Neil Perkin

Design with Vision, Optimise with Feedback

I'm a big fan of testing and optimisation. When user feedback is so valuable, yet so readily available, and real-time, can you really justify not incorporating it into your working practices and developing a culture around test and learn? Smart, digitally focused businesses like ASOS, Netflix and Zynga have been enormously successful through doing just that.

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Ignoring the Bestseller Lists

I'll admit to feeling a large dose of nostalgia when I think back to Sunday evenings spent listening to the Top 40 Chart Show on the radio, with fingers poised on the 'play' and 'record' button of my ancient tape recorder waiting for the DJ to stop talking over the track intro so I could get a clean recording of it (I'm really showing my age here).

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Converse Domaination

I've seen a few lists of the top 'digital campaigns' of the decade. Most of them feature similar work (Uniqlock and Lucky Switch, BMW Films, Nike+, Whopper sacrifice and subservient chicken, Chalkbot etc). But there's one which has been strangely absent from every list that I've looked at, so it's only right that I recognise it here.

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Command and Control

I'll likely get flamed for this but I'm not convinced that this is such a great idea. Setting up a walled off space with copious screens showing visualisations of data streamed from social media monitoring systems seems to be the new new thing. I have no doubt that the objectives behind it - listening and paying attention to customers - are laudable ones. But do you need a room to do it? If I'm honest, the thing that bothers me is (once again) the choice of language.

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Unplanning

After writing about Agile Budgeting, I stumbled serendipitously (as is the way with these things) on a Tom Fishburne post about Waterfall Planning that echoed some of the points I was making. Specifically, how crafting an annual plan is "like getting a bill through Congress", what with all the hours of spreadsheet crunching, debate, negotiation, and compromise, followed by more of the same, before eventually settling on "a plan that is wrong the moment it's inked". Tom goes on to mention Ian Sanders, who gave a talk on Unplanning at last years SXSW (there's also a short e-book here if you're interested).

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Agile Budgeting

I make no apology for writing another post on agility. I think it's one of the most fundamental (and often unacknowledged) shifts that businesses need to make in order to be fit for purpose in the world in which we find ourselves. We no longer need to follow the model of creating a perfectly crafted plan, spending a lot of time executing that plan before we ship it, and only then finding out whether it is successful or not.

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Mavericks

There was an Economist piece on Innovation a while back on Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble's new book “The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge”, dealing largely with innovation in established companies. There's much focus on ideas generation these days, perhaps more so than on what innovation really is: the commercialisation of those ideas. The perspiration stuff, not the inspiration stuff.

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Agile Marketing

As part of my ongoing obsession with all things agile, I've written up a summary of some key practices around Agile Marketing, building on the principles outlined in The Agile Manifesto. This is also cross posted over on The Marketing Society blog:

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The Creative Internet

It deservedly got some twitter-love on Friday, but if you haven't seen this resource from Google Creative Labs go check it out. An updated 119 slides of digital awesomeness including some of the most talked about, creative and inspirational ideas and web projects from recent times, and featuring sections on advertising, tech, art, visualisation, audio, politics, sport, history and books. I've embedded it here, but for the full effect go view it on Google Docs. Put together by Tom Uglow. Lovely.

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The Rise of Talent Networks

There's a question that's been nagging at me for a while. An itch that needed scratching if you like. So I wrote a piece for Marketing Week about it. And they've kindly allowed me to reproduce it in full here. Input is, as always, valued:

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