Real life Mad Men

Crème Brûlée, old cameras and good company. Collage by Lars Gundersen

Crème Brûlée, old cameras and good company. Collage by Lars Gundersen

When I recently started bringing together my different business platforms I quickly realised I would need help doing it. I sent out a cry for help to two special people and they both jumped on board. Little did I know that I had just hired the crew of Mad Men - Don Draper himself, in person of creative director Jesper Munch Toldam and dataevangelist Harry Crane personified by digital marketing consultant Lars Gundersen.

I’m a firm believer of starting good relations over a good meal, and so I went cooking and we kicked-off brainstorming ideas and aligning thoughts 

As I worked with Jesper on defining a name that wouldn’t limit me, I was continuously amazed on his seemingly never ending onslaught of clever word structures. It was such an eyeopener to just watch him “do his thing”. Doing his thing means taking my drafts, distilling them into tiny drops of lofty - but still clear cut descriptions of my work. He did it naturally and without sacrificing relevant angles or cutting corners.

When Lars went to work on the SEO side of the new website, it was a bit like being in the gym with pro-athlete Rikke Hørlykke (talk about aching body! But that’s a different story). The continous headline seemed to be “Google is a bitch, but she’s all worth it!” - and there is indeed all sorts of truth in that statement. And so Lars sent to work on counting characters, descriptions, tags and, o yes, made me realise the importance of updating information on 450+ images around the site - manually. Talk about fun nights there!

So as much as I am thankful and highly recommending these two extraordinary people and their skills, the broader lesson for me as a startup is to seek help early! I’ve talked to so many passionate people building their business, and heard all of their concepts and plans of building a life around their ideas - and I’ve seen as many failing. Believe me, I’ve had my share of failed business ideas, but it might very well come down to the fact that we often sit around massaging our ideas and concepts for so long on our own that we forget the all important reality-check! So what I do now is to involve other people at a much earlier stage that I have before, and it’s such a mind-blowing difference. So please, get your great ideas out there - now! - and let competent people kick them around, beat them up and knock them down (and yes it hurts!) - if you’re still left standing with a good idea after that, it might very well BE a good idea - and not just in your head. So as an entrepreneur I urge you to go and find your own cast of Mad Men, and let them take you for a ride!

Of course I couldn't help having Jesper and Lars step in front of the old Sinar camera with the 100+ year Petzval lens mounted, for a bit of fun ;)

Of course I couldn't help having Jesper and Lars step in front of the old Sinar camera with the 100+ year Petzval lens mounted, for a bit of fun ;)

Lars on digital with new Petzval lens

Lars on digital with new Petzval lens

Jesper on digital with new Petzval lens

Jesper on digital with new Petzval lens

Jesper on expired Polaroid on Sinar w. old Petzval

Jesper on expired Polaroid on Sinar w. old Petzval

Lars on expired Polaroid on Sinar w. old Petzval

Lars on expired Polaroid on Sinar w. old Petzval

Thank you Jesper and Lars, for a great evening, and for kicking me further down the field. The goal feels a lot closer!