I came across this great interview by Geoff Vuleta of Fahrenheit 212 in the last issue of Fast Company. It is brilliant. Not very long but insprational.
I would love to meet this guy and speak about his experience for an hour.
Here you go:
Big idea: To create a new kind of consultancy, helping big companies innovate by melding the best of Ideo and McKinsey. “Having an idea without knowing how it makes money is as valueless as knowing where growth lies without the idea,” says Geoff Vuleta, 48, critiquing the stereotypical design firm and the classic management consultant. The New Zealander and former ad man develops large-scale growth initiatives for major firms seeking $100 million-plus in new revenue. He makes money only if the idea works: “A funny thing happens when you only profit from a job if the job itself profits.” He’s now working on projects for the likes of Nestlé, LG, and Adidas, and booked more business in Q1 2010 than in all of 2009.
Why innovation scares CEOs: It’s not innovation so much as its perceived (and actual) cost. “The animals have overtaken the farm, and many lack operational or commercial expertise. Everybody’s spending money, and the company’s still getting only 4% growth. The future will be when people finally realize that commercial acumen and ideas have to be done in tandem with each other.”
Big break: After a successful career as an ad exec, Vuleta got a call from Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts. “He said, ‘I want to be an idea company, you’re an ideas guy; why don’t we see if you’re any good?’ I have to give him the biggest credit for my life as it is today.” Ultimately, Vuleta felt he couldn’t be as idea-obsessed as he wanted at Saatchi and created Fahrenheit 212.
Inspiration? “I have never really had role models, [but] rather a forever-expanding list of people doing things I admire.” On it now: Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman (“zigging while his industry zags”); Etsy founder Rob Kalin (“not for what he sells, because I would not be seen dead buying any of it, but for what his business has spawned”); and the Gilt Groupe team (“they create the Walmart Thanksgiving opening crush every day at 11:59”).
Greatest strength/weakness: “I’m a believer. If you say you’re good, I think you’re good. But I’m the last person to work out that something’s wrong.”
On being bi-continental: Vuleta commuted between New York and New Zealand for two years. “I naively thought I could build Fahrenheit from New Zealand. The moment I stopped doing that, the business started to grow.” He still returns every nine weeks to see daughter Isabella, 13. “Perversely, I spend more time with her now than I did when I lived there.”
Flight of the Conchords or Lord of the Rings? Conchords. “Just a totally novel idea.”
Frequent flying: “I fly every week of my life.” How many miles does he have? “I don’t know, but when I divorced my first wife seven years ago, we split everything in half, and she got a million miles. I thought, ‘What the hell has she done to earn those miles?’ Except put up with me. Maybe I should have given her all of them.”
If he could fix anything about air travel, he’d fix … “The journey from when you get out of the car to when you get on the plane.” It should be more Disneyesque: “As a kid, I learned about Disneyland and how, even when you’re queueing, you’re entertained.”
Originally wanted to be … a chef. “The irony is that I was never a very good cook. I harbored this dream for 11 years. All this time, my parents are saying, ‘We don’t think you’re going to enjoy it.’ Blow me down, they were right. I took the last bus home on my first night working in a kitchen and never went back.”
Tweeter? “I’m a fraud. I signed up because I went to get angry at somebody once, but then people started to follow me. But I wasn’t sending any tweets out — this is embarrassing — so my company tweets every day, and they retweet it on mine.”
Guilty pleasure: “I’ve drunk a bottle of champagne every Friday night for maybe 20 years.” Current favorites? Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle — “the best bubble of any champagne” — and Ruinart’s blanc de blancs.
Lessons from the scrum: The All Blacks, New Zealand’s rugby team, “could teach everyone about sportsmanship. You never boast. It’s always about what I’m going to do next. Rugby teaches you humility, honor, respect, and yet, at the same time, it’s the most physical, fiercely aggressive contact sport there is.”
All of you probably heard about Finnish baths where you swim in ice cold water, run and jump into sauna or a hot tub.
The same practice is also a part of living in Iceland. Monocle had a great coverage of economic crisis in Iceland last year. 2 months ago they went to Iceland one more time to see how people are coping with crisis. And the answer is swimming.
Swimming in icy water during a very cold winters day, then running for 200 meters and jump into 38 degrees hot water.
This is the way of surviving, way of feeling that you are still alive in Iceland. I would love to practice that sometime too and maybe I will go and pay a visit to Iceland next winter to do so.
It will also be nice to see my friends in Iceland FA as well 🙂 Maybe they will be joining me.
The pictures you see are from a public beach of Rejkjavik. It is called Ylströndin Nautholsvik.
The new trailer of Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows is now available. I loved it. Hope you will enjoy that too. In the trailer we are able to see two confrontations of Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort.
We are also able to see some great sceneries of Harry Potter and co’s whereabouts. There also some parts I forgot about the book. The man stopping Hogwarts Express etc.
Anyway the film will be presented in two parts. First one in November 2010, second July 2011. Looking very much forward to those.
Ahmet Ertuğ is a name many Turks have no idea about. A simple man to many, some may remember his name from the walls of Hagia Sophia or Ephesus.
I don’t know him in person. Never met him. But I am sure he is a man of fine taste. I saw the hardcover version of his great book Temples of Knowledge several months ago. A great work of art. A work of dedication. A photo book of historical libraries brought to life by a man who has an eye of an architecht.
I consider myself as a mild bibliophile. I was buying books with the money I got from my elderly on holy days. My book buying spree continues even today. I love looking into bookshops, especially when I am abroad. I had visited the university library continuously during my study. With all these in mind I fell in love with Ahemt Ertuğ’s Temples of Knowledge.
The book contains some of the best photographs of Europe’s historical libraries. From France to Germany, Italy to Portugal you can stroll through the finest libraries of Europe. The book is printed and binded in Italy and published only 400 copies. It is costly. You can enquire about the price from the home page of the book.
You can read more about Ahmet Ertuğ on his own webpage.
Formspring.me is the new hype online.
Started up as a side project and became the main deal very soon. If you haven’t tried it yet i certainly recommend that you do it soon. You can also ask me questions if you like.
You can find more information about it on their webpage or Wikipedia.