Sleep is the Most Intelligent Act a Student Can Perform After Midnight.

Dear Students,

It’s considered macho to stay up all night to finish a project.

I’ve done it.

And stood there first in line at the coffee shop at dawn certain that I’d done something cooler & harder & more valuable than what regular people had done that night.

But now I see it differently.

Now I have enough distance from the work and the situations they arose from.

To tell you it’s false.

Yes, staying up all night to work can result in your having something to turn in if you didn’t do any work up till that point.

But that’s not a victory.

It’s a defeat.

Because the goal of a superlative ad maker isn’t to get ads done.

It’s to get great ads done.

Staying awake when you need sleep makes your brain slow down.

Causing it to not make as many connections as it would at full power.

Or to access as many or widely separated cells as it would have if rested.

Which means you think s l o w e r.

About less.

And perceive its value through the gauze of “decreased bandwidth”.

It’s hard to be great.

Don’t go about trying to get there with only half a brain.


When you wake up, 10 minutes of the real you will get you further than hours spent with the gerbil cages of your mind only pretending to whirl.




In an Age of Puffery the Pinprick is King.

Dear Students,

Boil everything down.

When you have removed every impurity from the client’s product claims and research insights and social media hoopla and sales manager excitedness what you have may be small. Infinitesimal even.

Let it be. The size of truth is no predictor of its power.

Make that truth your client’s story.

Build your campaign on nothing else.

We live inside a hurricane of promotion and flimflam.

Something to hold on to that is immovable need not be large to be potent.

A short sermon can carry a lot of God.

Don’t work late at the office.

Dear Graduates,
Working late makes it look like you’re trying.
You don’t want to look like you’re trying.
Trying counts against you, not for you.
When you look like you’re trying it suggests to those watching that what you’re doing may be as much as you can handle.
It takes a lot of work to be great.
But don’t let people see you do it.
Go home.
Go to a diner.
Get out of the office.