Independence Day


Considering that we’re in the most polarizing time I can remember in our history, this year I’m personally redefining Independence Day to how I can personally represent the idea of America:

  • I’m declaring independence from progress for progress’ sake. Mark Zuckerberg’s professional success was his personal failure: Moving fast is *how* we broke things. I’m going to bring the crucial element of ethics in our world to the forefront of tech.
  • I’m declaring independence from nervous energy by doubling down on lists that get meticulously followed.
  • I’m declaring independence from worrying about criticism. I’m going to say what needs to be said with tact, confidence, and love, and trust that the relationships we’ve built will only become stronger.
  • I’m declaring independence from uncertainty by instituting and enforcing my own mis en place.
  • I’m declaring independence from the things society universally believes are poorly conceived trends but continues anyway: Open floor plans, any news that appears on television, presidential candidate debates, 24/7 stimulation, Silicon Valley-funded “advocacy groups”, technology laggards, Instagram ego-stroking.
  • I’m declaring independence from slob content: “Boomer memes” (huge text, Minions), clickbait, and hot takes, and replacing them with carefully curated experts, writers, and deep learning.  I’ll be making “to learn” lists to keep this disciplined. I’m going to pay the artists, musicians, producers, and writers who bring this into the world. (Starting with ProPublica and the Guardian).
  • I’m declaring independence from endless drafts . Two days ago, I spent 15 minutes hanging on to every word of our tour guide’s account of Cellini’s masterpiece in the Piazza Signoria, his terrible gambling addiction, and how he had to replace Cosimo Medici’s bronze he gambled away by melting candles, forks and knives from his home to actually complete the statue of Perseus. Perfection is the mortal enemy of great – in advertising and every other field -and Cellini proves it’s been that way for 700 years (and beyond).

So happy 4th of July. You’re about to get fireworks.

About the author


Matt DeSiena's the Head of Strategy at The Winston Project, a marketing collective based in NYC. He's also spent time in senior strategy roles at Bold Move, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, and served on the board of the Cobble Hill Association.

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By Matt