The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Cynics Smile & Sunshine Sets …
May 7, 2010, 6:00 am
Filed under: Comment

I know this is old news for some, but humour me a little …

On June 11th 2003, I – along with a couple of mates – started an agency called cynic.

We didn’t really know what we were doing or what was going to happen … but armed with some beliefs, some people who believed in us and some anger, we gave it a go and 7 years later, we can look back and feel a real sense of pride.

Pride because we worked with some of the best people in the biz and – possibly more importantly – helped some of the most talented people we’ve ever met move onto bigger, better and more important things.

Pride because we helped develop mopeds, early warning systems and airline interiors as well as contribute to a whole bunch of ads – many multi-award winning – not to mention being mere inches away from getting a new word into the Oxford Dictionary [Boringe].

Pride because we started a film company [an unmitigated disaster], a research company [a very interesting failure] and a cultural research lab [wonderfully tops & exciting] as well as created strategic alliances/joint ventures with Google, Virgin, WPP & M&C.

Pride because we never borrowed a penny and never lost a dime.

Pride because we started with 3 people and through our various associations etc, ended up with over 100.

Pride because we managed to stay mates and enjoy the whole wonderfully weird adventure.

As some of you may have noticed, I’m using the past tense in that list and that’s because it’s time to now say goodbye.

Mankind be kind

No one has lost their job, no one has fallen out – it’s just we’re turning into something else … something exciting, challenging and possibly even more of a social experiment than it was ever before … the only difference being we won’t be called cynic and Andy and I will no longer be directly involved in the business.

As I said, we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and even more excited about what we can still achieve … but distance, time and curiosity has resulted in us making a decision we genuinely believe is in the best interests of all the guys in the company – both personally and professionally – so whilst emotionally it’s been quite a wrench for us to say goodbye, the reality is the only thing that’s really changing is the name, the core focus of the company and the degree of involvement from a couple of the guys. Oh, and the now huge R&D budget.

I know that sounds like quite a lot of difference, but it isn’t really – not when you look at what we’ve spent so much time doing in the last 18 months and for whom.

I can’t really talk much about the specifics of it all, because there’s still a couple of little things that need to be ironed out … horrible ‘legal’ things … but its genuinely very exciting and I’m sure it doesn’t take a computer engineer to work out what’s going on.


So where does that leave Andy and I?

Well Andy is a big boy [a very big boy! Ha] so I am sure he will tell you – probably with a big dollop of fuck, fuck, fucking swearing thrown in – when he’s good and ready but as for me, well it represents quite a change.

Even though I [and Andy] will occasionally be involved in cynic 2.0 [so my cynical-world email is maintained] and I’ll remain engaged in a certain bearded billionaires adventures [got to protect my perks, ha!] … I have another set of things I want/need to challenge myself with – some personal, many professional – which is why apart from my wife and cat, I am basically starting over.

What I mean is that on top of saying goodbye to cynic, I’m also saying goodbye to SUNSHINE [a company we started at the worst point of the financial crisis and yet still managed to win some great biz against some agencies great across the region] … goodbye to my wonderful friend and inspiring boss, Chris Jaques … and goodbye to Hong Kong … because from July 12th, not only will I be studying part-time to become a teacher [my longer-term life change, god help education!] but I will be living in Shanghai and starting my new job as the [regional] head of planning here.

Finally, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the people who have contributed to making my last 7 years more exciting than I could ever of imagined – you know who you are and you know I’ll always be your biggest fan – plus I’d also like to say a big thank you to the guys who gave me/us advice on my/our decision, despite us [well, me] changing my mind every 2 minutes … namely Lee, Gareth, Jill, Mary, Mary, Linda, Jonathan, Chris, NP [who won’t have reaslised he did] Leon, Freddie, Iain and Tricky Dickie.

Oh, and to George & Andy ….

You were nothing without me, but I’m glad I had you by my side.

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