Today was one of those days where something clicked.
I've always been a bit of a geek. I try and hide it, but it's there, just under the surface.
I get excited by technology, ideas, new things.
Before entering the world of advertising, I used to code - programming as it used to be called - inspired by my dad who brought home a Sinclair 16K back in the day, and would never buy me a console as you couldn't 'program it'.
Understanding how it worked, how the game or the application fitted together, was important to me, and in later life served me well. I decided not to pursue a career in coding, wanting to go a bit wider, but I've always been able to explain how things work to people.
Since moving into advertising as a project manager, through to where I am now as a co-owner, explaining the magic of technology was always as important (maybe more so) as showing the magic, in getting the magic bought in the first place.
But somewhere along the way I think we've lost this.
Agencies still love a bit of mystery.
The fabled creative process. Often a black box of activity of indeterminate length from out which pops out an idea.
Sometimes if you're lucky, a big one.
In tandem, there is a continual struggle to promote and demonstrate the efficacy of this process and validate the price that we put on it.
Which is tough if you can't quantify the process itself.
Which brings me to my point and inspiration for today.
Literate Programming was a book published by esteemed programmer Donald Kruth back in 1984, and its approach is to create a programming structure that includes the internal thoughts of the programmer.
"Rather than writing the code in the order the compiler likes to see it, write the code in the order you’d like to think about it along with a constant narrative about your thoughts while you’re developing it."
[taken from this great post]
So writing code becomes more human-driven, and reading code suddenly becomes instructive even without understanding a word of it.
Herein lies my totally rad game in which a bird flaps to avoids pipes.The code is structured in this manner:
<<the objects and characters in my game>> <<the main loop>>
@ This is the main loop, It contains the logic and state machine, but it also has a loop to update all the graphics within each object.
<<the main loop>>+=
<<the game logic>
<<the graphics> @
You get it.
Some jargon but you begin to understand.
Because you can see the thinking behind it, and the intention of every step.
We need the same approach for agencies.
Let clients see the working.
Let them hear your voice.
Show them how you get from A to B.
Demonstrate the range of decisions that have to be made.
Don't think that creativity is a language that is ungraspable.
Don't think it's the preserve of the few.
Don't let them think its easy.
Make them part of the game.
Herein lies my totally rad game in which we try and get your consumers to engage with your brand more.
<<brand information>> <<consumer information>> <<cultural information>> <<the planner loop>>
@ This is the planner loop, It seeks to define a single minded objective and insight to so we can proceed to the <<concept loop>>.
<<the planner loop>>+=
<<insight planning> @
A black box of creativity isn't helping in an age of transparency.
Our role as creative business leaders is to lift the fog.
Tell the story.
Let clients see the workings in our head.
And then, perhaps, they'll see that it's worth it.
Yeah, its a thing now if you like.