Thursday, April 19, 2012

2 concerts and a plate of bones.

Whether it was poor timing or some inner party animal instinct, I managed to lock myself into two consecutive nights of concerts.

Both bands would feature loud guitars, a healthy dose of ‘80s-style synthesizers, pulsing bass lines, and did I mention loud guitars? Yet, they’re different.

One band is relatively new - the mean age of their members was about 26. The other, a band that’s been around for about 30 years, whose members are geezers and could technically be the fathers of the kids in the first band. These bands are quite unalike, yet each has qualified as ‘kickass’ in my opinion.

Without prejudice.

We had spare tickets to these shows and offered them to friends. No takers.

“I don’t know these bands, but I don’t think I’m gonna like ‘em,” was the typical response. This, was without hearing a single note from either band.

Much prejudice, it seems.

When I asked a colleague if he wanted to see one of these bands, he promptly googled them and told me, “I see that they’re classified in Wikipedia as a shoegaze band. What on Earth is shoegaze?!” Then he didn’t think he was going to like them. His reasoning made my head explode. “I think they’re before my time, before I was born.” I’m pretty sure people shouldn’t be benchmarking new music on the basis of their birth date.

You see, I have a voracious appetite for new experiences – not just music – and I believe that every one should be constantly on the look out for new and different things.

For example, lately I’ve taken to the idea of nose-to-tail eating, which means I’ve been going out of my way to try every type of offal I can find. Heck, before last night’s concert, I pigged out on roasted bone marrow with ramps.

I knew I liked bone marrow, but I had no idea what a ramp was, so I ordered it. (It’s a wild spring onion and you can see the little bulbs embedded right into the marrow).

(My mouth is watering just looking at that picture)

We all need to go out and try everything weird. If not weird, something that makes you a tad uneasy, and takes you out of your comfort zone.

So what’s the point of all this, then?

Run towards ideas that are unfamiliar or different from what you currently believe or understand. Have a voracious hunger for new ideas.

Despite its original context in the film Wall Street, Gordon Gekko’s seminal speech has a universal truth to it:

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

Greed is very good for marketing, in the sense of the pursuit of ideas and creativity. Eat up everything around you – in pop culture, in automotive design, in furniture aesthetics, in product packaging, in films, I gastronomy–all of it.

I believe that so many solutions for pharma marketing lie outside pharma marketing. And the only way we’re ever going to find them is when we start paying attention to things about which we have no idea.


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