I sold out. I sold The Ad Ranch.
My ad agency.
That thing that defined who the hell I was (well, kinda).
I had the agency for more than a dozen years.
A dozen years.
A dozen years. Had to repeat that.
For an Ad Guy, that is several centuries.
We Ad Guys have very short attention spans. We can’t survive any other way in this business. Or maybe it’s the other way. The Masters of Concentration do other things. They design bridges or financial plans or own insurance companies. They can love One Thing and feel good every day doing that One Thing.
Us Ad Guys cant live like that. Sorry.
And not that that is bad. Big world. Need all the talent we can get to keep it spinning.
But us Ad Guys have short attention spans. We can dive deeply into a thing and know enough about it to somehow, in a short time, to feel it in our souls. Feel it enough to find that thing hidden inside that will make people care about it.
And if we didn’t have that skill to move quickly in and out, we couldn’t survive this bizarre business.
One day we’re selling medical equipment.
The next day we’re selling urinal cakes.
The next day we’re selling software.
That afternoon, we’re selling cookie dough.
Who knows, maybe urinal cake cookie dough is next.
And if we had to only care about ONE of those things for any length of time (day, week, month, 40 years)… We’d implode like a poodle in a microwave.
We’re an odd race.
But we’re fun at parties and the world needs us.
That’s why “in house” ad agencies die.
You just can’t expect great ad minds to care about the same shit every day. They dry up and whither and blow away like so much fireplace ash.
Wait. What did I start writing about…
I was talking about selling out.
Back to the beginning.
I sold The Ad Ranch. Sold it to an Austin company called Catapult Systems. I actually took a Real Job.
My first Real Job in those dozen years.
Where to start.
They’re a Microsoft consulting company based in Austin with a half dozen offices and around 300 people. They build Microsoft systems, customized for big companies. Sharepoint is a big one. They also build custom apps for companies need to solve a problem that nobody else has.
An odd company to buy an ad agency one might think.
But maybe not. They work with some pretty impressive technology from some pretty impressive companies. They build huge sites, both internal and external facing.
But everything they do is based on a marketing problem. Every web site is there to be a marketing tool, even if only your employees see it.
So it was a good fit. And it’s been a blast to make the transition.
After a dozen years as a stylin little boutique agency, moving to becoming a part of a large company has been an interesting transition. And one I’ve enjoyed very much.
So I’m looking forward to the next couple years. Change is good. Good change is better. I’ll be writing about this transition more and more unless I’m working 30 hours a day.