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Standing in others' shoes

Dan Germaine is head of creative for Innocent, where he's been producing words, branding and ideas pretty much since day 1; he shared his ideas as one of the speakers as the Do-Lectures-in-waiting event, Little Big Voice nearly four years ago.

Earlier this year, Dan headed to the US to spend some time with the lovely team at Method, who's Chief Greenkeeper and founder Adam Lowry spoke at Do 09. Dan learnt lots on the way, as you'd expect:

A while ago I realised that it was 11 years since I had worked anywhere new. So I thought it might be good to go and be the new boy somewhere. I talked to the people at method and made a plan to go and work at their place in San Francisco for a short while. I figured this would be a good idea for a number of reasons:

1. They're a smart business. Surely they had spare ideas that I could steal?

2. They are based in San Francisco.

3. They're quite similar to innocent, so there were some parallels that could be interesting.

4. Being the new boy would give me a different outlook than my default grizzledoldhack position.

5. They are based in San Francisco.

So I did it and now I'm back home, back at innocent, thinking about what I learned. It was a bit of a wrench to leave. My new American friends were fond of the idea of having an exchange student and made an attempt to kidnap me (see photo), but whilst they were doing crazy finger pointing, devil horns and posing for the camera, I quietly slipped away unnoticed, off to the airport. For all I know they may still be standing there, in that exact same pose.

Anyway, what did I learn? Well, I learned that whether you make laundry detergent or smoothies, you need to have a strong purpose behind what you do, or you are screwed (American word). I learned that having a bunch of people who believe in what they do is a much more powerful weapon that a bunch of people who are thinking about maybe joining the company down the road that makes cat food. And I learned that maybe I should just try saying these things straight, without having to load them up with irony or inverted commas.

I had a great time, they are a great business and it was very kind of them to let me stay for a while.

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