Thank you from No Man’s Land

One of the great clichés of starting your own business is that it’s an extraordinarily liberating experience.  As I take the plunge with my partners, I can confirm that this is indeed the case: so far, our little enterprise has already relieved me of all my money, time and holidays…

But the upside of this newfound freedom is the ability to choose who you work with.  (Including the right to screen out pedants who would point out the two grammatical errors in that sentence).

Obviously, it’s not just start ups who have a monopoly on good people: all the agencies I’ve worked for have been stacked with talented folk.  But there’s something delicious about assembling a team and network from scratch, from the accountants to the production guys.

Actually, like all the best things in life, very little assembly is required: the really nice thing is that good people come to you.  We’ve been inundated with offers of help, from premises to people, IT to HR, data to design.  The fact that some of these overtures have come from direct competitors simply shows how unique our industry is.

Of course, we know it won’t last forever.  As Sir Martin Sorrell recently remarked, “It’s like hand-to-hand combat in the trenches” right now.  So this outbreak of goodwill is the equivalent of the football match in No Man’s Land, at Christmas 1914.

But before we go over the top and normal hostilities resume, I’d like to say thanks to all of you who who have lent a hand (or just an ear).  At a time when the industry feels a little bit beleaguered, it’s refreshing to be reminded that it’s full of big hearts as well as great minds.

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