I’ve always been drawn to emotional archeology. I feel privileged to work exclusively on projects in pursuit of a larger truth. Seeking a greater truth than what the facts deliver is at the heart of everything I’m about.
Orson Welles taught me how to paint with words. Nic Roeg showed me how to rethink timelines. But it was the way Stanley Kubrick worked on his films that helped hone my skill of quantitive reasoning. I specialize in synthetizing a lot of ideas and information to generate an authentic creative conclusion.
I don’t think I’m naturally creative. I’m a curator and shameless thief of really good ideas. I’d describe myself as a synthesizer of art and culture with a bit of leadership ability.
To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour. – William Blake
If you look at our most successful clients, the founders find meaning in what they do. This cascades through to their people and culture. They in turn make more meaningful connections with customers. There’s beauty in this dynamic.
Finding meaning in your work sets you worlds-apart from the fakers and those in it for a quid. All we do at Surf Pacific is hold a mirror up to reflect to a client’s inside reality – and then – an outside perception is created in the market. This is how we transform start-ups into good companies, good companies into great companies, and great companies into brands. Imitators don’t stand a f**king chance!
A brand is a perception held in the hearts and minds of customers (and potential customers). It’s about the value you bring to the table. Whether you’re selling a Rolls-Royce Phantom or Toothpaste, this value must always exceed the price someone is willing to pay.
Some business people can’t grasp what a brand is. They think it’s a logo or something that belongs on supermarket shelves. Yet, every company, product or service is a brand whether that’s by default or by design. Guess which group wins out every time?
Our best clients are not victims of circumstance, they’re shapers of circumstance. They believe tomorrow will be better than today. And, when it comes to the value they deliver, they know their only as good as the last experience they’ve provided for a customer. Progress is the foundation on which all our relationships are built.
I’ve always been a self-motivated person. I started work at 12-years-old, because I never wanted to ask anyone for money.
Making money is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! My recipe has three simple rules. They have worked effectively and with a degree of consistency.
- Forget status. You can’t use another person or company’s journey as your yardstick.
- Don’t accept mediocrity, just because everyone else does. Expose and weaponize a competitor’s mediocrity – not by being a critic or a pundit – but by adding more value to customers lives than they are willing to.
- Money is replenishable, time isn’t. A big part of the value we bring to our clients is helping them not to exchange their personal time for a banknote, while simultaneously, not sacrificing revenue. The old saying, “Time is money” is lunacy and an insult to time.
Don’t impress. Express. When you try to impress someone, you create a gulf. But when you express to someone, you build a bridge. It’s like the self-aggrandizing Property Developers (they’re Builders, really) who belt it up my road in a Ferrari or Mercedes AMG. Their car lease is not nearly as impressive as a small business owner with a payroll of three full-time staff, fiscally speaking!
I’ve worn lots of different hats over the years. I’ve been a designer, salesperson, writer, developer, manager and leafleteer. I built, franchised and sold my first business at 21-years-old, which bought back my time to spend on what was really important.
Nothing puts fire in your belly like having children. It gives you focus and determination. I have four. All girls! They are all healthy, beautiful and spirited. I have unwavering confidence that each will continue to contribute to my financial ruin. I couldn’t be luckier.
My passion is film. I have always had an insatiable intellectual promiscuity for it. I study to be a filmmaker with all of my time. I obsess over filmmakers as if they were the most fascinating people on earth, which to me, they are.
I love the democracy of cinema. Film is an industrial artform. It can only exist at the intersection of art and commerce. While it may not be as artistically egalitarian as painting, poetry or music, film’s global distribution system is more effective.
Humans have a primitive desire to share a common dream. Film is the ultimate medium to transport this. To be the manufacturer of ‘common dreams’ and to occupy a space in the memories of people is I think the greatest profession in the world. Life may be short, but art is long.
Favorite films include: Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick), The Third Man (Carol Reed), Black Narcissus (Michael Powell), The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni), 8½ (Federico Fellini), Bad Timing (Nic Roeg), Persona (Ingmar Bergman), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel), Strangers On a Train (Alfred Hitchcock), The Shop Around The Corner (Ernst Lubitsch), Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard), Touch Of Evil (Orson Welles), Apocalypse Now Redux (Francis Ford Coppola), The Last Detail (Hal Ashby), Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese) and Paris Texas (Wim Wenders).
Be regular and ordinary in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work. – Gustave Flaubert
My vices include, but are not strictly limited to: Films, Taschen Books and Leica lenses. Use to be Cars as well, but I grew out of that.
When I write or take photographs there’s intent behind it. I don’t do hobbies or weekends. Nor do I waste time messing around with social media. My work is my passion and I love what I do. I’m lucky enough to spend evenings with my children, and my wife – who happens to be my best friend!
My dream in life is to ripen my x-ray eyes, as these allow me to appreciate the beauty in things. Without first seeing, there would be nothing to synthesize. At other times, I have an urge to lead an audience into hell before returning them back to safety.
Get it done. Discipline is freedom.