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Saturday, 29 December 2007

To Amanda, because I'm an idiot

No, this is not a loving message - just a confession, and a suggestion.

Although I can read your comments (and really appreciate them) I can't or don't know how to reply, so the confession is that probably I'm an IT-IDIOT.

The suggestion is that if you want to talk directly, just write me at drayton@draytonbird.com. I always try to reply; if I don't, nudge me.

Oh, and Amanda, what do I think about the value of MBAs? Not a lot,to be honest. They're a bit like University degrees, I suspect; they'll get you a job, but not necessarily tell you how to succeed in it. What's more most of those who teach are not successful practitioners.

(Personally I am a BA, failed - I got a scholarship to University and walked out after the first year, bored. My father never forgave me)

Years ago I had lunch in Paris with David Ogilvy and both the chairman and managing director of our biggest client in London. He asked the chairman if he had a degree.

"No" was the reply.

He asked the MD, who also said no.

Then he asked me - and I of course said no.

"Nor have I," said David, "Haven't we done well?"

Going back to your question, whatever I have managed to do has been by hard work, a prodigious amount of reading - most of it nothing to do with marketing, some kind people, and some competitors even dumber than me.

I spent a couple of years reading philosophy in my spare time. This did not make me as informed as my partner who actually is a doctor in that discipline, but it helped me to think a little more clearly.

When I was young I thought there were only two places worth working at. 1. Superb firms where you would learn a lot. Unfortunately they're hard to get into. 2. Struggling firms that knew they were in trouble, needed your help, and had enough money to pay for it. Unfortunately most firms in trouble are there because their managements are too thick to know why - or do anything about it.

It's a tough old world, Amanda.

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