe that we’re on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that’s not changing. We’re constantly focusing on innovating …  And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think, regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well”

This thought is as true for individuals as it is for companies. The people who excel professionally, those who earn the most money, are rarely focused on their salaries. They are driven by intrinsic motivation, not short term monetary rewards. Their focus is on doing their work to the best of their ability. Success and money come as a byproduct.

When was the last time you had a good night out, by trying to have fun? Like most of the worthwhile goals in life, all good things come indirectly.


Apparently not according to most predictions. And Ken Ring, the Kiwi dude who supposedly predicted our last few soaking wet summers is suggesting we will face the same again this year. Read his latest forecast here. Or google ‘weather prediction Ireland summer 2010’ and you will see: it’s hard for your eyes to avoid the words ‘wash out’. I just searched for that website and it doesn’t exist…perhaps met eireann should buy the domain name or it could become the next in the market but people are only allowed to moan about the weather. It would be a sure hit.

The word weather is on our lips constantly. 2.5 million relevant Irish pages when you search ‘weather’ and not a single brand in sight. Ok there is and but very little paid for search.

A search area that should be capitalised on by a suitable brand?? I think so.

Meanwhile have a look at a typical Irish day on YouTube – ‘if you don’t like the weather in Ireland wait ten minutes’.


I now drive to work…

April 6, 2010

The car I should be driving (I work on the Renault account)

Exciting news, I know.

This development probably merits 16 or 17 separate blog entries to do it any justice, but for the moment lets try to channel and direct the immense interest and excitement that’s just been generated by this revelation to one topic: radio.  I now listen to the radio for 30-40 minutes a day as I rattle along the mean streets of South Dublin in my deceptively spacious and beautifully styled Fiat Grande Punto (first €5k in used 20s secures).  ‘Grande’ means ‘big’ in Italian, by the way.

Yes, radio.  This is not the time or place for a ‘creative Ireland’ style rant about poor ads… I’m going to go the other way with this and call for contributions to the ‘so bad they’re actually good’ radio ad category.  A cheerful angle on the appalling creative standards in Irish radio advertising.  Think Dennis Hickie’s TV gem for Wavin Piping, on radio, if you will.  Let me get the ball rolling with the ad currently airing for ‘Howl At The Moon’ bar/club on Leeson Street.  Anyone else heard that beaut? 

I’m focusing on the hilariously bad variety, because they make up an entertaining 5% of radio ads out there.  There’s also the 5% of decent ads at the opposite end of the scale which are for another time and place.  And then there’s the soul destroying, damaging-to-the-medium-itself, 90% of bland, boring ads that don’t merit any consideration whatsoever.  See my informative picto-graph (am learning from your previous post Neasa 😉

informative, visually exciting and Easter themed...

How many depressing egg puns did we all hear over Easter?  National Lottery, I’m looking at you…

This is by way of a circuitous route to the point of my blogpost – listening to the radio in the car.  I have one of those MP3 player mini-radio transmitters that allow you to listen to your ipod in the car, but it’s a bit of hassle.  30% of radio listenership is ‘in-car’ and that figure is higher again for the valuable business market.  So never mind integrated music docking systems, which are already becoming mainstream – wait ‘til the car gets fully connected.  Radio is going to have to evolve hugely or really suffer.  This is the future in-car experience: 

Aside from the really creepy glassy-eyed man driving the car (why is it the man always driving?), how scary is that future and is radio ready for it?


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