Fantastic lunch today with my old creative partner and top all-round geezer, Paul Smith, at the eponymous restaurant, which is a nice enough place for a London lunch (even better for a Sunday brunch, it must be said).
The talk turned to Herd stuff again (Paul was a particularly strong supporter of my early thoughts on our Herd nature, although he always pretended not to really understand).
As Paul pointed out, we tend to chose places for lunch on the basis of 1. practicalities (where each of us come from) 2. where other people go (although this also tends to lead to a pretty odd phenomenon – trying to go to places that enough people go to, but not too many…as Jeff Goldblum says in the Big Chill: “Elaine’s (the 70’s NY club) is so over, everybody goes there”). That’s why we ended up at the ‘nice but not great’ SoS.
Paul was lovely enough to say he thought Herd was one of those “once in a generation” ideas. It seems to make such obvious good sense – and chimes with some of our old rules of thumb about what makes great creative work and how you get to it. And yet somehow, how we got to thinking that it’s a truth we’ve known all along but forgot to speak up about. We let the “individualists” walk all over us. Shame on us.
But no, I know I’ve been more responsible for articulating what one other creative partner used to call, “Market-Ting” bollocks – most creative folk have been kept out of the discussions. I’ve taught the ideology and I’ve post-rationalised it. So it’s really more shame on me and the likes of me in ‘strategy’-land who’ve collaborated with the forces of darkness. Shame on ‘us’ then.