A greater good

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Mindshare Worldwide's chief executive has a modest business proposal for 2015

New year, new startups. I think it’s time to get in the game.

I have an idea but I’m not sure it will fly. It’s important to be techy, digital and all about data. I also stand against all those bad old models. I want to embrace a West Coast, libertarian, feel-good, open-plan and free-fruit kind of model. In an ideal world I would pay no tax, but I will supply a lot of free beanbags.

I’m looking for backing for a global, always-on, viral, mobile platform that will create addressable micro content and deliver attributable sales. I will prove this because only my newco will be allowed to verify any copy or messaging. I have to do this, you understand, as I am very worried about data breaches from any third-party verification audits. It is also for that reason that only I can tell you if your ad ran, where it ran and how many people saw it. As a result, my results will always be better than anyone else’s results. In a results-focused business, results are important — but you can trust me.

Ultimately the short-term company mission is to create a closed vertical … I have to use this word … ecosystem. You give me a product and heaps of cash, and I will do the rest – messaging, sales, retail. Frankly, the idea of controlling your own data or being in charge of your own marketing is outdated. You only need to give your money to me, and you can then spend more time with the family. I don’t think this will work with any other medium — but digital is different you see. You don’t need to have the old, dated approach about success, audience size, owned insights or content.

I will spend your money wisely on lavish entertainment, missions for the betterment of humankind, with a high success rate and monopolies designed to help you.

OK, so it’s a poor parody. The point is that we need to work together to find a better way.

Wouldn’t it sound better IF …

… Rather than competing ecosystems, we had one accountable industry standard and digital media was as accountable as TV? Common currencies have done more good than harm for generations.

… Rather than competing global initiatives, we had a few collaborative and focused efforts? Look at what the Gates Foundation has done for polio; what could Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple do together?

… Rather than 6,000 different fitness apps, we worked to link them all together? The cure for cancer is probably in there somewhere.

… Getting it right for advertisers might just be the key to getting it right for society? Apple, Facebook and Google are defined by successful competition. Their opportunity is to know when competition stops and where collaboration for the greater good begins. 

This might sound idealistic, but wasn’t that the core driver for many startups: to give the world information, to do no harm, to find a better way? What better way to do that than to work together?

Nick Emery is chief executive of Mindshare Worldwide.

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