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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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Curated shiny bits discovered in the junk drawer of the internet by Mark Englehart Evans

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Mark Englehart Evans

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