A lot of people are asking me, why on the eve of your 20th anniversary would you rebrand Hothouse? Moreover, why the hell would you take it on at 58?
The answer is simple, so we will be around in another 20 years.
Reflecting on it, I have come to believe in what I call the Acceleration Imperative.
We all know that the pace of change is accelerating. We carry more computing power around in the palm of our hand than could fit in an entire building just 40 years ago. Barriers to entry in almost every category of business are disintegrating and our local businesses compete globally with no place to hide. The fact is that we can’t slow the pace of change. Which leads to the question, how fast do you need to change? I say just faster than your competition. This is especially true in a stagnant market or during a downturn where we compete in a zero-sum game. You need to be good enough to steal share. I like the anecdotal story about the group of people being chased by a bear. How fast do you need to be to outrun it? Faster than the slowest guy.
Which brings us back to, why H2? Because the marketing world has changed dramatically. We’re experiencing fragmentation of media and the continued decline of traditional forms, the wild west expansion of digital and commoditization of many basic agency service offerings. We need to identify and grow our value. And the value we provide is in our ability to solve tough business problems and help our clients grow by combining strategy, creativity and technology.
To do this, we needed to create a better model. A model that unites digital thinking, traditional thinking and original thinking. A model that embraces innovation and encourages safe risks. We need to work deeper with clients and the root cause of the problem, not just through putting a creative or promotional Band-Aid on it. And in order to do this, we need to assemble the right people. People with specialized skills, category experience and then give them the environment and support to succeed. Enabling them to get to better solutions faster.
I think we’ve accomplished that with the creation of H2 Accelerator. We’ve found some of the best talent in the west and acquired the technology to provide ground-breaking, best in class delivery.
So how good have we become? Well, better than our competition.