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Why the Magpies?
Many years ago I was a mid-weight strategist at an agency called blue hive in Shanghai. I thought I wanted to move on to a new agency, and so I was interviewing around.
I networked my way to a sit-down with an ALL CAPS FAMOUS PLANNER named Rob Campbell, who at the time was at an ALL CAPS FAMOUS agency called Weiden & Kennedy. He blogs. he's smart. he knows it.
During our chat, he took a sly shot at me, probably because he was already bored of the conversation. While my memory is foggy, he told me something like - there are two types of planners: those who go deep, find those true insights, push clients, etc. y'know, him. Then there are "magpies" who grab a little from here, a little from there, and spit out something mediocre. y'know, me.
It was a valid criticism at the time, or at the least the work I was doing. It stuck with me all these years because it seems an astute description of me in general. I like shiny things. I am a collector of interesting things, interesting facts & interesting people.
10+ years later someone asked me why I don't write a newsletter. One reason I gave was the world doesn’t need another newsletter/blog from another WEIRD cisgender white dude who wants a platform for his opinions. BUT Magpies are smart birds, and gathering little bits of shiny things to make a collection is, of itself, a skill. I collect shiny things. I did google magpies and discovered that magpies don't steal shiny things. But never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
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